Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know that it's thanksgiving today, but it's kind of hard to get into the spirit when you're not being inundated with propoganda and people talking about it. I'm over at the local hostel for my thanksgiving dinner, and that's about the only special thing I'm doing today. I spent a good chunk of the morning doing laundry because the sun has finally come out after about a week of rain and clouds. Seeing as it's getting close to christmas I was wondering if anyone out there would like to donate a little for the candy bags for the school kids here like last year. If you are willing, email me at and i'll let you know how you can send some cash.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More travel time

I'm just finishing up a nice week and a half with my brother visiting. We're back in Quito after doing a bit of traveling (he leaves tommorrow). The first couple of days we spent in Quito, wandering around old town and (at least for me) enjoying eating something other than potatoes and rice. We actually spent an extra day because I lost my cell phone and had to get it replaced, which was a pain but I figure at least I made it this long without something happening which is better than a lot of volunteers. So the extra day we spent taking the Teliferico (a gondola ride) up to Point Loma which is at 41oo m and gives you a nice view of Quito. There was a bit of nervousness because we saw a lightening strike or two, but the storm never really materialized. It was also cool being able to watch the planes coming in to land from above them. It´s a view you never really get unless you're already in a plane. The next day we did mountain biking in Cotopaxi national park. We drove way up on the mountain to about 15,000 ft. and then enjoyed gliding down. There was some peddling involved but not too much. We had lunch at some inca ruins that overlooked a valley right out of lord of the rings. It was a really nice trip overall. The past couple of days we were staying at my place doing a little bit of hiking, but not a whole lot because my brother caught a stomach bug and was laid up for a few days. So that's been my last week or two. It's been nice doing some touristy things again. I don't have any plans for thanksgiving this year because any get togethers volunteers have planned have been a bit too far away for me. So I'll probably just be hanging out at my place and maybe have thanksgiving dinner at one of the local hostels. I'll try to get pics up soon of our traveling.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yikes - Long Time!

Wow, I did not realize it had been this long since I updated my blog! I'm hoping to make up for it with some new pictures. They're from a party in town, where there was a parade, a group of dancers from the jungle, and a small exposition where communities displayed locally made products (the sign was for my community, which I made). Also some animal pics of the new puppies at my house and a baby llama at the nearby hostel. One of the reasons for the lack of updating is that not much new is going on here. I'm still doing the shampoo making, and working a bit at the local preschool. It still isn't raining much so no gardens yet. In fact the lack of rain means that we have no electricity in the evenings. I guess some of our power comes from hydroelectric plants so no rain = no power. There are rolling blackouts in several provinces in the mountains (I get the news from my host family who are generally up on things). At night now, it's pretty much dead in town. Usually there are people hanging out in the main square, playing volleyball and shooting the breeze but now that there aren't any lights people just head home at 6 pm. Even the dogs are barking less in the evenings, perhaps because they can't see people walking on the road so well (or there isn't anyone on the roads).

The other reason for my lack of blogging is that I've been working on some applications for next year, so that's been taking all my time on the computers. By the time I've done that I haven't really been motivated to write anything else. But I've pretty much finished up that, so now I can catch up on emails and blogs. Plus I'm in Quito at the office right now so free internet. Well I think there's some sushi out there with my name on it so that's all for now!