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    Posted August 4, 2008 by
    Quito, Ecuador
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Stuck on a cruise? My vacation was worse

    Eruption in Ecuador


    In Novemeber 2002, My husband and I traveled to Quito, Ecuador to visit my brother who was studying there for a semester.  During our first full day in the city, we heard rumors that a volcano had erupted in a nearby town and although lava was not a concern, we noticed a gritty, white ash falling like snow all around us. At first, it was exciting  to be in this place at this time, but the novelty faded as the ash showered down for several more days.  Most businesses were closed, including the airport.  The jet engines on the planes were "protected" from the ash with garbage can lids.  We protected ourselves by wearing face masks.  Our week-long trip turned into 10 days.  Although we were scheduled to fly out of Quito, the airport remained closed after a week.  Instead of waiting for it to re-open, we endured an 8+hour bus ride to the International airport in Guayaquil and finally flew back to the U.S.  Our souvenirs...a nasty cough that lasted about a month (from inhaling the ash) and a jar of ash collected on our walking tour of Quito, which we still proudly display on our bookshelf.

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