High on a Faraway Hill

It was over 40 years ago.  I was working at HCJB installing an FM transmitter on an Andean mountain that overlooks Quito, Ecuador.  A friend capture this image on our lunch break.


I was standing about 6 miles south of the equator.  Yes, that is my insulated winter coat from Michigan.  At 13,000 feet above sea level, the air is chilly even that close to the equator.

On the left side of the picture, you can see the soccer stadium and the boulevard that runs to it.  I was there at a game once with a press pass and a camera.  The professional photographers gave me the stink eye as I watched the game with them from the sidelines.  They did not understand why I stood behind and slightly to the side of the goal.  From their angle they could capture all the action on the field, but that was not my interest.  My assignment was to capture the goalie as he failed.  The Quito team attacked the goal and my shot caught the ball entering the goal, passing just out of the goalie’s diving reach.  Assignment completed!  I returned the camera and film to the publicity department.  They were pleased with the photo and used it in a publication.

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About Chuck

I am retired after a career in electronics and in publishing. Today, my wife of 50+ years, Sylvia, and I live in a house on a hill beside a dirt road in rural west Michigan. We enjoy living in this country environment where livestock and wild life out number the human population.

16 thoughts on “High on a Faraway Hill

  1. VERY cool photo and story! I got a kick outta that one. 🙂

    I have a co-worker who lives there. He commutes, believe it or not. Where did you live? I will have to ask him the city where he is. He loves it there. Did you?

    • That’s quite to commute your co-worker has. We lived on the north side of Quito, near the bull ring (plaza de toros) on Isla Genovesa.

      I did not love it there. At nearly 10,000 ft above sea level, my body never adapted. I had a headache and upset stomach almost every day.

      • Equador is the new hip place to retire because they are on the American dollar. My co-worker, Scott, is an independent contractor for us, works remotely and flies in about once a month for 4 days and works in our office. It’s a sweet deal…he is very happy.

        He likes living there, BUT, he says it is not for everyone. Many ex-pats try living there, but end up returning to the States. Probably for the same reason you state. I wonder?

        • The ex-pat life is great for those who like it, and those who do like it love that life style. Some find the pressure of the foreign culture difficult, others find the second language is a problem. There are many other reasons why folks drop out of that scene.

          I always thought it would be great to retire to Costa Rica. It’s a fabulous place and quite friendly (or was 40 years ago) to US retirees. The call of family trumps all that for us.

  2. Great story and great picture. It’s amazing how different memories from long ago come back to us. Something must trigger them…like a picture or news of some sort.

  3. Wow… that is something I did not know – at 13,000 feet above sea level, the air is chilly even at Equator.
    I can see the difference of 40 years. 😉

    • No need for sorrow. I made me think of “on a hill faraway.” But I wouldn’t want to offend anyone by using that as a title. Perhaps “long ago and faraway” would be better?

    • It doesn’t exhibit much resemblance to what I see in the mirror these days. On a good day, I could see eight snow-capped Andean peaks from that vantage point.

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