That the roads get so muddy when it rains that you have to wear the same pair of sandals and jeans for 3 days so as not to ruin more than one pair.
There’s turtles in the garden and tiny lizards in my room (better than the cockroaches!).
I ended English classes on Friday since this week it mostly holiday and I’m planning on travelling a bit, the best opportunity to go be a tourist! But I will continue that one in Jan/Feb. A great little group just a shame I had no resources and was using my laptop as a whiteboard….
Ok also time to ‘fess up. I may or may not have met a guy… in other words I have an amazing boyfriend and have been spending a lot of time with him before I take off on my trip until New Year’s. He is an amazing cook and just when I thought I’d tried most Ecuadorian food, well I now think someone could live here their whole life and not try everything! Every town has it’s speciality you can’t get anywhere else and every holiday has it’s special dish too. For example, for el dia de los muertos (yesterday) there’s colada morada and guaguas de pan (I tried the colada, delicious! Like a lightly spiced thick hot blackberry soup-drink with chunks of other fruit like grapes and pineapple…. Ahhhh coladas are definitely going to become my favourite winter comfort when I get back!) Yucca buns with cheese, sweet corn loaf, crystallized coconut candy, spiced mochas, crayfish soup, Peruvian rice, Chilean ‘eggs’ (like handmade Timbit’s)… I can’t even remember everything! This morning we went on mission downtown at 5am to get a plantain and some small wild pig-like animal stew that had been cooking all night and that Monday mornings are the only time you can get it, very cool tradition!
What else have I been doing? Finally found hemp cord so I can make bracelets on the bus seeing as its too bumpy to read, relaxing on the beach, cooking up a storm, watching movies, went to Salango and Las Tunas one day to get fresh seafood and ended up on a free boat ride around the bay…
This weekend I went to Jipijapa and my original impression that it was the other armpit of Ecuador was completely turned around. It’s a great little town, the people are so friendly and the great food extends far beyond the delicious banana loaf in the bus terminal. We hiked to a village in the mountains with the most gorgeous waterfall even though there was almost no water it was still stunning. (Not to mention free and nearly unknown!)
This weekend was also a holiday one here, for dia de los muertos and not for Halloween though. However there was little fiestas everywhere. I had perhaps the greatest Halloween ever, at my friend’s grandma’s birthday party. So crazy and fun! Families here are huge (imagine having 22 kids!) but so close. Everyone from the babies to the old folks come out and talk, drink and dance like crazy all night. (I think I have finally caught on to meringue but all the others need some work!) At midnight they eat a meal and then sing happy birthday. Certain traditions include shoving the birthday person’s face into the cake and everyone taking turns dancing with them in the middle of the circle. Then in the morning they eat another meal and then cake.
It was also another friend’s birthday this week and Simone and I made an amazing black forest cake that we dragged down the Malecon and that was subsequently devoured in about 5 minutes…