Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mining Protests

Well it's been a little while since I posted due to the fact that the computer at the hostel isn't working and last week there were protests all over the country so we weren't allowed to travel. The protests were against a recently passed mining law that would create more mines and exploration. According to some people I`ve talked to, the bill was passed because gas prices have fallen and the government needs revenue from somewhere else. I don't know how accurate that assesment is but it sounds resonable. Some people from my community went to the protests and said that they were mostly peaceful but further south there was a tussle between the police and protesters.
In other news I had another bus adventure yesterday morning. The trip started out inasupicously due to the fact that they had to change a flat tire so we were an hour late getting going. So I was sitting on the bus paranoid that another tire would go out (I´ve had a fair amount of tire problems in the past so now I have a bit of a paranoia about it). We managed to go a bit without anything happening but then we ran into a huge puddle of mud. So everyone got of the bus while we watched them try to get the bus through and when that didn`t work they started scraping sand from the side of the hill the road runs along. They put some sand down and then tried to get the bus through again which was unsuccessful again. So the process was repeated several times until there was a favorable outcome. Oh and of course this all happened at the highest, coldest point of the trip (4000 meters) so we were all a bit chilled by the time we got back on the bus. At this point I`m thinking we might get through the rest of the trip without incident (silly me). The bus starts going again, except that there is a thumping noise. Turns out a rock is wedged between two of the back tires. This requires 45 minutes of prying, pounding and letting some air out of the tires before it is finally dislodged. Luckily after this the trip is uneventful.
So I`m in town now picking up some shampoo making supplies and running some other errands. All the shampoo that we made has been sold which is pretty exciting. I think for the next batch we're going to use papaya, yum!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

just a quick post . . .

to say that i'm back in my site. The rainy season has officially started with a vengence so it's been pretty gloomy around here. I did get quite a enthusiastic welcome from the younger kids in the family. I brought back some of the sacigewia (I'm not sure how to spell that) dollars because they use those here. however the ones that i have are brand new which was a cause for some excitement as well as some suspicion. one the ladies at the vegetable market wasn't sure at first if it was real money since it was so shiny. i gave a few to the kids in my host family as belated xmas presents as well as some kids books in spanish. we also made some real chocolate chip cookies as i brought back a huge back of choco chips. the only problem was that most of the bag got squashed so they've all congealed into a huge brick of chocolate. oh well at least they still taste good!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back in Ecuador

I just got back to Ecuador last night, after my uneventful flights. I think this is the first time I've had 5 flights in a row leave on time, so maybe I'm no longer the Jonah of every airplane I fly on. I'm in Quito right now doing my midterm medical check up, ugh! Then tommorrow I should be back in my site. The weather in Quito stinks but at least it's warmer than Chicago. I met some displaced Bolivian volunteers at the hostel who are now finishing their service in Ecuador. When all that stuff was happening with the American ambassadors being kicked out of Venezuala and Bolivia, the peace corps people also had to leave. So some of them opted to finish their service here in Ecuador. I'm looking forward to getting back to my site and baking some real chocolate chip cookies, as I brought like a 5 lbs bag of choco chips back with me. No more mashing up the unsweetened chocolate for cookies!