ellen vs. the volcano volcano

This is my personal blog and does not reflect the views and ideas of the US government or Peace Corps

20 October 2005

Good news from October

I guess it’s time for another update. Some fun things have happened and some good inspirational things at work. Work first-
I had my site visit with my APCD last Thursday, and I was a little nervous. But, it went better than expected. I was nervous because I spend a lot of my time with my counterpart telling him that I want to do things totally different than he wants me to. He thinks, still, that I should spend my time in about 100 different communities and give them the talk that he does then leave and expect them to work just like he wants them to. We already know that this doesn’t work because I have gone to some communities that turned in a list of for the committee that he wants them to form and said, “ok, lets meet!” and they say…. “what is this for…. Who is on that committee?” So, my job, I say, should be to be in the community motivating them.. and deing other PCV stuff too. The community asked me to do a women’s group for income generation- I was stoked and when I told Mayor Navas he told me to invite another volunteer to do that crap and to focus on forming his committees. So, back to the meeting part, I was nervous that my APCD was going to tell me to work like Mayor Navas tells me to, and just deal. He was totally on my side… it was great. He explained, like I have been every day, how any form of development helps people organize and feel self worth better, and that this will all benefit Civil Defense’s plan, and how that is what a PCV is. It was great. Later when Mayor Navas wasn’t there, he told me how Militares were super hard to work with, and he understands if I am frustrated and if I have any problems to just let him know and he will support me on anything. It was great. He also suggested some fun new things to do in my classes and groups.
Fun stuff- J was here!!!!! It was the greatest week ever. I was so incredibly glad to see her. It was a great time to take a week spent with a familiar face- not only did it remind me that I have people that love me, but made me see how much I love some people here. I really wanted to share them with J, and that showed me how important they are to me- Some volunteers, and this awesome family that lives in Quisinche, and my uncle’s fam (already knew they were the most important people in my life though). I would have loved to take her to La Chimba too, but it wasn’t in the cards.
We spent a few days in Pifo with Matt, Esmil and Alex, a few days by Tungurahua, with another Matt, and volunteer from Riobamba, and some time in Quito. What I can remember, it was all good times. There might have been some alcohol comsumed. She treated us to the Marriot the last night, so after I took her to the airport I went back and slept by the pool. My friend Megan came too- Might have been the worst idea ever. Apparently she has blisters on her back, but I just couldn’t sleep on my front or back for like 4 nights, and now itch. Not peeling yet, but looking forward to it.
The other great news is that I now have two of what might be the cutest kittens in all of Ecuador. Yes, they are playing with their toy mouse as I type. China cat sunflower is the cream one and the ring leader. Chimbo, the grey one, is incapable of doing anything that China Cat isn’t doing. I thought he was going to be angry his whole life, and never loving, but now I believe he will be the lap cat because he prefers to just watch and take it all in, whereas China cat is exploratory. They have both really come a long way though, as they were wood pile cats when I got them, and super hard to catch, being antisocial and all. Now they sit on my lap and eat my food and torment each other non stop. It’s great cheap entertainment.
kittens

Kittens on the "bookshelf" staring each other down



kittens

Kittens after they knocked the "bookshelf" over



kittens

they´re cute



Later today Dan, volunteer from Salcedo, about 30 min from here, is coming to help me start the Latacunga Brewing company. Thanks Pops for sending the ingredients! I think I have figured out a working make-shift equipo, but I will let you all know what happens. Cross your fingers for me, as I am quite sick of Pilsener (and Club and Brhama, which all taste exactly the same). Plus, if I have the only other beer in all of Ecuador, I can use it to make friends!
That’s it for now, I’ll write again after the sweet Halloween bash in Cuenca next weekend- it’s Halloween then the fiestas of Cuenca, so it should be a good bender, as I’ve heard it described before.