Otavalo may be famous for its indigenous markets but its children are the draw for us. Granted, we are a Pied-Piper-like curiosity. We’ve parked at a hostel but are sleeping on top of our truck in a house-on-wheels. The mountainous ground is so steep that looks like we could roll downhill in the middle of the night. But if we did, there would be a gang of giggling kids running alongside.
They are fascinated with the images of themselves on Gary’s digital camera screen and want to know how the pictures will get out of the box. I expect them to say they want to grow up and be farmers or teachers but they say mathematician, electrician and computer fixer instead.
All I’ve read about this country is about its revolving door of corrupt leaders, five presidents in six years who managed to tank the economy after adopting the dollar as the official currency. I just wish one of these kids had said they plan on becoming president.
Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.