Some people think that countries near the equator are always hot and humid, but this country is an exception. Today it was cold and raining, and I was shivering as I walked around the park. I also had to jump through rain puddles everywhere. The wide avenue heading into the park is marked by many busts of great thinkers, and contains a planetarium and several artesania (artists) markets. There's even a post office where you can send a letter right from the equator! There were plenty of people visiting the monument, including groups of Colombian students and German tourists who were wandering around taking pictures and marveling at a miniature replica of the city of Quito.
Nearby was a scale on which you can weigh yourself. Apparently, you weigh a few pounds less at the equator. The earth is wider at the middle, so the pull on you is a little less than it would be, say, at the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Your body mass remains the same, but you weigh less. How's that for instant weight loss?
A yellow line is painted on the ground marking the equator, with the Northern Hemisphere on one side and the Southern Hemisphere on the other. I was able to stand with one foot on either side! (If you remember, my camera was stolen in Colombia but Juan Pablo took a Polaroid of me.)
The monument marking the equator is a large grayish-brick structure rising high in the center of the park with a huge E on it. Two obelisks stand stately on either side. The one on the left reads "Longitude Greenwich 78 degrees - 27 minutes - 8 seconds," and underneath, "Altitude 2.483m". The other, on the right, reads "Latitude 0 degrees - 0 minutes - 0 seconds" and beneath that, "Declinacion Magnetica 6' 38 - E."
Because it was raining, I didn't get a chance to stay longer. However, I hope you'll take some time to check out your location on the globe and figure out the latitude and longitude of where you are right now.
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