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?


A typical Chiva or Ranchera, the preferred method of transportation in the campo. Ride inside, or for more safety, ride on the roof. (Safer because if a cliffside collapses or the brakes fail, you can jump and at least have a chance of surviving instead of being stuck inside for the really really quick way down the mountain.)

"Where's Waldo" Ecuador-style. Can you spot Waldo and his eight legs as he creeps towards the bed to crawl on my face while I sleep?

Trucks carrying the men to lunch after their grueling six hour "minga," a traditional community activity where everyone comes together to perform some good old fashioned manual labor for the benefit of the community as a whole. In this case they were out there with their machetes clearing the vegetation from the side of the road . . . for about five miles.

What do the kids do on a drizzly day in my town? They take to the streets in their "pichidillas" which are basically little soapbox-style carts with rudimentary steering and even more primitive braking systems (if they have brakes at all). It's an ideal thing to do in a place where there are literally NO flat streets and lots of blind corners and bumps to spice the ride up a bit. It has come to my attention that in November there is a big race where they get a few dozen of these things and drag them up to the top of the mountain and careen helter skelter back down. Of the ones that make it to the bottom without losing wheels (or drivers), a winner is chosen and wins a cash prize. Maybe I'll enter. It's a bit "Little Rascals" for my taste, but how can one turn down such a high risk of bodily harm?
P.S. In case some of you didn't already know this, you can click on these pictures to see them closer up. Just wanted to remind you. Cheers.


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