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, April 09, 2005

Enough is enough!!

There have been several changes this week with the adolescents in Remar which means things are now more strict which they need (although they don’t like it!!)
The new regime…
Wednesday a revolution occurred with the card-making business…no the girls didn’t revolt, it was a good revolution as it badly needed shaking up - praise the Lord!! At the beginning of the week after a ‘telling off’ for badly made cards, it dawned on Tati that more organization was needed and that the girls needed to be supervised all the time which I couldn’t do now that I have classes to take and prepare for! So Gloria was put on cards full time! Oo and what a relief on my part coz after the ‘telling off’ I just felt I couldn’t anymore, enough was enough, I didn’t have the energy to keep it going… but now new life has been breathed in the business, Gloria is doing good!!! Beatrice is also going to be in charge, they’re going to alternate week’s of supervison and I shall just check on quality control and that. Feeling all upbeat about the cards once again coz as you know I’ve been feeling somewhat disillusioned for a little while now… it’s also really good that it’s now a completely ‘home-run’ business – Beatrice even went out to visit the Christian bookstores to drum up more business which is excellent as she’s got the real gift of the gab! But being Columbian I sometimes can’t understand her as they generally speak really fast!

The gels…
Starting to miss the gels now though, as I don’t get a chance to spend time with them either in the cards or in the identity workshop coz of me English classes (oo I want to have my cake and eat it don’t I, never satisfied)!! Though I got abit oversensitive this week as they were making fun of my abundant mistakes when I speak – it’s a good lesson in being humble hanging out with them! And although it’s not very nice, the up-side is that it means they feel comfortable with me! But now that I’m accepted, to have only 6months left doesn’t seem like any time at all to spend with them! It’s really a life work!

Oh dear, country to rack and ruin!
“Pichincha to strike april 12th. Patience has run out. The return of the 3 fugitives was the last straw…” Headlines in a newspaper on monday… hmmm…the political situ is getting worse (see wednesday’s blog for more info) The mayor of Quito and the principal of the rest of the county (called Pichincha) have called a strike until ‘the country returns to democracy’. Every day as I read in the free trole newspaper the situation seems to be getting worse! Friday the department for education called a strike in all educational institutions from friday until thursday – the big protest day will be wednesday (now the 13th on the 12th), and I’m not to go into Remar that day for my safety! Wednesday this week people were demonstrating outside the Supreme Court, and it all got a bit nasty, with injuries and lots of teargas… Thursday students from the catholic university went on a peaceful march, all dressed in black but Janeth (Ecuadorian latin linker studying English at the Cath Uni) said that government bod’s were taking photos of individuals to be put on record and she was saying some might go missing… hmm, bit scary!….Yesterday the papers said that some 10,000 indigenas are going to come to Quito on Tuesday to join in the protest… A lot of people are very angry with Lucio (the president), and if he doesn’t make some changes, I don’t know what’s going to happen! Watch this space…

Well this week 3 new gels have come to volunteer in remar for between 1 and 2 months– 2 brits and an american…so tati has put me ‘in charge’ of them. With Tati we’ve set up a timetable of afternoon activities that we’re going to do with the kids to keep them out of mischief (oo and they’ve been getting up to lots!!). I’m really quite excited about it coz it’s something I’ve wanted to do but not been able to firstly because of the cards, and secondly because I’ve been alone, and it’s A LOT of work for one person to organize…But the plan is that we’re going to have drama class, art class, storytime, outdoor games and video day! Though, in a slightly pessimistic (or rather just realistic?? forward thinking?) way I’m thinking of what will happen when I’m left ‘solita’ (alone) once again in june! But maybe some other people will come to help?! Hope so!!!

Old macdonald had a farm, eieio…
So English classes on the whole this week have been a lot better, kids more adapted to having us teach them and to learning English.. though still not easy – especially with the ickle kids. It seems crazy trying to teach the littleuns English when they’ve hardly learnt their own language! Though had fun giving some of the classes a game of animal bingo, and hopefully we’ll be able to think up lots of exciting ways to teach them –I don’t want to be a boring teacher, I want the kids to enjoy learning!!! any ideas welcome!!

Volcano erupting…
Just heard yesterday that Volcano Reventador has been ‘erupting’… it’s situated east of quito in the oriente (3 types of land in Ecuador: costa (coast), sierra (highlands), oriente (jungle)) and depending on how the wind is, we might end up getting ash here! Paquita said if your parents hear about the probability they’ll probably be worried but just tell them that quito is situated right under Volcano Pichincha… Alexander von Humboldt once made a comment about how strange Ecuadorians were: that they are happy when listening to sad songs, that they sleep peacefully under active volcanoes, and there were a third comment but I can’t remember it (can anyone help??)

The wedding
oo this morning watched part of the wedding of charles and camila with paquita, i was asleep for most of it (not realising it would be shown, otherwise i would've got up earlier - not that i'm a great monarchist or anything but it's a contact with home!), so just got to see the second half - the blessing in windsor castle... it was nice to see it but it was weird to see so many english faces, and how pale they all looked!!! it was weird also to see people dressed up in scarfs! (though on a cold quito day you can spot people with scarfs and gloves!!!)

Don’t reckon there’s owt else to say… continuing to enjoy my time here, although it’s not easy!! Was thinking of taking a trip today to join anne in otavalo with a friend of hers but decided I just need a day to rest! so hope you’re all resting well!
Oodles of love till next time! Me xxxxxxxx


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