Sunday 22nd May 2022

So this Sunday I decided to venture a bit further to the south of Quito to visit the mission parish of El Buen Pastor (The Good Shepherd). From my research the trip should take about one hour in a taxi, so I was up nice and early to take an Uber. I had had quite a bit of success in using Uber drivers for short trips in central Quito, but this morning it turned out to be different. Two drivers contacted me directly to see if I would pay “en efectivo” (cash) and when I said I would be using my debit card they cancelled. Another driver accepted but then did not move for 15 minutes, and eventually I had to ask him to cancel. Finally, a driver accepted and arrived. My total wait was 30 minutes.

The main reason for wishing to visit this Mission was that it was the place that the new bishop, Rev’d Juan Carlos Quiñonez Mera, had been the vicar for the previous 15 years. I had seen lots of nice pictures of the community and the Sunday services and I was looking forward to being part of the worship of a local church community. But when I got there the Church was closed! It seems the morning service had been cancelled (but I had not seen any notification of this on facebook) so that the community could travel to the Cathedral in the afternoon for a thanksgiving service with the Bishop. The only people I met was a catechist and some young people who were attending a Confirmation class. They were fascinated that someone from England would travel to visit them, and we had a nice conversation.

Trying to get back to central Quito was a completely different problem. My uber app indicated that there were no drivers in the vicinity, and despite waiting 30 minutes no one accepted my request. So I made my way to the main road to see if I could flag down a yellow city taxi. The first one that stopped claimed that his meter was not working and quoted $10 to go to the centre of Quito. This was not unreasonable but I decided to jump out and find another. The second taxi that stopped did have a working meter, and so about 50 minutes later I was safely back at the School. The meter said $9, but I gave him $10 anyway as the trip had taken him a long way from his home.

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