Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Comments layout change

Genius brother David has altered the layout so we can conveniently browse the comments made most recently regardless of post. Nice! Thanks, David.

Thanks for all the comments, Chuck's image of the beef processing is amazing.

Kristen has been attending school the last 3 days to smooth the transition for Rosita, it's helping. Had our first schoolfriend visit yesterday; Tania and someone else came over for playing cards and iTunes after school. They had scheduled twice before on Friday and Saturday and no-showed. I was in a bit of a panic, though Al didn't seem phased by it all.

Great weekend of fun. I was invited to help with a minga - a work party. We moved 1000 bricks from behind the neighbors house to near the dump truck to into the dump truck, then rode atop the load across the valley to the sister's house site, then unloaded them. About 4 hours of sweaty work with a nice group of fellows, then dinner and basketball on the community court. I felt like Yao Ming. Very fun.

The minga inviter is a lovely man named Segundo whom I know through the contacts I made at the Tandana Foundation, a local group working on community building, health care and education. Segundo has welcomed me with open arms; we've played music, hiked, alley-ooped and are planning to record some stories he has translated from his Grandpa's Kichwa (Andean language) into Spanish. Tandana translated them into English and wants a recording voice. Me! Fun.

I have an appointment to meet the mayor later today, have no idea whether that will yield any interesting activity or not. KD has an appointment to meet a government health coordinator of some sort. We went hiking with Segundo and wife Maria and their kids Sunday, feeling blessed.

And plenty of difficult things. No crying before school today, a nice change. Plenty of "at loose ends" time for me to figure out how to engage, regular stuff. Great opportunity, tons of fun, hard work. The standard deal.

thanks for all the good thoughts. Pictures soon. P


Brother David said...

Basketball as the community sport, huh? V. interesting. Is it as big as soccer?

Sue said...

Hi Paul, Kris, Althea, and Rosie! This is my first day on your blog, and I think I've read everything. Each story you tell reminds my of something from our year in Ecuador. Thinking about the girls in new schools, I remember being 16 in Spain and breaking into tears several times, overwhelmed by the foreign language, food, people. My heart goes out to the girls, and to you P&K who are bravely leading the charge. Paul, I hear your voice so clearly in what you write. I love your historical perspective on La Plaza de Independencia. I admire your unwavering sociability, jogging with the locals, playing cards, moving bricks. And, while I am not likely to be one eating the snails, go boy, go! Love, Sue

Mema and Papa said...

We are receiving such a wonderful education from your experiences and thoughts! Keep up the fabulous blogging. As Rosie would say, “It’s awesome!”

Kristen, I loved your comments on coping with cooking and eating with limited kitchen utensils. After reading your post I went into the kitchen to start the packing for our remodeling. I just had to stand there and laugh – oh my, our very overstocked kitchens. Some locals will be very appreciative for the household items you leave behind on your return home. Where do you shop for the items you will need to setup an apartment?

Glad to hear Althea and Rosie are getting more comfortable with school. They are such great students that it has to be very frustrating to understand little of the classroom work and activities. I think of them every day.

As usual you are making a contribution to the community you are in, no matter where that may be. I am sure you will have some very interesting projects there. We look forward to hearing about them.

Kay said...

Your immersion in the local culture is fantastic! And your descriptions take me right there. Tell Rosalie and Althea that the school thing, and friend-making, does get easier. After our 7 months were up, Alex said "We really should have stayed the whole year. I don't want to go yet!" :)

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