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?


I got hit in the crotch by a water balloon at school today. At least I was holding my New Zealand DOC hat over the affected area at the time... such are the events of carnival here... Right now its a time called carnival around here and the kids like to lob water balloons into the windows of passing buses or the faces of unsuspecting gringos.... I haven´t gotten one yet but it's only a matter of time..... I gave the kids in my family a bag of balloons so that hopefully they would be on my side and not whomp me with them.

This morning the two other volunteers and I had to give a presentation/activity to the kids in the school and afterwards they were trying to tickle us and showing off all five of the English words they knew. We taught them some more relating to things and people around their community, but what good that did I may never know.

At the moment I´m pretty sore from several things. First, some of us climbed as high up the nearby mountain ridge that we could in order to see the volcano called Cayambe that lies behind it. During class we can just see the glaciated tip top of it behind the ridge and we wanted to see the whole thing. Alas it was not to be, for there are toros bravos (brave bulls) that live high on the ridges and they don't like visitors. One of them stared us down and we ran down the side of the slope a bit to be safe... apparently the locals will only go up to the top if they're on horseback. One day my new padre says we can go up on horses.... we took a fast way down that Indiana Jones might have been afraid of and that tore up my right hand a bit, which coupled with the nice toasty sunburn I now have on my hands and forearms hurts quite a bit. I think that the sun somehow finds a way to get through my shirt and my backpack because I feel toasted on my shoulders too. Hrmm. I have tried to do pushups and stuff in my room to keep in shape, and there is a pile of wood out on the patio that will be used for making a pen for the piglets up the hill. I used one of the bigger pieces to do curls with. Soon I will try to hang up some straps and use them for chinups and such...

If any of you are thinking of sending a little care package, a few points to ponder.... no chocolate. It will melt (and probably boil if left in the sun here). Small boxes or padded envelopes are best, but please limit the item to less than five pounds so customs doesn't try to soften it with a baton. Things that would be nice include gatorade or similar sugary drinks with nutrients and stuff. Please do NOT send potatoes. I have had potatoes with pretty much every meal for more than a week now. There are potatoes coming out of my ears and my nose and my ass, and I dream about potatoes, or perhaps more specifically I have nightmares about potatoes. Still waiting on that meal when I get to eat guinea pigs.... I think it's getting close though.

One of the local kids took two of us volunteers yesterday up the nearby mountain ridge to see the huge volcano on the other side, but we got about 3/4 of the way up before the other guy got scared of the toros bravos that lived up high on the ridge. We got stared down by one with big ass horns and that was about all we needed to decide to turn around. On the way down we took a short short cut through the jungle Indiana Jones-style and I chewed up my hands pretty well. In other news, lots of cows and pigs and chickens and such like that around here, and the kids work HARD as carumba. Like carrying the cheese scum out into the pasture for the cows to drink/eat, that stuff is heavy/pesado!

What else? I'm growing to really like the cheese that they make in my village. At night I can eat cheese that was made from milk that was in a cow outside of my window earlier that day. Pretty cool. Definitely fresh. Damn equatorial sunburns hurt. They're as immune to spf 30 sunblock as Alaskan mosquitoes are to 100% DEET, that is to say that there is little hope of getting by without being subjected to the ubiquitous pain of el SOL.

I'm gonna publish this now before I accidentally delete it. I want a yogurt bath and I've only just gotten here!

- MJ


Anonymous Achim said...

Hey Ben, good to hear you made it safely to the southern hemisphere - once again I would say, but quite a bit away from where we met.

Anyway - take care to get some sunscreen, hey! You should know better as a NZ proof hut warden ;-)

And getting accused to cheese - not that you become french one day ... and I really liked the details on what to send you in a care package. Who would ever think of sending someone potatoes? Maybe pasta though ... mmmh, will check on that as soon as I'm a little less busy. Right in the middle of preparing that movie which is supposed to be shot in the mid of march and still not all the sponsoring is done... and in between there are job interviews and job applications and and and....

So keep hanging there mate! Always nice to read what you are up to!


3:50 PM  
Blogger Harangutan said...

Whoo; sounds like fun!

Keep up the frequent posts (with pics, please)--they're a great way for me to get my excitement-fixes vicariously. And you might post some pics of their guinea pig operation, too.

Regarding packages, how's the water down there? (I'd imagine that powdered drinks would work best to ship.) Had any good booze yet?

Take care.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous n.e.s. said...

Some airmail advice....

Not that anyone else is old-fashioned enough to be sending you actual paper letters, but I have deciphered the rules in case anyone would like to know. One ounce is 84 cents, two ounces is $1.65. You can use any old envelope, just as long as you write "Airmail/Par Avion" on the front somewhere. No customs form is necessary as long as the letter is under 16 ounces and contains no dutiable items. 84 cent stamps are not available yet since the rate has just gone up, but there are 80 cent stamps with Denali on them!!! Then you can just add your two-cent makeup stamps. Does anyone even have stamps? Maybe it is just me. Anyway I have sent you a couple letters so far, and I'm sure the mail to Quito can't take any longer than the mail to New Orleans! So, pass on the info, maybe you can get more mail that way. Nos vemos.

11:52 AM  

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