One of the teachers I work with lives with a host family in the far north of Quito. On Wednesday after her 9-11am class was finished, she hurriedly left school hoping to still be able to catch a bus home. Her busses weren’t running, but she flagged a cab and the cabbie offered to take her home for three dollars, an excellent deal. So she got in the cab. The driver was an older gentleman whose wife was accompanying him in the front seat. The cab passed by plenty of protests and took lots of detours. At one point the teacher had no idea where she was or if she would get home. The cabby kept reassuring her that they would get her home safe. When she finally arrived at her door (I think she said about 3 hours later), she handed him a 5 and he still tried to give her the two dollars in change (tipping cabs isn’t customary here). She told him to keep it and thanked him for everything.
Police shaking hands with protestors:
Wednesday Tim, Will, and I were glued to the television especially in the early afternoon. After Lucio was declared fallen, we watched the police continue to hold back protestors and then receive the orders to step back. They stopped shooting tear gas and rubber bullets and stood to the side of the road while hundreds of protestors streamed passed. We were amazed to see quite a few protestors walk up to police, not to taunt them, but to extend a handshake. There was absolutely no visible animosity between the people who not 5 minutes ago were in battle with one another. It looked like teams after a soccer game, “good game.” What’s incredible is that the protestors even after what must have been an emotional ordeal, knew that the police were following orders and that in reality most of them have very similar opinions about the government.