Sunday, January 24, 2010

Living the beach life….

Apparently even I can fall prey to being a beach bum. So sorry I haven’t been keeping this updated. Really haven’t been up to much and that’s been great, after so much travelling I was just ready to sit around, although we are heading out tomorrow to Quito to meet up with my sister (whom I haven’t seen in 13 months, so excited to be reunited!!!)
So basically I’ve been immersing myself in the language and the culture (the interesting traditions of new years: they do up these elaborate life-size dolls of mostly famous people who were of some prominence in the past year (Michael Jackson was definitely a favourite, though I saw cartoon characters too….) and it symbolises the old year. At midnight they drag it into the middle of the street and burn, chao old year and all it’s sins, on the next. Families eat about 3 meals generally, the last at midnight in different relatives houses (I was so full). Then everyone dances in the biggest street fiesta I have ever seen until dawn. But they don’t do polar bear dips (mine was a trip to the beach on new year’s eve) and they don’t count down of anything, no one seemed to know when it was midnight exactly, pretty much how time always is down here. Oh and the fireworks, going off everywhere, its amazing more people don’t get hurt but I haven’t heard of many accidents at all.
I’m staying at my boyfriends place and I have been helping him out in the bar/juice stand along the beach where he works with one other lady, super nice and great fun. Yes, I squeeze fresh orange juice on the beach, hahaha. It’s pretty relaxing, too relaxing, I’m about ready to be a busy person again. I also teach basic French to tour guides in a school on the other end of the beach (yes I walk to work barefoot in the waves….) So far the classes are great, I really enjoy teaching enthusiastic adults. And since I have no materials, preparing lessons takes up a lot of my time. Also with internet here, I must’ve spent 3 full days just trying to do up my application for a job in March, and it’s still missing a lot of things.
But not everything is so ideal, the heat can be terrible, I’m currently drowning in my own sweat even though it’s not that sunny outside. And the insects are bad, don’t bother me that much, I just kill them (I killed a scorpion yesterday!!) There are these bugs called ‘griollos’ everywhere. Everywhere. And the mosquitoes are as bad as ever. I was also stomach sick for almost a week, that zapped all my energy. Exercise consists of that walk to work, it’s just too hot for anything else. I’m never hungry, I eat because I have to (and because the food is normally delicious here) but I still gain weight. I even enjoy the cold shower. I’m so used to everything being dirty and unorganised and no one ever being on time or showing up when you arrange to meet them. It’s no wonder nothing ever happens here. I can enjoy it for now but…. Not quite my style.
So yes, that’s about all there is to update. Went on one day trip to Portoviejo to shop and visit my hermanita and went to a lovely beach near MontaƱita another day, where they make fantastic pies and cheesecake, passion fruit pie, incredible! Well off to take my laundry in, check the internet, prepare class, perhaps go for a swim, pack for tomorrow and then 2 hours of classes. Hasta luego!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Heading Home

The last 2 days just kind of slid by… watched a weird movie at the hostel and then packed for the final time (!!!!) On the 27th , figuring we should see some of Lima, we went to Larcomar, this shopping complex on the ocean. Rather hoity-toity and nothing special, have to say the waterfront in Lima is well, ugly. Then a micro downtown, which turned out to be much further than the thought from the map, Lima is a true big city. So by the time we got there we only had time to frantically ran around the plaza, to the post office and to try and hunt down Peruvian ceviche (fail… we ended up with the Peruvian version of MacDonalds…). As we got back to the hostel, already slightly late, the hostel guy informed us very surely that the international buses leave from the other station on the other side of town, a good hour away. Well the bus was leaving in an hour. Panic time, grabbed stuff and taxi and rushed off to the nearest station, the main in the hope that it was leaving from there as otherwise our chances we pretty slim. Well the hostel guy had no clue what he was talking about, we were at the right station and all that stress for nothing. Really nothing as the bus didn’t end up leaving for another half hour.

Longest bus ride ever… really not so bad at we had the best seats (the only 4 downstairs in a separate compartment past the bathrooms (yes talk about stink!)) But the best bus sleep I had since it was too hot or too cold then and no one snored, no babies! Oh but the heat and the stench in the day, the thermometer read 35C but it must have been more and so stuffy. Ended up snacking just to avoid boredom…

After 27 hours we finally got there, but dropped off at a different station and had to walk to the main station where Jorge was waiting for us (with flowers =) and yes I smelt like a cow) Grabbed the last bus to Jipijapa and them crammed ourselves in a taxi for the final leg of the journey.

And yes that was over 2 weeks ago.... Im back in Ecuador where nothing ever gets done. But I´m still holding out with the hopes that I´ll have internet in the next few days and can completely update this pictures and all. I still do intend to keep it up! But all is wonderful, I have a beach life, hahaha. I´m teaching French and helping Jorge in the juice stand/bar and making plans for when my sister comes to visit, can´t wait!

Hasta pronto!