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, March 26, 2005

easter - little sign of chocolate eggs

And what a busy week it’s been, so much has happened! I’ll start where I left off last week…

The zoo…
So I managed to find the right bus and get myself to the appointed place at the appointed time…and as we had thought, Anné was late (she had to take 2 buses), so I just sat down and waited and in the process got bitten by some nasty little bug on my left leg, three times!!! Grrr… half an hour later she arrived and up the cobbled track we trundled to the zoo…it was hard work and I felt v. exhausted by the time we arrived (half hour up hill) but I’m holding to the fact it’s not because I’m unfit (never!!! hmm...) but coz of the heat (ish 25oC) and the altitude!!! So in we entered for the equivalent of a quid, and it was worth it, we were both glad we went. It’s weird coz I can see the bad and good sides to zoos, the good is that people who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to see and learn about such animals have that chance, but the bad is that the animals aren’t free – both of us were especially saddened by the lions! It’s a small place, took us about an hour and a half to go round but it’s laid out really lovely with lush vegetation all around… Afterwards I took a trip to Anné’s house, so got to see some more of Ecuador …some rural villages and the like! Good to see some more of the REAL Ecuador… quito isn’t really Ecuador, it’s a capital city much like any other!

Connoisseur’s corner
Oo, this week has been a week for sweet things, first of all ‘dulce de guayaba’ (guava sweet) – red in colour, covered in sugar, obviously it's made from guava, bit like a fruit gum in consistency, tasty! Next ‘Mil Hoja’ (1000 sheets), a wee pastry made of thin layers of pastry stuffed with a creamy fondant filling with a choc marble effect on top – tasty but, dare I say it, a bit too sweet for me! And finally the traditional food for easter here, instead of choc eggs (which actually now are starting to enter the country coz of the strong American influence) is ‘fanesca’. It’s a sort of soup which has 12 different ingredients supposedly representing the 12 disciples. I can't remember the 12 at the mo but it includes, broad beans, sweetcorn, chilli beans, onion, fish…. And then several different things are placed on top, including a slice of egg, a piece of maqueño banana, an empanada (similar to a cornish pasty in style of pastry but nothing like it in filling or taste and in this case it’s ALOT smaller!!!) and tiny biscochos (fried biscuity bits). Tasty but alittle strange.

Yesterday after church I rushed into the historic centre to catch a glimpse of the infamous procession of pentitents that proceed from San Francisco church… the majority of the people are dressed in purple tunics with a KKK style head get up (long pointy hat which covers the face with only slits of eyes), various ‘jesus’s’ carrying their wooden cross (the proper thing, big heavy crosses, they can only go a few steps and then stop), various musical 'bands', epople singing…. I didn’t get to see all the procession (had to get back to the house to go to paquita’s sister’s for the fanesca) including the famous Jesus image from the church which man carry on their shoulders but I was real glad I went…though my photos are gonna be full of heads and umbrellas (sunny day so people were shading themselves)!!!

Prison, therapy and English.
So very exciting, tuesday I got my first experience of being inside a prison, and I know it must be world’s apart from a british prison… for starters the inmates have to pay for everything – those that have money can live quite comfortably, do up their room etc but those without can’t even ‘buy’ their bed (it costs 30 dollars for a bed, about 15 quid but that’s quite a lot of money for most of the people here.). The prison capacity is 120 but currently there are 450 inmates (plus children!), which means 3 or 4 to a room, making for very claustrophobic bedrooms since they’re only box rooms… It was great to join in the Christian meeting they had there, to see the women so full of passion to worship God (the wee room we were in was packed out, about 20 women I reckon), to be a part of it, and to meet the mum's of some of the Remar kids...
Therapy refers to how I’ve got involved in a ‘taller’ (workshop) which a psych student is doing for her thesis (interestingly here, they can call themselves psychologist and practise having just done one degree, but their degree involves a certain amount of hands on stuff unlike our british ones!). 2 hours every day we’re doing creative things to help the girls with the issue of identity, it’s been quite hard going getting the girls to open up but I know a breakthrough will come (it’s happening for a month) and I’m sure they will benefit from it in the end… so it’s really exciting to be involved in it!!! As for English, monday, Anné and I start giving English lessons and I become a teacher!!! Aaahhhh!! Haven’t a clue how it’s going to turn out but we’re going to start by trying to teach them ‘Old MacDonald’!!! so teaching the vowels and animals!

Excellent news for me this week was that Tati wants me to start handing over responsibility for the cards to Gloria (a lady, sort of like a 'responable') so that I can get involved in other things, though this wasn’t greeted with enthusiasm by some of the girls!!! Not sure how easy it’s gonna be, because within Remar things are changing constantly, and for all I know they might decide to send Gloria to another city (Remar has homes in 4 cities in Ecuador) or get her doing something else… so we’ll see… finger's crossed :)

Mental weather…
Tuesday I think it was, was an interesting day.., started off bright sunny and warm in the morning, soon after lunch it had clouded over then mid afternoon it started hailing!!!! Unfortunately I got stuck out in it a wee bit but I didn’t get too badly wet… it stopped by the time I left but whilst in the internet café it started again and this time worse – thunder, lightning, the strongest hail i've seen!!! Horrible!!! But luckily it turned into rain and got lighter, so that when I left I didn’t get too wet (bad Quiteña that day, didn’t have my brolly with me) but there were still piles of hail on the pavement and roadside! The storm had been so bad that when I caught the trolley it had to take a diversion coz the road was so badly flooded it couldn’t pass. Thought i'd tell you this so you'll realise that quito isn't really the land of the eternal spring as they told me!! it's a whole lot colder and a lot more temporamental!

wells, I hope you’re all having a good easter… mine is rather hectic we’ve 7 meetings at church in 3 ½ days, so I’m a singin, singin, singin! Tomorrow I’m in a mime with some of the youth which hopefully we’ll all remember well – we’re meeting at 8am(!!!) tomorrow to have a final practice. Hope this makes sense, I’m aware this week’s blog might have less of a thread than usual, I blame it on over tiredness… best be off my lovelies need to get to church for the next meeting! Oodles of love to you all xxx


Blogger Tom Naka said...

Hi i am totally blown away with the blogs people have created its so much fun to read alot of good info and you have also one of the best blogs !! Have some time check my link of child health insurance plan texas

2:51 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home