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?

8/03/2007


Went on a little expedition hike with some kids I was playing frisbee with (some of them are good but NONE of them are as good as this old lady, maybe in her 70s, with whom I tossed the extruded plastic dingus this last week... she had such amazing control...) We were going to see some old indian tombs they said could be found on a hill just outside the city (right below where this photo was taken actually) but when we finally sweated and struggled and scratched our way up onto the hilltop there was only a desrumbe (landslide) to look at. Apparently the mining activity below had destabilized the earth and caused the loss of irreplaceable artifacts right next to city limits. The kids are cool though, and they REALLY REALLY like throwing the frisbee so if anyone out there is thinking of something to send in a care package, send some Ultimate Disks for these guys. One of the gang is a dwarf of about ten years old, maybe older, but he's not really equipped to be able to climb these hills like the rest of us so he could really benefit from a frisbee to play with as it puts him on the same level when playing with his friends.

This guy works in Zaruma and little by little is trying to develop some land he has into a tourist facility. Here is his very strangely designed accomodation house, complete with awesome tower/party area. There is a bedroom inside the shaft of the tower (You can see the windows). He thinks that since the government doesn't want to spend how many thousands of dollars on building another less steep access road to his property that they simply don't care and don't want to help him. This is typical of the area, and I think it stems from a fundamental lack of understanding or definition of what the roles and responsibilities are of the government and the individuals in the community who want to work in tourism. I still have a lot of sorting it out to do in my own head.

I was invited to visit the Buenaventura Ecological Reserve owned and run by Fundación Jocotoco. A friend of mine, Marco, is the new director/administrator there and I think I'll be helping him and his small and underpaid overworked staff with some projects soon. As you can see, they have quite the abundance of colibris (hummingbirds). Talking with some visiting field biologists near the dining table one day we counted at least 9 different species feeding. They let you go up and get VERY close. It was like a time lapse video of an aircraft carrier sped up about a thousand times. Incredible.

I posted pictures not too long ago of some big beetles that are found around Zaruma. Well some of these hummingbirds, particularly those with the little white stripe on their butts (the Green Thorntail I think they´re called) were smaller than those beetles. Amazing.

This is in Piñas, about an hour from Zaruma. Kind of speaks for itself, and this kind of thing is why I'm not too keen on teaching English just for the sake of teaching English. CONQUERING THE WORLD? Please count me out. Traveling/Experienceing/Understanding/Educating the world ... let´s talk.



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