"Every planet has its own weird customs. About a year before we met, I spent six weeks on a moon where the principal form of recreation was juggling geese. My hand to God. Baby geese - goslings! They were juggled."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All is well. I think... I hope.

That low grade fever in my last post went down right after I wrote about it, but I still held a warm metal bottle of tea in my down sleeping bag when I went to sleep. THAT is bliss when you feel like the world is an ice bath. Hot spots to hold a hot thermos - on your neck, under your arms...and yes, between your legs.

So I woke up mostly fine. Just still a little achy and a little tired but nothing like yesterday. Still no appetite so that bowl of fruit that's normally very strange to me was extra difficult to finish (I didn't, it was my first meal at home when I couldn't eat everything). Out the door, and my host mom walked me to the bus again but I was on my own after that.

Training is much, much easier when you actually feel ok. We had many more sessions on rules and organization like money distribution, banking, student loans and the like, and again drew out on posters what we felt was needed to become functional volunteers. Throughout the day we had more interviews to get a baseline on our progress through training. My first interview was with a language proficiency facilitator who asked me a series of questions in Spanish. Eh, it didn't go so well. I expect to be placed in one of the novice levels because everything I said was pretty choppy. I snuck in a subjunctive verb and that's about it. I'm disappointed with how I did, but I'm ok with starting out in a lower level so I can erase 'blunders' and start sort of fresh.

After lunch (soup with many noodles, a bit of cheese, and potatoes, rice, lentils, some kind of meat, strawberries and cream and some kind of amazing juice - again, all for $2) we returned to split ourselves in groups according to our perceived level of Spanish proficiency. Beeline to the novice section! And it seemed like a good choice. I feel like I could keep up in the class, enjoyed the company of the other students, and actually learned quite a bit. I was the last person to be called away to have my Natural Resources Conservation interview with the coordinators, and they just asked me more about my skills. It was a lot like a short job interview.

Then I was told my host mom called and would meet me at the bus stop in town where I'd be dropped off. I just missed the bus, so I hopped in a taxi van that costs $.05 more. And my host mom wasn't at the stop. So I walked home the way she showed me yesterday, and had no problems - except I didn't encounter her all the way to the casa. And no one answered the bell! So I walked back to the stop (it's about 15-20 minutes away) and still nothing. So then I walked the main street to the bus stop where I go in the morning, and nothing... and walked back to the casa. By that time I was totally drenched from the rain, but at least Greta was there to open the door!

Dinner was phenomenal. In the States, I never really gave quinoa a chance. The taste didn't jump out at me, it was just... eh. But here, I almost feel out of my chair with glee when Paula said that was what I was having for dinner. For vegetarians and vegans and even omnis, it's the ultimate grain with a complete set of amino acids...basically it wins the prize for healthy food. So Paula made me a quinoa and potato soup, YUM. Carlos was around for a little while, and helped with some questions on my five-something-page homework on safety in Ecuador and Tumbaco. But then Paula took over, and then thankfully Mateo showed interest and helped me with most of it. Such a patient bro! He not only helped me fill it out, but helped me understand what some of the questions were asking (and sometimes what he would say).

Think it's time for sleep... 10 p.m. has been a normal bedtime for me the past week.


  1. About 6:30 a.m. so I can meet my amigas at 7:10 around the corner.