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, February 05, 2005

Let loose on Remar...

Another week has flown byand the 3 month mark has been reached! I can barely believe it, and although I’ve still 7 months left, it hardly seems like any time at all! It’s all very strange! What a week it's been, here goes…

You’ll probably remember rather unpleasantly that last week I had some tummy issues, well, this week I’ve had some more… all week not feel up to par, had very little appetite, had a day of feeling nauseas then wednesday night the dreaded ‘Montezumas revenge’ (I think that’s the name? Do correct me!!) hit – not a pleasant night! Nuff said!! So thursday was my first sick day off Remar, just chilled and recuperated on me bed, reading, listening to music and watching some trashy telenovelas (one of which has a Columbian Jamie Cullum, Lynda I’ll see if I can find you a picture! – I keep seeing people and likening them to you lot… so far I’ve seen a Katie Smith, a Chris Thornton, a Chris Simkins, a Claire Diggins, a Prince William (but he was Spanish.. a bullfighter on the posters, though Bev completely disagreed with me! But then I remember often I’d say to my housemates, ‘oh, he/she looks like so and so’ and they’d be like ‘no’.), who else? Think that’s it for now.. oo an Ecuadorian version of the actor who plays Che Guevara in Motorcycle Diaries – but that one’s abit random!). Really starting to miss English food! When I was ill I wanted trifle sponges, like my mum used to give me when I was ill, then I had ‘cravings’ for caramel shortbread, if only! When people have stomach upsets here, they know to take jelly (though I think this is just paquita and not all ecuadorians!) and chamomile tea (i don't mean together!)

In several countries before lent it’s traditional to celebrate Carnaval (I’m sure you’ve all heard of the decadence in the Brasilian carnivals, all those beautiful, though rather skimpy, outfits and headdresses!). Here in Ecuador we don’t have a celebration like Brasil, the tradition rather is just to throw water bombs (I’ve heard in Bolivia, this can be rather more vicious filled with paint or stones), and sometimes sprayage of coloured foam. I’ve not been got seriously, yet. A week or so ago, one narrowly missed me… then I got wetted abit by Hector, one of the boys in Remar… then today, I was walking along the road completely in my own little world, thinking whatever I was thinking and BOOOM::::::::: one hit me, but they weren’t a very good aim – just got my ankle and as I had ¾ lengths on, it didn’t bother me! But it did make me jump!!!!!!! Not looking forward to being out and about this weekend and mon/tues (holiday), coz I’m bound to be got!!! And it don’t matter about the weather to the throwers!

Los gringos vinieron (the Americans came)….
A bunch of gringos, mas o menos (more or less) my age, have arrived at Remar. They’re gonna come for 2 days a week over the next 2 months to do some building work – the only thing is there aren’t funds to buy the stuff to build with, so don’t know what they’re gonna do! Ooo today came across (though didn’t speak to) a bunch of English girls in my internet café, they looked like post-uni travelers to me.. it was really comedy (for some reason, don’t know why) to hear the English accent! It sounds so proper! Ooo remember I said somebody questioned that I spoke English… funny anecdote… a friend of mine Mary commented on it and said that when she was in LA once that a lady there when she found my friend was from England said,’"but you're from england? you have learnt english really good"– hello!!!!!!!!!!

Silly voices r us….
Since there weren't any card orders to work on mon + wed I spent those days in the kitchen (as well as me usual tues) with Clarita and Tania. Clara and I have started to speak in silly voices to each other – finally my crazy side is being let loose on Remar, I have a partner in crime! We’ve spoken in front of the children, and generally they’re completely bemused and don’t know what to think!! The reaction of Francis was particularly priceless, she just stared wide-eyed!! Hee hee. Later on in the week, we had Vanessa (a girl of 10) hanging out with us in the kitchen during the afternoon and she seemed to appreciate our craziness!!!
I was touched this week that Lili (one of the other Tia's in charge, Tati’s right hand woman) called me ‘Joanita’, when a person adds an ‘ita’ on the end it’s a sign of affection! So that was nice!

This week instead of managing to ‘lastimar’ (damage) my hands, I turned my nails purple! I was chopping purple cabbage and the result was slightly purple fingers, which didn’t take long to go, and purple nails, which have taken longer!!! Next comes the food slot… every so often some of the police come to drop off a food donation, which usually serves as a ‘colacion’ (a snack)… this week they brought ‘aplanchados’ (planchar, meaning to iron), little puff pastry like pastries, with a sugary sweet flat bit stuck on top, about half the size of your average shop-bought flapjack, yummmmyy. The other new thing this week was an ‘emborajado’, it’s consists of platano de seda (that’s a normal everyday banana to you and me) cut in slices with cheese in between (oo alittle aside, the cheese here is pants, give me a good old bit o mature cheddar anyday!! Oo arr) covered in a pancake-like batter and fried – very tasty! Bet you never thought of doing that with bananas did yer? They’re very inventive with the way they prepare food here, in comparison we’re pretty boring! At some point I'll tell you all about the different things they do with broad beans!

Famous for five minutes….
Or rather ‘completely making a fool of myself for 5 minutes’… I shall explain… as I’ve said before, we’ve got this concert tomorrow to raise funds for the Fundacion, yesterday Remar was completely mental, people running round, artists arriving, last minute preps, but there was also a couple with a camcorder recording life in Remar with Tati giving little explainations. First of all me and me card girls were dragged down to the Costurero (sewing room) to pose at the machines behind Tati whilst she spoke a little to 2 of the real sew-ers. Then they came to record us making cards, and they decided to ask me questions…………. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Speak? ‘on TV’? on the spot with no prior thought of what to say? in Spanish? – you must be joking – but oh no, that’s what I had to do!! I reckon I must of looked a complete fool, and I bet a spoke terrible Spanish – I know I kept repeating the word ‘lindo’ several million times! I hope they don’t show it today but I think they will…….aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! embarrassment! N’er mind, only got 7 months more in the country and no-one will have seen it in england, i'll soon be able to live it down!

La, la, la….
Being in the choir on sunday, went well, didn’t remember all the tunes completely but i managed to bluff it! Went to rehearsal again on thursday night and very excitingly taught them the Spanish version of ‘over the mountains and the sea’. yeay. they'd heard the song before but didn't have the words or the chords which i obligingly provided! that's about all for this week... what's been happening in your lives? TELL ME!!!!!!


Blogger Emmie said...

Hello Jo!!
Thanks for the considering possibilities!!
You sound like you've had a good week anyway! As for me, my last exam was friday and although it was Russian oral (yeuch!!) it didn't go half as bad as it could of! I talked so much that they couldn't ask me many questions mwah-ha-ha!!! Cunning plan!
I say fight back with the water bombs!!
Hope you're feeling better now!
Te quiero mucho,
Emma XXX

3:47 AM


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