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, June 25, 2005

¡Viva la waffle!

Oo lots of bits to waffle about this week…

Project Guarderia go, go, go… (nursery)
Well… sunday I put my finishing touches to my designs for the nursery – I spent ages working on a ABC chart in the form of a jigsaw, and I hope it turns out well!! On Thursday we (the other volunteers and I ) started the work off, by sanding down all the walls! I felt like a was in abit of a whirlwind that morning as I was running to and from my 2 classes to put mi mano a la obra (put my hand to the work) as well! The six of us got it all sanded in a morning!! And I started on giving everything a wipe down, but only one ‘cubicle’ got done.. two more to go!! We (a new volunteer – Ecuadorian lass and I) tried to go buy the paint on Friday, Tati told us that the name of the shop was ‘Multicolor’, we searched everywhere around where Tati said it was, asking people but we couldn’t find it!! We got back and said so, and Tati said no it was called EXPO color, but was a multicoloured building – argghhhh!!! So, we’ll try again on monday, and hopefully start painting the basic colours! I’m very excited about seeing how it will all turn out!! will be painting murals next sat with some youthy types from my church!

Impertinent questions…
Man… people just don’t hold back… I was catching the trole home the other day, and I noticed the guy behind me in the queue being creepily curious in checking me out in the queue. Then once on the trole came the question ‘¿usted no es española?’ (you’re not Spanish are you?)… I replied rather cagily and bluntly ‘No.’… trying not to look at all interested in continuing the conversation… but he persisted '¿esta trabajando aqui?' (are you working here?)… ‘Yes.’ I replied (how anyone can’t take a hint from such cagey answers, I don’t know!)… so he continued '¿donde?' (where)… I replied even more cagily (coz obvisouly you don’t want a complete stranger to know where you work! Well, not here anyway when one’s a foreigner and not in such peculiar circumstances!) ‘In a fundacion.’ … and thankfully he finally got the hint of my cagey answers!! He looked abit like a foreigner, about 40 years old, but whoever it was, I really don’t like strangers making conversation with me!

Well, that’s what I’m going to call her… it’s not her real name, one of the girls in Remar… had some very touching moments with her in breaktime this week… I’ve always tried to say to her things like she’s pretty, and she always negates them… and this week we had time for a good wee chat about self-image. When one says to her she’s pretty, she always says no I’m ugly, but there’s always a shy smile on her face, which to be signifies she needs to be told it so much more until she believes it. She’s abit of a tom-boy and can be very aggressive, so doesn’t always get along with people… but under all the bravado, she is a really lovely girl.
Oo I’m going to explain to yous what I call my treasure chest theory (have I told yous before?). Each of these girls (indeed all girls, and boys) has a treasure chest… and whatever people say about each girl is stored away in this chest… If all they hear is ‘you’re no good’ ‘you’re worthless’ ‘you’re ugly’ ‘you’re dirty’, this chest gets dilapidated and horrible, its ugly and becomes a source of great distress… but, on the other hand one can fill it so that it is a beautiful, shiny, precious treasure chest decorated in many precious jewels that lights up ones whole being. So what I want to do is try to fill each girl’s treasure chest with these precious stones… basically I want to help increase their self-esteem where it’s been (or is being) ripped down by the things other people/children say… So, I had a good chance to talk with this girl about identity, and how the most important thing we need to know is that as girls, God thinks we’re beautiful, and that he smiles and dances so much over us (zeph 3.17!!)…all these girls need to know this!

Man, at times they are so hard – when you’re faced with a bunch of grumpy kids, it might just be one or two – who don’t like anything you give them to do, who just moan and moan!! And it’s so frustrating, that however many times you go over something, the next time you ask, they don’t remember a thing!!! And they don’t make an effort to learn either! Another part of the problem is that they get all defeatist if they don’t understand straight away, and it can be quite hard to get them out of it… but we get there in the end!! Oo and it was very sweet, the little un’s yesterday were asking ‘have we got English?’ and when I said yes… it was a chorus of ‘yeahhhh!!’… though I didn’t actually get to give them their class (it was gonna be 'The wheels on the bus') – we had a teacher’s planning meeting for the end of year celebrations… which is a week earlier than I thought it was!

La bebe
Update on Estefania… I spent monday morning with her and Beatrice in the hospital for her monthly checkup… it really is a crazy system here… as they didn’t actually do anything… all the tests have to be done in a clinic outside, and as well, a full body x-ray has to be done eslewhere– one wonders what they can actually do in the children’s hospital. But good news is, that the ‘tumour’ doctor (I’m sure there’s a specific name but I don’t know it!) thinks the tumour from the outside appears to be decreasing in size, which he says is rather unusual but obviously extremely welcome!! Though the not so good news is that she has an infection where they operated on her arm, so she’s on anti-biotic’s and has to go back and see the doctor next week to check that it’s clearing up well or it could cause problems.

Oo random bits… been adverts on the TV recently, telling people how to take precautions against dengue fever – just basic health and hygiene advice but obviously needed. had a wander of the historic centre, and went to a wee museum about money in ecuador (bit geeky i know, but it only cost 30p!!!) adn there i discovered that ecuador's old currency the 'Sucre' was imprinted in Birmingham - of all the places in the world! weird!! and oooooo received the most exciting news I’ve had in ages last saturday, that two of my fav people are going to get married to each other!! My dearest liz and matt (from uni)… I’m well excited and well happy for them both, and look forward so much to getting back to England to join in the celebrations!!! Woo woo!! Well, that’s about it for this week!
God bless yous all in your places!
Me xxx


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