Oh Ecuador!

Oh Ecuador…
I find myself repeating this phrase quite often recently. I have reached that elusive one year mark when supposedly everything turns around and you start accomplishing things in your site and you feel somewhat successful. Well so far, for me, I don’t feel successful. A couple things are looking positive, my social life and integration with Ecuadorians seems to be taking off, and my project with the Santa Rosa community which I thought to be dead looks like there is a possible renewal in sight! But so far, workwise, things are about the same. I spend my mornings trying to find things to do in my house, and then around noon I head over to the foundation and help serve lunch to the kids Mondays-Weds. After which I use internet and pretend to be doing something! Usually around 4 I head back to my house and think about how I should be running, but don’t actually do it. Very productive!! However, there is a light around the corner, but all I can see right now is a flicker of it. But I’m hopeful!!! One year down!!
While I’m still here I might as well tell you all about the experiences I had during Carnival. I don’t actually know the history behind the holiday here, but people LOVE this holiday!!! They pretty much just have a LOT of parades, water being thrown, eggs smashing into heads, flour tossed, and foam sprayed. You will basically spend days wet and dirty. It’s fun for about 2 maybe 3 days, but it just keeps going! I spent my first Carnival in Guaranda with Leah and numerous other volunteers. We celebrated in Leah’s town the first night I got there, Thursday. They of course had a parade, and then continued the party till late in the night drinking and dancing. We ventured out of the house around 11 that night to see how the party was. It was interesting!! Lots of drunks stumbling around, one young kid was trying to fight the other who were trying to take him home, he mostly just fell on his face. It was very amusing to watch! The next day we traveled to Guanuho, a town near Guaranda, where we celebrated at a concert with dancing, water balloon throwing, foam spraying, and general merriment! Lots of fun! On the bus ride back to a fellow volunteer’s house, Leah and I got off the bus a little early and began to walk down the hill to Deanna’s house. On the way we saw an overturned bus that had probably taken the corner into the gas station too quickly and just tipped over! It must have just happened, b/c we saw people climbing out and gasoline still leaking out. The cops hadn’t even gotten there yet! So we kept walking and next we observed a pig killing. The people were slicing the neck, and then they took a blowtorch to it while we are pretty sure it was still alive. Walking down the side of the road we watched as the blood from the pig drained alongside us. It was quite an interesting walk! The next few days passed in kind of a blur, more parades, a party at Leah’s house with corndogs and buffalo chicken, made by us, and of course more foam, water, and beer! By Monday we were quite ready to be done with the parties, however the Ecuadorians weren’t! SO we suffered through another day and spent Tuesday in Leah’s house recovering. Over all it was a great experience and a lot of fun! These experiences are what make my time here so awesome!
PS. Pictures to come...

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