By Dan Wilson
Two young Americans with little experience abroad arrive in Ecuador, displaying their ignorance of the customs and geography of the country.
Herbert: We made it!
Clyde: Ecuador! Ha ha!
Herbert: Man, what a flight!
Clyde: No kiddin'. I can't wait to get somethin' to eat.
Herbert: Uh, where do we go? I can't tell one store from the next around here.
Clyde: Don't worry about it, there's bound to be a Taco Bell around here somewhere.
Herbert: Really? They've got those down here?
Clyde: Of course! This is a civilized country.
Herbert: Boy, I'm glad that you're here, or else I'd be totally lost.
Clyde: You'd better believe it, dude. You couldn't get a better guide!
Herbert: How do you know so much about Ecuador? Have you been here before?
Clyde: Nah, every place is pretty much the same as everywhere else, ya just gotta pay attention!
Clyde: For example, the Ecuadorian flag. It can tell you tons about this country.
Herbert: Really? How so?
Clyde: Well, look: There's a bald eagle on it, that obviously represents Ecuador's allegiance to the United States.
Herbert: That's an eagle?
Clyde: Yeah! Look at the white head. Now, see how he's kinda hovering over that landscape, that whole emblem represents the U.S.
Herbert: I don't get it, that's a river going through the forest to a mountain, how do you get America out of that?
Clyde: The Eagle, get it? What else could it be? There aren't any mountains in Ecuador.
Herbert: Oh, I didn't know that.
Clyde: Yeah, we're in the tropics, you know, jungle country.
Herbert: You know, for jungle country, it sure isn't very hot. It feels like springtime in Chicago...well you know, that really nice week we get.
Clyde: Yeah, yeah. Come on, we gotta find a place to stay.
Herbert: You didn't make reservations? Why didn't you make reservations?
Clyde: I just didn't get around to it. I mean, we're bound to find somebody who speaks English around here. When we do, we'll have him tell us where the best place to go is.
Herbert: Well, I hope so. Let's go wait by that statue until someone comes by.
Clyde: Good idea. ... Hm. Simon Bolivar (mispronounce).
Herbert: Hey, that sounds familiar, I've heard that name before.What does the inscription say?
Clyde: I don't know, it's in Spanish. He was probably some missionary or something. Maybe an ambassador who opened relations with the U.S. or something.
Herbert: Boy, they sure must love Americans here.
Clyde: Hey, who doesn't?
Anna: Excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing you. Do you need some help?
Herbert: You speak English!
Clyde: Of course she does, I told you someone would come by.
Anna: Actually, you're lucky I was nearby. This isn't a European country. You could have sat here for days and never heard a word of English.
Clyde: I've got a Spanish English dictionary. See? 'Donde esta el Taco Bell?' Pretty good, eh?
Anna: It's a start. But you won't find any Taco Bells around here.
Clyde: What? No Taco Bell?
Anna: After you've had Ecuadorian food, you'll never be able to eat Taco Bell again.
Herbert: I don't know, I can't eat really spicy foods. I have an upset stonach.
Anna: Don't worry. There's a lot of variety. By the way, you were talking about Simon Bolivar?
Herbert: Oh yeah, the ambassador!
Anna: No, the great liberator. Bolivar freed large parts of South America from European rule, and tried to unite what is now Ecuador, Columbia and ...
Herbert: Nice job, Mr. Wizard.
Clyde: Hey, how was I supposed to know?
Herbert: I bet your interpretation of the flag was pretty off base too.
Anna: Si. That's a condor. Not an eagle. And Ecuador has several mountains. In fact, since we're on the equator, where the earth bulges, we have the highest elevation on earth, even higher than the Himalayas. We have volcanoes too.
Clyde: But they're dormant, extinct....right?
Herbert: We're gonna die!
Clyde: Chill, we just won't go climbing them. Ok?
Herbert: No way man. I saw that 'ring of fire' thing at the Museum of Science and Industry. I wanna go home. This is no vacation!
Anna: Senor, people live all around those volcanos. It's pretty safe.
Clyde: Yeah, we'll stay away from the mountains. That's no problem, we didn't know there were any anyway. Maybe we'll go exploring in the jungle.
Anna: That wouldn't be a good idea. Have you had your shots for malaria?
Anna: Besides, you wouldn't want to run into the natives out there.
Clyde: Why, what're they gonna do? Shrink our heads?
Anna: The Jivaro might.
Herbert: Clyde, this is your fault. I wanted to go to Italy, but noooo, you wanted to go to Ecuador.
Clyde: It's like walking into an Indiana Jones movie, filled with poison darts, head shrinkers, volcanoes, and who knows what else.
Anna: Now hold on, Ecuador is a major cultural center. Some people call it the 'Switzerland of South America.' We're a real international center!
Herbert: This is so confusing. Everything is so complicated and...foreign!
Clyde: Yeah, why can't it be more like America?
Anna: You know, you've got a pretty severe hang up about the U.S. Not a lot of places are like the U.S., and many places don't particularly even like the U.S.
Clyde: What's not to like?
Anna: Never mind. Here. I'll show you where to get some food and I'll see if you can stay with some missionary families. You two really shouldn’t be left on your own. There's a lot to learn about Ecuador, and you've only just begun.
© Dan Wilson, all rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge, provided no entrance fee is charged. In return for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of any performance. He may be contacted at email@example.com