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 12, 2005

Raindrops keep falling on my head, and a lot more besides

So yes, we’ve had another week of very English like weather, rain, rain rain, and more rain, which means the capped crusaders have been out in force again on the streets. Friday was the first non rainy (and actually pretty warm) day in over a week!

Famous Faces
Thought I’d update you all on what other look-a-likey’s I’ve seen! Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen a latino Chesney Hawkes (he’s not the one and only), Dr Simon from Holby City (though a lot chubbier, and I think he was actually Colombian), Eddy Izzard (Mexican, I think), and my trole driver the other day was Sly Stallone! So there you go!

Powercut!!! Ooo weeee + Dia de la Mujer
Experienced by first power cut on tuesday. Very exciting!!! Just sat down on my bed to do some writing, there was a wee (actually not so wee, but not long) flicker of the lights and all was fine, then, just a few moments later…we were plunged into complete darkness! I reached over to my bedside table and got out my wee ‘lampara de bolsillo’ (light of pocket – i.e. torch) and continued with what I was doing… As I was doing this, I could hear Paquita fumbling around getting some candles lit… I looked out the window and our whole area was pitch black… though alittle in the distance I could see street lights blazing in one direction and in the other buildings with lighted windows. Don’t know what happened, but there were quite a lot of houses without light…The lights went out at 6.55pm, and it felt like an age before they came back on 20 minutes later!
The day of the blackout, was also the ‘Day of the Woman’, which I don’t think we really celebrate in England since the first I heard of it was at uni (where they celebrate everything and anything!) It was very exciting coz I didn’t have to pay my trole fares for the day – now, that would never happen in England!!! Also there were lots of women walking round with roses, but no-one gave me one… sniff sniff… though Jessica (one the girls in Remar, 12) suggested I buy one and say someone bought it me!!

Was logging onto the beeb yesterday to catch up on some news, albeit very briefly, typing in, and as the computer is want to do, it brings up the pages related that other people have visited, and what should come up by!!! Some British person in Ecuador is missing neighbours soo much they have to go to the beeb to find out what’s going on!! The thought had never crossed my mind, but as the address was there, I thought I might as well take a wee look and discovered that izzy was marrying carl, or was she? Dun dun der! Who’d a thought it? Crazy English, we love our soaps! (well, not all of us!)
Oo saw a guy with a thundercats t-shirt – remember that?

The cardmania continues
Well monday we finished making all the cards, just! Tuesday I was sorting and checking, then I thought ‘at last, a wee rest from cards, I can play with the kiddies’… but a-ha, oh no, they want to keep me out of mischief so they’ve given us another order which is turning out to be 1000 cards!!! And we’re going to develop some bookmarks too, 500!! It’s all for the pastor to take to Spain in June… there’s a big Remar conference of all who are Remarites from the 60 odd countries in which they work (it’s big!!!) and our pastor wants to take all these to sell to the peeps there! Waaaaaa, waaaaa, waaaaa, I wanted a break!!! I want to play with the kiddies, not sit at a table all day!! But hey ho, I have to do as they wish… so thursday we started again making cards – it was sooo funny coz none of us had the heart to do it, we were all really tired, me hyperactively soo, and couldn’t be bothered… although we managed to make a few cards, we laughed most of the day away! (we didn’t do any in the morning as we spent the time adding some swish stickers to every card for the US order, putting the card and envelope in a wee plastic pocket – very exciting! They looked so professional!). Friday we were alittle more dedicated, but not much!! Though I must say it is good to spend time with the adolescents that there are, and with some of the other women.

On my one day off from card-making, though not completely (I spent 2 hours trying to squeeze an answer out of tati as to what designs they wanted from spain…she kept getting called off, here there and everywhere!! Aaahhhh) I got to spend abit of the afternoon with the girls, and they were outside with a giant book of fairytales (I mean giant, bigger than most of them!!), they asked me to read whilst they acted out the story. It was great fun, and it was so nice to see them acting that I thought about asking tati if we could organize a drama workshop with the girls… I didn’t at that moment, and then my hopes were dashed when tati told me that the pastor wanted these cards made and wanted girls doing it ‘all the time!’ Ahhhh!! I don’t want to be chained to a desk! Need to pluck up the courage to say so to Tati, that I’d like to help in other ways too!

