Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?

14/02/2006

First week in Ecuador, amigos!


So we´ve been here since Wednesday or something, it´s hard to tell time where the sun is always in the same place in the sky and the seasons barely change!  I´ve moved in with my host family for the three month training period...they have three adorable kids and three dogs and two cats and seven chickens and seven cows and three pigs and seven piglets and god knows how many guinea pigs...  good thing the little buggers live up the road a bit because I know from experience that they are way too loud to sleep near!  The kids took me on a trip up the local mountain two days ago and pointed out the local fruits and plants, and we ate the stuff right from the trees like a bunch of monkeys, it was great.  The food continues to be great, although it takes getting used to.  For example I had rice and broccoli and fresh tomato with my egg this mornig for breakfast....and last night along with the thick soup I had fresh cheese (made from milk that was in a cow about eight hours before) and popcorn and dinner rolls.  The fruit juice is the best I´ve ever had though, just indescribable.  Besides hanging with the kids in my family (ages 12, 10, and 7), I´ve watched them do their farm work and helped a bit with bringing milk to the queseria or cheese factory down the street (cobblestones all the way to ensure that the Peace Corps Volunteers have strong ankles I think).  The other two volunteers in my village left yesterday for the town to get some lunch while my host mother cooked it for me....their bus was broken down so they waited for 1.5 hours to get it fixed and then rode the fifteen  minutes down.  Class for the rest of the day was cancelled, so I went to hang out in a cancha, or playing field, to study some spanish stuff I had with me.  Well it started to rain after a little while, and then the lightning and thunder came, and then the hail.....it was WILD.  I paced back and forth under a sheet of plastic that was out there kind of like a sunshade for people on the sidelines and I must have paced for two hours while the sky roared like an aquatic lion on the hunt.  I learned this morning that a cow was killed by a lightning bolt in a field a bit further down from where I was standing.... instant barbeque eh?  Not surprising to me because there were a couple of strikes within a few hundred feet of my miniscule shelter, one of which blew out the hearing in my right ear for about 30 seconds!  Eventually things cooled off and I walked back up the hill to my house to draw pictures of animals with the kinds and practice spanish from one of their English textbooks...  I found out that frisbees are quite rare down here and noone knows how to throw one, so I´ve made a lot of little friends just chucking the Georgetown one around.  Spanish classes started yesterday and they´re very informal.  I´m picking up some stuff but my abilities are still low-intermediate.  There´s very little structure to them, which at times can be good and at other times can be frustrating.  Time will tell how it works out for me.  I´ve been getting up around 6:30 am and going to bed between 9 and 10:30, but my family gets up at 6 to milk the cows.  They REALLY dug the pictures I brought and are inteerested in hearing about the hurricane, as much as I can explain it with limited language ability, but the thing they really didn´t understand was why our pig was lying on the leather couch inside the house.   I don´t really know the answer to that myself so it was pretty difficult to explain. 
 
Happy Valentines Day to everyone.  The people at the bank I went to today had little hearts on their chests so I suppose some part of that tradition has seeped down to the equator....  If any of you have sent stuff to me I haven´t gotten it yet and probably won´t for a while as I don´t think we go back to Quito for quite a while.  But keep sending them anyway right!?!? 
 
I need to post some pictures to this thing now and that takes a while, so I´ll say adios for the moment.  Please send me questions or comments via email or by posting a comment.  If I have more questions to ask the locals or ideas to explore, the better off I´ll be. 
 
Don´t dream it, do it.
-Mountainjedi

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