The next day, I went into town. I visited the house of Antonio Sucre. One feature I found interesting was the refrigerator, which was just a pantry. The tour guide explained how it worked.
"Ice is stored here, and drains through that hole as it melts. The entire closet is insulated, so the cold ice preserves the food."
"Where does the ice come from?" I asked.
"Good question. The ice was brought down from the mountains. Only very rich people could afford refrigerators. The work was mainly carried out by indigenous people, who were paid very poorly for the hard labor. It was actually one of many terrible exploits of native peoples in this country's early history."
Another guide showed me other rooms. He asked if I knew who Sucre was, and I admitted that I had no idea.
"I know about Bolivar," I said. "And San Martin. And de Miranda. But not Sucre."
"Yes. Sucre was a friend of Bolivar. He fought in the war of independence from Spain, established the jurisdiction of Ecuador, and defended Ecuador from an invasion from Peru in 1829."
Upstairs, we saw various rooms where military planning meetings and parties were held. I was told that the walls were insulated with dung at the time, because it was abundant and a good insulator. We went out on a balcony over the street. There were some flowers in planters on the railings. I was told the type of flower.
"They were Sucre's favorite flower. They are a symbol of Quito."
"Cool." I said. "Can I have one?"
"I said can I have one," I clarified. "For my collection."
"Um, well, OK," my guide said. "But take one from the inside."
I plucked a good one and pressed it in my notebook.
I stopped at a bookstore and bought >Gone with the Wind>, which was one of the few English titles they carried. Then I went back to my host's house. This time she was home. I found her in the kitchen with her niece, making burritos.
"Hi," she said. "I am Paula. Would you like a burrito?"
The burrito was delicious. Pau was very beautiful. She also had two dogs, Jazz and Khalesi who ran around at our feet. I asked if I could stay until Sunday, because all the museums were free on Saturday. She said that would be fine. Her niece was staying until Monday, and then they would return to her parent's house in Ambato.
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