Thursday, February 25, 2010

heading home...

Ooops I haven't updated this in over a month and I am currently in the bogota airport in the middle of my intense 2 day trip home. I did have an entry written up on my usb to be posted but well I guess I didn't post it did I.
Anyway, I've had a wonderful last month. Went up with some friends to Quito to pick up hermana (fantastic to catch up with her after 13 months) We cooked in the hostal, went to a real cinema and saw Avatar and to Ecuador's only skating rink where I think the ecuadorian outskated the canadians... shame on us. From Quito we headed off on a quick trip down the north coast. Atacames, Mompiche, Canoa... The beaches were all nice though it was the cloudy season. Got in some good salsa dancing in atacames and canoa, Kim got beaten up by tranquil Mompiche (stung by a ray while trying to learn to surf and then cut her head open on the bus) It was a nice little trip, but by now I appreciate staying in one place more.
Kim visited me in Puerto Lopez for almost 2 weeks that flew by! We cooked, went to the beach, read, went to montanita and a small aquarium (almost more like a rescue centre) down to the south, up to a village in the tropical forest where we donated some things to the one tiny school and spent the day painting it, went flying in parapente (paragliding, crazy, closest to flying as you can get, once in the air very relaxing and i even got steer a bit!) walks along the beach, crazy carnavalling and she helped me with my classes. time just seems to fly for no reason.
Carnaval took up almost 5 days, we only really went the one night. Got attacked with foam, water, eggs and flour. yuck! got some people too but I think I got more than I gave. washing that off one time was enough for me to decide that I didn't need to all 4 nights and tried to avoid it as best I could though I still got a bit of foam and water. Another night went on the ferris wheel (real little fair there all month!) and then out dancing. Mostly though that last month was so deathly hot I didn't have the motivation to do anything.
The day after my sister left I learned I got a job at home that I had had an interview for, and that it started on Mar1 so I had to quickly change my flights and cancel my last french classes and say my goodbyes. I was ready to go, I just want to open a cereal box and not have to look for bugs. but it was tough too and I'm already sitting here missing things...
Went up to Quito yesterday with Jorge to gather some more visa papers and briefly met up with my sister again since she flew out earlier today to Brazil. Ran into one then two other friends from our town really randomly that we didn't even know were in quito, I mean there's 2 million people there, crazy coincidences.
Everyone's stomachs have been off and on, I've had the worst ear infection since Sunday night only today is it feeling a bit better, I went paragliding sunday and Jorge, while pullling us to help us take off, nealy ripped off his baby toe. Landed went over to the car and there was blood everywhere, lovely. Straight to the clinic, which is supposedly free but the governement sucks so bad there's never enough supplies I had to run and buy everything from syringes to painkillers to the actual thread. They were stitching him up for nearly a half hour and the he had to spend the rest of the time in bed almost and grumpy of course.
Meanwhile Kim bashed in face while rafting, no tenemos suerte!!!
But everyone is on the mend now and nothing more can possibly happen.
I kept getting asked when I was going back, Jorge's family kept telling me that know I have a family in Ecuador and my students made a dinner our last class and say they hope to continue when I return... and I will return, but hopefully not too soon. I feel like some home time right now and doing more, working harder. The culture and the heat just kill my motivation.
But I did have a great time, I can now say that on a good day I am truly trilingual, the French classes were great, I have a powerpoint resource I can re-use many times, I can cook on a gas stove, barter for veggies in the market and feel like I really lived in Ecuador, with the people. (and the bugs, rats, heat, dirt and mosquitos too of course!) There are things I don't like but there are things I love. Fresh juice and delicious soups from scratch, sitting along the beach with wireless internet = work, the people (most of them), cheap and more available public transport, ingenuity (our light switch was a string attached to the mosquito net that you could just pull and the 2 wires would flick apart to turn off and then jerk it again and most times they would touch and turn on again, worked far more effienctly than I ever would've beleived) how green everything is, how you never have to care what you look like before you go out, fashion basically doesn't exist and people worry a lot less. On the other hand, not much food variety (no mas arroz!) not much security or heath care, poor education... they'll believe whatever sometimes. medicine is cheap and you never need a prescription they just go and but pills and believe they cure whatever, I got so nervous not knowing what it was I was taking and what are the side effects and can I really take these 2 at the same time? but on the other they still really very much on natural rememdies or what their grandma's tell then like don't eat certain foods if you have an infection, others if your liver hurts...
garbage is everywhere though I think people are becoming more aware, they don't seem to burn it all anymore and there are a more trash cans. a few less stray dogs.
people live simply and things are cheap, decisions are simple. you have money you spend it, you don't well then you don't eat much and hope you have a good family to lend you a bit. Everyone gets excited about action movies and ice cream. I mean everyone. Most people wnat to learn and they learn a little bits of everything and quickly, they know a bit in each language but no one is bilingual. Sometimes I feel like I don't know much since they can dance like crazy, cook delicious food, do crafts, play music, soccer, surf... but then I realise that I am trilingual and when I want to, I read and write very well, even spell in spanish better than most of them.
Don't really know what my point is... theres and good and bad in everything and I have meet some of the most generous people down here. some of the most dishonest too.
I'm going to miss it but man am I am glad to be going home and off the road.

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