Here are the thoughts of Joanna nee Lake as she spends time in Ecuador, and beyond... Disciple, Fairtrade Freak, Psychologist in the making. Now part of the Blundell Jones clan.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

I've been to the middle of the world...

Well actually it probably isn’t exactly the middle of the world but that’s what it’s called -‘Mitad del Mundo’… I went with Maria Augusta and her two girls, first to Remar’s boys home then to the monument. There are about 30 boys (a few girls) in the home which is run by Migdaler and her husband (she’s 2 children and a baby). Mitad del Mundo is about half an hour from Quito, and where the house is situated the road is really not worthy of the name ‘road’, it's more of a bumpy (extremely) dust track. There are no names to the roads either so we had a wee bit of trouble finding it but we got there in the end. It’s a very dry, dusty, hot place – glad my ‘placement’ isn’t there! It was really lovely to visit them all though but we weren’t there very long. It has a very different feel to the girls home, it’s much more relaxed and chilled, and feels a lot more like a proper home – the problem with the girls home is that it’s the hubbub of everything and contains the school in the same building so it’s not very homely!! So then we went to the monument and what is apparently a line that divides the north and south equators… but it’s abit dubious (Paquita thinks it might have changed anyway as a result of Tsunami, is that possible??). It was a nice trip though and got my photo duly taken in front of it! Had a scrumptious lunch (there I go again about food!!) of llapingachos, which are potato patties served with a fried egg, chorizo (type of sausage) as well as avocado, beetroot and salad. yummy!

This week in Remar…
Only a wee bit of cardmaking this week, just finishing off an order from the week before – no new ones coz Maria is thinking in other things (the mother of Paquita and Maria died a week ago yesterday). So, I spent the vast majority of the week helping in the kitchen. Sometimes I struggle with the fact that I’m not actually spending time with the kids, but then I remind myself that they are in school till lunchtime and what I’m doing helps the general running of things… but a real positive to working in the kitchen has been to get to know Clara. She arrived just before Christmas, she lives in the ‘Mothers’ home which is for women as well, she ‘admitted herself’ to get free of drugs and alcohol. We’ve started to become friends and have quite a laugh with each other – and it means I’m actually speaking!! (with the kids generally you don’t have conversations). We’ve had some really good conversations not least about stuff to do with God and the Bible.

Joanna the breadwinner…
Well, not so much breadwinner but breadcarrier! Normally after bible club Maria Augusta and I go to fetch ‘pan’ (bread) from a panaderia factory which donates their leftovers from their shops. Maria didn’t come this week but Remar still needed their bread, so I went on foot!!! Took a girl with me each time for the hour round trip up hill then down. Thursday was much harder work coz the sun was out and extremely hot! But Fabiola (14) and I carried a bin-bag each on our heads – the most comfortable way of carrying it which also gave us shade! Would’ve made for a fantastic photo opportunity if only I’d had my camera with me!

The kids…
Had again this week that I have a big nose like Pinochio!!! These kids don’t hold back what they think! But neither do they hold back on affection, they love giving and receiving hugs so that makes up for it! Oo sweet thing, one of the girls helping with cards whilst her teachers are on strike, Jajaira (15), has taken to calling me ‘ñaña’ which is quechua for ‘hermana’, sister…
2 new wee ones arrived this week, abandoned by their mum – Juan Diego (3, a little ‘gordito’ …chubby) and his sister Jennifer (4, in comparison rather thin). Poor wee Juan Diego hardly been in Remar 24 hours and he’s broken his arm – some notice type boards fell on him… ‘pobrecito’ (poor thing).

Pesky students…
Those pesky university students have been out demonstrating again, well they have reason the presidente is doing some naughty stuff, but I don’t appreciate my eyes streaming from the gas!!! Monday was particularly bad, the worst yet, our eyes were streaming in the house and I left in a cloud of the stuff! But tuesday was better, only a wee bit of gas and the rest of the week, the students were still out in force down the road but there was no gas. Hopefully next week it will have calmed down completely!

Sore point of the week, my hands are looking rather worse for wear!! i'm abit dangerous when peeling veg, well, i'd be fine with a veg peeler but we use knives! Wednesday i got a nasty sore blister from dealing with Yuca (bit like a sweet potatoe in shape with tough brown wrinkly skin but suave creamy white inside) - i had to 'skin' and cut alot of it and a nasty blister developed and burst!! mmm lovely! so then it made it difficult to peel other veg and yesterday i ended up 'slicing' my little finger of my left hand... only a flesh wound, no blood but it stings!!! pobrecita me, ai is me... hee hee :)

went to youth group (or rather young professionals) again last friday (though not last nite, went to the cinema instead with dave and bev as dave was up for the weekend from ambato. we saw 'the forgotton' or mysterious obsesion as it's translated in spanish... good psychological type thrillery thing) again it was good, though found it a little harder to understand people than my first time! we have a wee time of singing and they noticed how i harmonise and asked if i'd like to join 'the choir'... so on thursday i went along to rehearsal for the first time -scary! Lovely people, though not sure i've got the hang of the songs yet, and as Armando put it, i've got my debut on sunday! It's cool coz it's another way to get to know more people in the church, and hopefully i'll be a blessing too!

That’s about all for this week, had a wee bit of a dodgy tum yesterday and today, not serious but dunno what caused it, perhaps a chocolate donut i bought?! My sweet tooth is getting me intot trouble! Grrr!!! Hope you’re all well! Keep in touch!

Jo xxxxxxxxxxxx


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