The Kali Bosses, Charlotte Fedane and Brad Waldron, recently packed their bags and headed South to visit our distributors in Ecuador and Chile. It was "work," so we made them share their experience with us. Below we got them to answer our questions about their visit to Ecuador.
You are in the middle of your first trip to Ecuador, is this your first adventure to this part of world?
I was in Costa Rica a few years ago, but we've never been as far south as Ecuador before. When our friends at Kao Sports invited us to come for a visit and offered us a chance to talk all things Kali we just could not pass up the opportunity.
What were you expecting and do your early impressions meet those expectations?
Our guests asked me the same question and I was at a loss for words. I did not really know what to expect. I just take it all in and absorb it all. She suggested that maybe because I travel a lot I would not be overly surprised. On the outside it seemed very wester, with big buildings and the ease of getting around. As we have traveled around more we can see a lot hard working people just trying to get by. The people are extremely warm and welcoming. It has been amazing.
What is the most surprising thing so far about Ecuador?
The most surprising thing is the elevation. I didn’t realize how mountainous it is in Ecuador and it is pretty amazing. We moved to Quito, which is at over 8,000 ft elevation, and then we drove up another 1000 ft. to go to a bike park, there was a surprising number of high level bicyclists. I went for a bike ride, which was not at all easy, but I survived. Charlotte was surprised even though we are on the equator, it’s not that hot. Probably due to the elevation.
How are the people of Ecuador receiving the Kali story?
They are happy to hear the story behind the brand and during presentations there are a lot of questions. Which is always a good sign. I love sharing the Kali story, especially with an attentive audience.
Can you tell me about your mountain bike race?
It was really more of a friendly ride. The Kao Sport MTB team has grown larger, from 12 to 18 members over the last few months. I would say the majority of the people at the race (a little over 100) were somehow related to Kao Sports. Considering that this was the first event they have held, they were happy with the turn out. We had a big BBQ, with lots of prizes, including some Kali helmets.
What is the hardest part about travel for you?
Our guests have made it extremely easy on us, taking us to places we would never have known to go. We visited some spectacular historical sites and some places we would never been allowed to run around in the US. For example, one church we went we were allowed to climb up into a high tower that was not totally secure.
What is the one thing you miss when you are on the road?
I miss easy access to wifi, my family, and I actually really miss the Kali office.
I see you were offered guinea pig, which you declined. Any other interesting culinary experiences while in Ecuador?
The food has been excellent. We are eating a lot of what we are used to at home. Lots of good Hispanic food, so it has been pretty easy for us. The empanadas are very popular, pork, beef, and chicken are available everywhere. There is also an abundance of fruits and fruit juices everywhere and they are super fresh.