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?

9/03/2006

Come on and get DOWN with the sickness!

Cough cough.
Ughhh.  Been ten days and I´m still afflicted with the gripe (gree-pay) here.  No more fever.  Just a persistent cough and sinus congestion.  Not pretty.  All I think I need to recover are two days in bed with soup and tea and rest, but the training schedule is too intense to allow that so I sneak in cat naps whenever I can. 

Saturday through Tuesday we were on a technical/cultural trip on the western side of the sierra in some amazing subtropical cloud forests.  All the cliches were there.  We played with traumatized monkeys.  We hiked on terrible trails in the rain and jumped off of 30 foot cliffs into plunging waterfalls.  We lazed on hammocks in charming wooden bungalows.  We ALSO got the CRAP bitten out of us by the native insect life.  Many of the volunteers are still scratching themselves compulsively and from what we hear, will be doing so for weeks.  In addition to the fun we did some practical stuff relating to ecotourism and soil conservation whcih was pretty cool.  Would have been cooler if we all weren´t sweating buckets in the steaming humid jungle.  Sounds bad but I think that given a few days or weeks to adjust, it wouldn´t be intolerable.  The best thing was taking a couple of hot showers.  What a miracle.  Only a month into the journey an many of us are looking and smelling like real hardened volunteers, growing beards out (just the guys) and going days without bathing if we can avoid it.  Hardcore.  Fun.  Offensive to the sense of smell.  COUGH COUGH.

We met an old guy with a great big heart originally from Belgium who runs an animal rehabilitation center where the state police dump any animals that they confiscate (rightfully or otherwise).  He once had an ear bitten off by a monkey while he slept.  That guy had a lot of neat stories.

I started recording little mini-narratives on my mp3 player kind of journal-style.  I´d love to email them to whoever is interested but unfortunately the cable I need to connect the player to a computer is in my suitcase in Quito and so I won´t be able to get to it for a while longer.  If anyone would like to be sent those so you can hear my talking and coughing and describing life in Ecuador, just email me and I´ll make sure you get them when I´m able to send them out.

COUGH COUGH.  I need to get back on a bus and hit the sack early today.  All the best to you and take care.

Cheers.
-MJ

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