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, May 14, 2005

Ice-lollies and fiestas...

News update on the wee baby...
She’s still in the hospital – she’s a real fighter!! But sadly looks like another op might be on the cards – where they operated on her arm/chest, there’s now an infection and she has to stay in hospital until monday when another medic will take a look – as you can tell I don’t really know all the ins and outs, but hopefully she’ll be given a clean bill of health soon!!!

My family
‘Ya mismo vienen’ – really soon they come … this time next week they’ll be here on Ecuadorian soil – lots of things planned to do which is very exciting, starting with a tour of the Galapagos!!! Ooo weee!!! Whilst they’re here not sure if I’ll have time for much emailing but I’ll do my best to keep yous updated on my exploits.

It always seems like there’s some kind of fiesta here or reason not to have lessons, and according to anne, it’s not just Remar – it happened a lot whilst she was in the coast too! Otra vez (another time) we’ve not had a full week of lessons – though very nearly, just missed one – a clown (payaso) turned up to have a wee ‘party’ with the kids – it was SOOO lovely to see them just being kids and joining in WHOLEHEARTEDLY with the actions, completely unselfconscious! So coz of various breaks in classes, it turns out that cuarto/cinto grados are now way ahead of the other classes by about 5 lessons … and this week we had a go teaching them some grammar! It proved a WHOLE lot harder than we thought, they just about got it in the lesson, but I don’t reckon they’re have remembered for the next! We taught the ‘gerund’, the present continous i.e. I am reading… Grammar is actually a very hard thing to get a hold of in your language let alone in another!! The other classes are still learning the colours which is quite fun, and having a reminder of the animals – for some reason they get really mixed up with ‘worm’ and ‘horse’!!! bizarre!!!
Had great fun yesterday with primero (the mas chiqititos – the smallest ones), singing a song ‘Five sticky ice-lollies’, I’d made wee “puppets” and everything, and it seemed like they really enjoyed it!! Yeay!! Though it’s not easy keeping their attention!

Oo exciting plans coming up
Well, apart from my parents coming, couple of other exciting things planned!!! Firstly a ‘girls day out’, Anne, Anna Maria (trainee psyc who did the Identity workshop with the girls) and I are going to take out the adolescents, a week today, for a ‘girlie day out’… plans aren’t finalized but we’re hoping to take the girls first to a shop where they can each make a necklace and later to have a picnic in the park!! Looking forward to it!! And also in the middle of the time that my parents are here, it’s my birthday!!! Yippee!!! So we’re going to have a ‘fiesta’ – it’s actually going to celebrate 3 things - my 23rd, Dia del Niño (day of the child) and good bye Anne… just starting to think about what we shall do, and I’m really quite excited!!! Though not looking forward to not having anne around, she's been a great chum!!!

‘a ventas’
- selling – on wednesday I went out with maritiza and monica selling… every day some of the women in remar, and some of those adolescents that don’t study, go out on the streets to businesses and shops trying to sell cleaning products – erase any kind of ‘Kleeneze’ connotations from your minds!!! – Remar fabricates window cleaner, disinfectants and the like, as well as brooms and mops, and the women (and the men too, though one doesn’t normally see much of them) got out to sell to raise funds for Remar. So out I went to see what it was truly like, and man, it was hard – not so much physically (though I didn’t carry as much as one could!), and apart from the strong sun, it was hard mentally… you have to keep going from shop to shop asking if they’ll buy – if you don’t ask, they won’t buy – but even if you do, they don’t!! we sold just one broom in the day!! Not good!! But I reckon it really depends on where you go - where we went, everyone said there wasn’t money, which makes it rather difficult to sell!!!!! The reaction of some of the people to my giving the speil was amusing – one guy decided he’d try out his English, then instead of asking me where I was from (which always makes me cross, ‘hello, I’m standing right here in front of you’), he asked Monica, and he assumed I was from the US… others just stared at me half-confused, half-shocked to see this foreigner!! Glad I went though!!

So sat night I went out with anne and her ecua-friends to supposedly dance salsa – but the guys (only 2) didn’t really know how to dance, they kind of had their own rhythm completely!!! To dance well, you and your partner need to have the same sense of rhythm, and as I’ve forgotten a lot of what I learnt so I really need someone to lead me!! Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to dance salsa with someone that knows at some point!!! Arrived at about 1.30am to my house to find paquita still up, heating water in the kitchen by candle light!! The electric had gone in the afternoon in just the kitchen, Armando rigged up a clever thingy to the light bulb so that the fridge could still work, but then that blew and threw the whole department out!! So sunday morning had to shower in cold water and in darkness!!! But thankfully the electrician came abit later and sorted it all out, so we weren’t without electricity for too long!

I reckon that’s it for this week, as classes have gone well, feeling quite upbeat and not so tired!!! Sincerely hope yous are all well!!! God bless oodles and oodles of love to yous all
Jo xxx


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