Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reading, reading, reading . . .

I´ve had a lot of time to read since I´ve arrived in Ecuador. I try to hang out with my host family as much as possible, but it gets exhuasting speaking spanish (and I think they sometimes get tired of trying to understand me) so generally part of the evening is spent reading. Luckily we´ve set up an informal library at peace corps, so there´s never a shortage of books. Plus mom and dad have sent me some too (thanks!). Here´s some of my favorites so far:
Colors - an interesting history of dyes, I know it sounds weird but it was really quite fascinating even if one isn´t an artist
Killing Pablo - the story of Pablo Escobar and the hunt to find him. He was a notorious Colombian drug kingpin in the 80s. this is not a really a fun read but sometimes it´s good to learn about these sorts of things
Feast of the Goat - historical nonfiction about Trujillo, the infamous dictator in the Dominican Republic during the first part of last century. if anyone has read In the Time of the Butterflies, it´s the same era.
Three Cups of Tea - story of a mountain climber who promises to build schools in rural Pakistan. very inspirational!
Don´t Stuff Your Dog - Alan Alda´s (Hawkeye in MASH) autobiography. Very funny!
Nature Girl - Carl Hiassen´s latest book. funny, but not my favorite of his
Plus I finally managed to finish reading Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe en español (which I´m very excited about) and have now moved on to harry potter. My host family thinks I´m very strange for reading all the time. People don´t seem to read a lot down here, and there are no bookstores anywhere (or even newspapers/magazines). One of our cultural speakers touched on the topic, and she said this was due to the Catholic church´s influence when this area was colonized. At the time the church wasn´t into letting people read, as then they could read the bible and have their own ideas about God, whereas the US was colonized by protestants who believed it to be very important to read the bible. So apparently this apathy towards reading has carried over into today. I´m not sure how accurate this theory is, but it sounds plausible to me.
This Saturday I´m looking forward to being warmer and going swimming when we get into the more temperate zone. I´m not sure if I´ll have internet access, so this might be my last post for the next week or two. Happy Easter!


davis said...

sounds like a plan. How long did it take for the package to get there? im ready to come visit because it snowed here and it should be spring.

Rachel said...

I just started reading Eat, Pray, Love and it is very good. Someone there might even have it because it's pretty popular. It's basically about this woman who spent a year travelling with stops in Italy, India, and Indonesia.