ellen vs. the volcano volcano

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07 September 2005

Santo Domingo and the Tsa-Tchili people- Aug 17-19

Peace Corps, with a little coaxing, finally let me go on one of the trips to see another part of Ecuador. We went to first to Santo Domingo, a large, dirty and dangerous “coastal” town, about 4 hours from the ocean- considered coastal because it is down hill from the Andes. There, we stayed in a convent, and lived it up- it feels good to drink in the house of the lord, while giving charlas on “como planear mi vida.” The next morning we got up to go visit a site with the Tsa-Tchili people of the coastal jungle. There are only 7 tribes of these people left, but they are amazing. They live in communal villages where the traditional wrap-like skirts and the men paint their hair red. This is done because they believe that this is what saved them from dying of disease, as their relatives did, when the Spaniards came and conquered. We went on a little jungle hike and they showed us the plants, edible and medicinal, that grow in their forest, and we got to wade in a sweet river, and cross it on a super sketchy bridge.
That night we went to Puerto Quito, now in the transitional zone between the mountains and coast, and stayed in a nice little hotel with a pool. We raced all evening, to one end, chug a beer, and back. The trainer, Perla, won every time- she rocks. This dude Ben cut the shit out of his leg trying to jump over plastic chairs into the water, and by trying to jump over them, I mean running right through them. Good times all in all- a nice break from everything else.

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