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.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005 water, eggs and fun...

oo wee bit late this week, didn’t have time to write on saturday, wrote it on monday rather than save it up for this sat but then forgot my disk!!… so anyway, how did you all pass easter?? Hope you had fab times!! Our mime in church went well on easter sunday though unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of it, somehow they didn’t record… sniff sniff… was good fun though!!

The death of ‘El Papa’
The death of the catholic pope dude, John Paul 2nd, has been a BIG deal here… when it occurred, every channel was covering it… though got really annoyed by the comment of one woman remembering when the pope came to visit ecuador in the 80s coz she said it was as if Jesus had returned… how can she put the pope on the same level as Jesus? It almost seemed idolatrous the way she said it! To me it’s all abit crazy… oo other thing that all the channels were covering was the return of Abdala Bucaram, known as ‘El Loco’, the madman, a former president who fled the country with millions of sucre (money before dollars). I found it soo strange that all the people of guayaguil were welcoming him with open arms, really happy he'd returned, when he’s robbed them of so much! Armando said that his people are very forgetful and that policitians can easily trick them… it’s a sad situation! And with those that remember, the current president is NOT a popular man for letting this rogue back into the country… hmmm….

Gato en ingles significa ‘ cat’
So last monday, anné and I started giving English classes – first of all to tercero (third grader’s… not sure of the equivalent in England.. year 2?), it went quite well, I felt quite enthused afterwards as I’d learnt so much from anne in the first few minutes.. but the rest of the week wasn’t soo good.. especially our last class with the mas chiquitos (the smallest ones), we both felt completely drained and ‘depressed’ afterwards, it was so discouraging… trying to keep the attention of 23 boisterous 5ish yr olds is hard enough but trying to teach them another language when they don't know their own, well, you can almost forget it!! But we will keep on perservering, and do our best to teach them!

Connoisseur’s corner
Well, the only thing I’ve tried that’s new was… hot chocolate with cheese… what???!! Are you crazy? I hear you say… actually it’s not as weird as it sounds and is quite tasty! It’s not your traditional English cheese (which I miss sooo much - what I would give for a chunk of cheddar!!) that they use, more a sort of mozzarella which doesn’t have a strong flavour. It’s grated so that it starts to melt… it’s abit difficult to eat but it is tasty, though I have to say I do still prefer just to take a plain hot chocolate. OO easter wasn't so bad on the easter egg front after all! My parents sent me a pack of mini eggs and a pack of mars mini eggs, then my wonderful chum emmie also sent me some – some mini fairtrade and mini creme eggs (though got slightly squished in transit - yoke slurging out!) – so i did pretty well in the end!!! Lucky me!

Arrghhh… fed up of machismo!!
I’m not an aggressive person as I’m sure you all know, but these men here are really trying my patience with their comments and ‘psssttt’'s… ahhhh!!!! The other day, i was standing watching a drama, minding my own business and 3 policemen decided it was their right to start talking to me...trying to ‘chat me up', I just ignored them completely and thankfully that was that… Then as I was walking to church, happily in my own little world, some guy started walking alongside me and decided to start talking to me.. I continued humming away to myself and completely ignoring him… but he didn’t take the hint striatght away.. but in the end he did and he went away thinking I don’t speak English!! Hee hee… oo and yesterday (sunday), some guy said ‘Buenos Dias’(Good morning/day), and I ignored him and he said rather more aggressively this time ‘Buenos Dias Señorita’… by this time I’d passed him and he didn’t make anything of it… I just don’t understand how they think it’s their right to make a comment to a complete stranger and expect to receive a friendly response!! And there’s always someone who’ll just give you a ‘sssss ssss ssss’ – arggh ‘estoy harta de esto’ (I’m fed up with this!).
Arghhh, and the urinating in the street… I know I go on but really! Two men this week just as I’m walking by decide to relieve themselves right in front of me – urgghhh!!! but it's not just me, there was an article in the free trole bus newspaper the other about it!

Papallacta, feeling hot, hot, hot.
Friday night I went with some church amigos to papallacta, some thermal springs about 2 hours drive from quito… we arrived rather later than planned, about 8ish, and one would think us crazy for putting on our swimsuits in the cold, cold air, but once in the water, you don’t feel cold anymore, it's delicious… I got so toasted through that when we got out (at 10pmish!!!), I still didn’t really feel the cold! We came back down from the mountain to a village called Puembo, to where Rafa’s family has a ‘holiday home’… really bad night’s sleep as I had to share a bed, and ended up with just a quarter of it so felt like I was going to fall off at any moment… saturday, got up in a chilled fashion, long breakfast… then I played my first ever game of futbol!! Can you believe it?? I was pretty bad, but I got better, though I need A LOT of practise!! I had a really good time with them all (Daniel, Rafa, Daniel, Esteban, Jose, Diana, Jimena, Mari-Ester, Eduardo, Andrea, Wendy)…and my Spanish is improving all the time!!! took some photos whilst in the springs but we look like ghosts coz of the effect of the steam!!

‘me gels’
coz of starting English classes, I’ve had to give up helping the psycho-workshop with the teenage girls which is a real shame… but hey ho…It’s a really great thing for the girls but I know that Anna Maria (the ‘psychologist’) is finding it quite discouraging as they don’t get into it as one would expect with ‘normal’ girls – but when you consider their backgrounds and that expressing oneself creatively has never been encouraged (in fact more frowned upon), their behaviour makes sense! Cards last week was also abit of a bain! I wasn’t with the girls much (and neither was Gloria, supposedly taking over from me) coz of classes and ‘being mum’ accompanying the girls to the dentist many times!!, which meant they were rather a law unto themselves and not much work was done, and some of that that was done, wasn’t good… arghhh….

“Encerrados” – locked in

funny moment of the week... when was it? Oo Thursday – anne and i were leaving at the same time 3.30, i normally leave later but i’d done an 11-hr-day the day before (normal being 8, now 8.30) so had decided to leave early but when we arrived at the gate and we couldn’t get out!! Just as we’d decided to leave the padlock refused to open!! The key wasn’t working, somehow it had got damaged! Various methods were tried for getting it open, sledgehammers, saws but it wasn’t getting anywhere – and the key got completely bent! After waiting 20mins we decided rather than be locked in indefinitely that we’d climb underneath the gate!!! So under we went, crawling on our bellies but trying not to get too dirty as neither of us was going straight home! It was rather amusing, and i regretted it slightly when later my knees and elbows hurt (i never was any good at assault courses!!) but we needed to leave!! Made us chuckle lots though!! It was just so incredible that we were locked in!!!

Hmm… so that was last week… bit discouraging at points but I keep going, 6 months to go! Hope twas interesting to read… keep in touch, oodles of love me xx


Blogger James said...

Hey- Glad to see it's not just me whose English is being Spaglised! ('how did you pass easter?') I keep saying 'It seems to me' and 'It doesn't serve me'!
Sounds like your busy!

9:37 AM


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