Wednesday, July 23, 2008

little bit of success

I think I mentioned a while back about a composting workshop we did. Well, we finally got around to applying the compost and it has made a little bit of a difference on some of the blackberries and potatoes. So I'm excited to have actually done something, although peace corps warns us not to have the american attitude of wanting to see results right away. But it's kind of hard not to, especially when everyone here has been so nice and welcoming and I feel that I need to do something to deserve it. Next up is planting some vegetable gardens and working on getting some of the blackberry bushes pruned.
For my b-day last week I ended up going with a group of tourists on horseback to the cloud forest. It was a fun trip and the cloud forest was beautiful. My rear was a bit sore afterwards as I hadn't been on a horse for a long time, but it was a small price to pay for the experiance. My three month quarantine is finally up so I can travel in Ecuador now without getting special permission. It's a peace corps policy that you have to stay in your site for the first three months to make sure you get intergrated into the community. Right now I'm just thinking of spending a night in the nearby town to have some alone time. I love the community here but I think I'm starting to get a bit of cabin fever. So a night away would be nice.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Computer Expert?

This is a title I thought I would never have, especially given the fact that everyone in my family knows more than I do. But I've had requests in town to help out with computers, and I don't think I've permanetly screwed anything up. My excel and powerpoint skills are a bit rusty but are coming back. It doesn't help that the menu is in spanish, although now I know the spanish words for print and save =) The problem is that all the computers here are very old PCs which are very slow and clunky. Oh well, I've successfully taught how to make tables and graphs so I figure that's a good start.
In other news I have a boyfriend here in town. He has just graduated, likes to go on walks, and enjoys making cookies. The fact that he is four is only a minor impedement. It has become the town joke these days that my little host brother is my "novio" because I walked him to preschool a few times. Everyone asks me how my boyfriend is doing or when the wedding is. The preschool had a little graduation ceremony the other day which was very cute. It isn't just an american thing that little kids insist on yelling instead of singing the songs.
Well that's all from here. Tommorrow is my birthday but I'm not planning on anything exciting. Tonight I'm baking a cake with my host family and we're going to watch Harry Potter which will be fun.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July festivities

Yesterday I went to a fourth of july party at one of the hostels here. We had some delicous sausages and then had the crap scared out of us by locally made ecuadorian fireworks. It was the first time I've been at a fireworks show and was prepared to duck or run should the situation require it. The fireworks had a tendancy not to go straight up into the air (even if that was the direction they were pointed), but off at crazy angles instead. Another exciting thing (although not in a good way) happened this week. Apparently the local municipality has decided to widen the road going into town. My house sits right on a little cliff next to the road. So the bulldozer driver says that my house might fall when they dig into the cliff. My host mom was quite angry and was arguing with the driver, asking him why he couldn't widen the road on the other side since there aren't any houses there. He said that people owned that property so he couldn't, to which she replied that she owned the property on this side. Nothing has happened since this confrontation, but I keep expecting to wake up in the street one of these days. Never a dull moment around here!
My little host brother was very cute the other day. We were all watching lion king and he started crying at the end of it. awww! School just finished up here with a big fiesta on Thursday. Everyone gets a party for moving on to the next grade. My supervisor also visited this week to see how things are going and it seemed like he was pleased with the visit. I was one of the first he visited so I didn't find out about how everyone else is doing. The sad news is that 2 people headed back to the states from my training group. I think the sites were a bit rough for them, but I don't really know much else.
Some random observations on my life here in Ecuador that I haven't mentioned before:
1. the radio stations around here are very random. they will play a bunch of ecuadorian songs and then suddenly throw in "eye of the tiger", "hot stuff", "footloose", or my personal favorite "my heart will go on" They'll throw in other american songs too, but these seem to be the favorites.
2. i've decided i'm not really a fan of guinea pig. they're hard to eat, there's not much meat, and i don't really like the taste too much. the problem is that as the guest in people's houses i often get served whole guinea pig (you eat the brain too) when i'd rather just have chicken. luckily it isn't rude to ask for a to-go bag so i take the guinea pig back to my host family.
3. it's cool to live in a place that people come visit. i've never lived in a scenic place before, and it's quite awesome to have trails leaving from your backyard.
4. the temperature here never really changes, but that doesn't stop people from always complaining about it. when i first got here i thought it was unseasonably cold since people were always talking about it, but then i realized they are always talking about it.