20 Apr

Bad Drivers

When I went to class last night, the atmosphere on the street was pretty exciting. There were a lot of cars honking the “fuera Lucio” rhythm, which is what it would sound like if you honked, “this is Quito!” They continued the honking for the entire two hours of my class, and when I left at 8:00, I saw even more Ecuadorian flags waving out of car windows than I usually do. While walking up Colon toward America, I encountered a couple students of mine looking into a small restaurant at the TV, which was showing footage of the march that had advanced toward the city center. On TV, there were thousands of people in the streets, dressed in yellow, waving flags, chanting and singing. It once again reminded me of a sporting event. The whole atmosphere, in fact, was what Madison would be like if the Badgers had just won a game that secured their participation in the Rose Bowl. You would see a lot of traffic, cars honking, Wisconsin flags waving, groups chanting and jumping up and down.

It’s exciting, revolution. On the radio, when I got home, I heard a woman who called in and spoke passionately about how the people direct Lucio, he works for them! If only such passionate popular protest could come to pass in the States, with people in the streets, banging pots and shouting, “fuera Bush.”

When we first came here, our WorldTeach director informed us that we might experience a president ousting while we were here, and she expressed her opinion that the country just needed to stick with a president for a while, good or bad, to avoid the instability a regime change causes. This morning, however, one of my students, Hector, used an interesting analogy. He said, if you get into a taxi and the driver is crazy and dangerous, you say, “ok, that’s enough, let me out here,” and you get another one. If the next guy is the same, you do the same. If you’re smart, you will continue getting out of the dangerous cabs until you find a qualified driver. Whether or not there is a good candidate lined up to replace Lucio doesn’t matter; if someone is incompetent and criminal, you get rid of them. They did this in Argentina seven times until they found a good leader. The current guy is excellent, and Argentina has stabilized a lot.

I’m with Hector. Why stop trying to improve the situation of your country of birth?

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