Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sex ed

There´s not much to report for the last week, except that I helped out with a sex ed class in the high school. Another peace corps volunteer in the health program came to give a talk on that and also another talk on first aid with some of the guides in town. The sex ed program was interesting as none of the kids had had anything like that before. There were some basic anatomy and sexuality things thta they didn't know anything about. At first they were all a bit uncomfortable but then they warmed up and actually participated. I think I'm going to try to get my hands on some of the materials the health volunteers use so that I can give some of those sorts of talks.
The family garden project is still a little slow getting off the ground. We have the seeds and now it's raining enough that they won't have to water extra, but no one has been at the meetings we've had. This past monday there was a big pta meeting at the school so no one came to our usual meeting (plus it was raining pretty hard which gives everyone an excuse not to come). Hopefully we can get some gardens planted in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

having a heat wave . . .

I just got back from a couple days in the jungle near Tena. It was a lot of fun, especially since I got to go swimming. I stayed at the house of the family of a friend who was working at one of the hostels in my town. The bus ride from Quito to Tena was absolutely beautiful since we were going from snow capped mountains to steamy jungle in 5 hours. There were all these incredible waterfalls along the way too. Then when I finally got off the bus it was like stepping out into a sauna. It actually felt good for the first few minutes until a started sweating buckets. The first day there we wandered around town a bit and went swimming at the river. The swimming wasn´t great at there because the current was pretty fast, but it was the closest spot to the house to cool off in. The next day we went to a better swimming spot which are what the pictures are from. I thought it would just be a couple of us going for part of the day, but it ended up being the whole family. It was a lot of fun goofing around with the kids and just paddling around. We also had a big picnic lunch complete with salad, pork, and yucca. The only downside was that I scraped up my nose when I was doing a handstand and slipped. Oh well! The next day we visited this little island where there is a little zoo and botanical garden. I can't tell you the animals I saw because I only heard the names in Spanish or Kichwa but I think one was a cotamundi and another was a spider monkey. Yesterday I left and spent a little bit of time wandering around Quito and then caught a bus back. I'm already thinking about where I went to go for another little vacation. As long as we travel in Ecuador and aren´t gone for more than 4 or 5 days every month or two we don't have to use vacation days. Maybe I'll go visit the coast and take surfing lessons =)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

false alarm

Well nothing really came of all the worrying peace corps was doing about the elections. In my town nobody seemed very concerned one way or the other. In fact the elections coincided with the parties for the town’s patron saint so people were more interested in that than the elections. This also meant that the dry laws might not have been followed exactly to the letter. These past two weeks since I’ve been back I’ve been mostly teaching english (which is going better) puttering around with the tree nursery and playing in the garden.
This Friday I’m looking forward to going to the jungle to visit two friends there. They were managers at one of the hostels here and one of them is from the oriente so it will be fun to get a more insider’s perspective on life there. Plus I feel like I need a little bit of defrosting since it’s been pretty cold and rainy here the past week or so. This whole year the weather has been really strange with a lot more rain than usual and no real summer (which would generally be still happening now). Everyone is worried about their potatoes with all this rain.
Well that’s all from here. Hopefully for my next post I’ll have some fun pics from the jungle =)