...it´s been forever! And I currently have roughly 16 minutes until I have to catch a bus to leave for the weekend, so here goes nothin...
Happy Halloween/All Saints Day/Day of the Dead! Since they don´t celebrate Halloween in Ecuador, it was up to the 17 of us U.S. born volunteers to bring the holiday of ghosts, goblins, and, most importantly, candy to the Centers´ 2,000 kids and adults. This required lots of planning, hours spent in the kitchen, multiple trips to the mall (a place we all try to avoid!), and way too many spanish explanations of the Historia de Halloween! This resulted in approximately 8 parties over two days, not including individual class parties, and tons of hyper, excited, rambunctious kids! It was really fun though to celebrate Halloween like I never have before, with people who never have before. I have to say, I didn´t miss trying to think of a costume that fits the unique, cool, creative, and slutty college requirements! Instead, I put together my best "teacher dressed from head to toe in black and orange for Halloween" outfit and called it a day.
The focus of celebration here is today, November 2nd, Dia de los Funtos (Day of the Dead)...AKA, day off! and that explains why I am currently at the internet cafe, racing to write this blog before I leave for the weekend. About 14 of us are heading four hours south to Baños - a touristy town known for its natural hotsprings, beautiful waterfalls, and hiking/biking trails. I plan to spend most of my weekend doing the latter (biking) since I haven´t ridden in 2.5 months and I miss it tremendously! As much as I feel like I should spend the weekend at home, resting and preparing for next week, I´m pretty excited to see another part of Ecuador.
Last weekend, three of us took about 10 kids to the big city park to ride paddle boats. It was cool to hang out with some kids I don´t know very well, but the highlight of my day was when one of them spotted a group of gringos across the park and yelled, "Kay-lEE! Kay-lEE! Mire! Otre voluntarios!" (Translation: "Keely! Keely! Look! Other volunteers!" Yep, they think that all white people in this city are volunteers, and that we all know each other. :)
Whew, well, times about up. Hope this will do...at least until next week. I enjoy blogging and receiving comments so much, and I truly wish I had more time to spend on it! I´m constantly thinking of blog ideas and things I´d like to write about, it´s just a matter of finding enough time to do an adequate job. Thanks to all you avid readers who keep me consistent!
Lots of love,