All the food that Remar gets is donated (e.g. from fruit veg markets, from the police, or whoever else) and on monday someone had given them crab!!! So we all ate crab soup – don’t worry it was fine for my stomach to eat, they were still alive when they arrived!!! Totally unexpected that we’d have crab in Remar!! Although they’re not expensive here, like in England, and I could eat probably quite a lot of them, I can’t really be bothered with them – it’s too much work for meat that isn’t really that tasty! Pah! Pah I say to crab! Pah!

¿Que mas? What else?
Well I think that’s about it for my mad ramblings this week! Doing this rather later this week, coz I’ve had a Latin Link offical meeting all day with a lawyer… once a year all the missionaries have to get together and tell everyone what they’re up to (and write a wee report – Dave and I had a wee competition, who could fit the most song titles into their report, loser buys the winner an icecream! neither of us won or rather it was a draw, 13 each!!!). It’s a legal thing to show that the missionaries are doing stuff, and are doing what they said they’d do on their visas, giving proof that the mission is a bonifide organization – coz if it’s not they (the government) won’t let anyone else in! ever! No more striders (that’s people like me), no more Step-ers (teams that come out to do a project like build a school or summat for 6 weeks or so) – serious stuff! It’s different in other latin American countries though…

Oo I’d forgotten
And no-one pointed it out, that I never explained about the marches we were having against the government!! I mentioned it in a blog a couple of weeks back! Basically the president is being rather naughty… there was this president a while back who was abit mad and ended up leaving the country with millions and millions of sucre in some holdall bags… the supreme court had ruled that this guy can’t come back into the country, and that if he did he has to go to prison… but our dear lucio has changed all the judges that said this, to new judges that now say what he wants them to say – that this ex-president can come back in a free man! (now why is Lucio letting this man back in? some say it’s bribery! Ai, ai, ai, corruption!) Needless to say the people are outraged, this guy stole loads of money from the people and deserves to pay for what he did! So 1000s upon 1000s of people took to the streets to protest.. but nothing’s changed… so again this week there have been more strikes – especially from teachers, students causing havoc on the streets (though thankfully the uni students by us have been relatively calm this time, no need for tear gas)… don’t know how it’s going to resolve!!!
Oo also introduced paquita and Armando to lemon meringue pie (my first ever, and rather delicious if I do say so myself!) and to roasted parsnips…mm, mm!!

the forgotten
it's easy to forget when one is involved in a work such a Remar in which lives have hope, have a chance, that outside the walls there are 'un monton' ( a lot) of people for whom life is a continual struggle, full of strife... i went to the historic centre to supposedly see some of the remar youth do some street drama, but they didn't turn up before it was time for me to leave... any way as i was wandering around you would not believe the number of prostitutes i saw hanging round the street corners! somehow you can just tell.... stark remember of what life is for some... then last night as we were driving to the house of some friends of paquita and armandos, saw 3 youths, not much more than 14 i reckon, sat on the roadside in 3 states of drunkness, one in a complete stupor, totally out of it, another pretty far gone who tried to lift his friend up but was wobbling around too much himself to help, and the other drunk but not so much... this was a 6.30 in the evening, 3 youths... can you imagine what their lives must be like in order for them to be soo drunk at that time, and that age? there is a lot of need here!

Well mis ‘amados’ (loved ones), I shall love you and leave yous for another week! Just been to the cinema with dave and bev, we saw national treasure - i didn't really want to it but i actually enjoyed it! anyone seen it?? so,. many saludos (greetings) from quito to you all! Love me xxxxxxxxxx


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