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.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The sands of time

Winding down
I’m actually now in my last week, which is just crazy, I can’t believe it, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a really excited kind of way, but more in a half shell-shocked kind of way. But this week I’ve definitely been through all the emotions, felt really nervous, felt really excited, felt sad… it’s going to be hard to leave but I know I can’t stay, and that it’s not right to stay… but everyone, after saying ‘no te vayas’ (don’t go), they ask ¿y cuando regresas? (when do you come back?)

Maria llena eres de gracias
Maria, full of grace --- it’s a Colombian film that I’ve just been to see this week, don’t know if you’ve heard of it where you are? Basically it’s about a young Colombian lass who works in a flower factory but gets fed up with it and ends up getting into in being a drugs mule… it’s a very interesting movie, not gross, not violent but thought provoking. A few days later Tati happened to ask if I’d seen it, and it turns out that actually an awful lot of people in Colombia get involved in trafficking this way… she also said they’re always coming up with new and ingenious ways of trafficking, for example, they’ve made ceramics using cocaine, and they also somehow put it into paintings!!! And just to keep it real, this week in the Metro newspaper there was an article saying that Ecuador is the drugs ‘cabinet’ of the region… to give you an idea, between June and Sept this year, 14 tones of drugs have been ‘recovered’ in the country!!! Ooo

This week, I’ve been a bit trigger happy, clicking and clicking and clicking!! Why you might ask? as part of my ‘despedida’ (goodbye), I decided I’d give a foto to ‘each’ person in Remar, so I’ve been going round asking who they want their photo taken with… I finally ‘finished’ today and so am on the internet whilst they print them all out for me like 140!!!! I decided this was probably the best present to leave, as I can do it for everyone, they get to choose, having the memory that they want, and also they don’t have much chance to have their own photos, something we generally take for granted!!!

Not again…
Went on the great shoe hunt on thursday with Lili (responable de Mitad el Mundo a.k.a. Boys house), I was going to use the money left over from the swings in the girls home to start a renovation of the playground in the boys home, but I was so slow in organizing it that a new need came up, far more urgent – the boys don’t have school shoes… so we went hunting for the best prices to fit the money we had, though unfortunately we didn’t manage it.. though Lili and Ivan (her husband) went to Ambato on sat to a Señor who has given a good discount before, and I hope they got the 20 pairs of shoes successfully! (I’ve yet to see them)
So, the reference to ‘not again’, as we were traveling back to Remar, our bus had to take a different route coz those pesky students are out protesting again!! I’m not entirely sure what the problem is, but the people very quickly get tired of the governments, too quickly! But what got me, is that it isn’t just uni students, but school students! It makes me sad coz I see the hordes of them and just feel like they’re a load of lost sheep, getting carried along, not understanding the issues… hmm…

New striders
Sooooo, 3 new striders arrived on tuesday at midnight, and I got to meet them properly on friday – Janeth and Stuart invited us all over for dinner – Beccy and Debs are going to be in Remar till march and june respectively, and Ali will be in Quito a month before heading down to Santo… they’re really lovely girls, I find it really exciting that they’re just starting out and have so much to experience and learn. And they’ve been ‘hand-picked’, one is really up for getting involved in the English classes, and the other like arts n’ crafts so looks like she’ll be fab for the cards!!! Wow, God’s sorted that one out lovely!

On saturday I went up the Teleferiqo, Quito’s newest tourist attraction, a cable car that goes up to 4050 m … did feel slightly nervous during the 8min ride but what an awesome view, and it was great to go with my friends as they are always cracking jokes--- we came down about 3, ate a very late lunch whilst the queue got ridiculously long, I was so glad we went when we did and even more so because we got to the bottom of the park just as the heavens opened, there was thunder and lightning and everything, and just would not have wanted to be in a cable car in that storm, or on the top of the mountain for that matter!!

Well that’s it… and I guess there will only be one more blog update from these shores!! Though I will update me blog from time to time I reckon in England… oo interesting fact of the week, a men’s haircut I saw advertised as 70cents, about 40p!!! can you believe it? I’m gonna try and get a haircut organized here as it’s less than a fourth of the price and there’s no way I can bring myself to get a haircut in the UK when I get back!! Chao xxx


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