Published: May 28th 2008May 28th 2008
So the last few days haven´t been overly exciting, but I don´t mind.
Our Spanish lessons have been going well, and today the teacher took us to the market (which is very close to our hostel and we had no idea it existed) and taught us some relovant words and generally conversed in Spanish. I´m really proud of myself for initiating the hostel switch, since the other one was more about partying and fun it was somewhat out of character for me to be the one wanting to leave while Nancy wanted to stay, but I´m trying to take this trip very seriously. A lot of people donated a lot of money to this and they sure didn´t do it so I could go out drinking with crazy Australians. Vashti arrived and tonight we switched into a bigger room since Alisa arrives at 11. Our new room is much better since it has a window (the other room the window was actually the door into the bathroom) and a shower that has it´s own little cubicle. We´ve been eating a lot of the local fare, since there are a bunch of places by our hostel and school (which is one block from the hostel, muy cerca) that have lunch for $1.50. Lunch is the big meal here and the $1.50 meal is usually soup, fresh fruit juice, a hot plate of rice, beans, and some kind of meat, and a compote or fresh fruit for dessert. I´ve discovered a delisious fruit called tomate de arboles which supposedly makes you lose weight so that´s rad. I´m also a fan of naranjilla, which is a small fruit that looks like a mandarin orange but has a bit of lime flavor and is generally just really refreshing.
Today we also went to the central bank museum. It was really interesting, gave a history of all the different groups to colonize Ecuador, with artifacts for each one. There was a lot of really strange and interesting pottery. It had a room that was just filled with golden fingurines and decorations, as there have been many indigenous groups in Ecuador who worship the sun, and Ecuador has a few gold mines and gold panning areas. Apparently all of the Central banks of Ecuador are now museums, since they went through ´dollarization´(that you Secret Garden Pub Quiz) and now use the US dollar as currency and so they have no need for the ´Bank of Ecuador´.
Tomorrow we´re going on another feild trip in Spanish class to some churches (I think) so that should be fun. We may also visit the women´s prison int he afternoon. It seems bizzare to me, but there is this woman form South African in for drug smuggling who accepts visitors fromt he Secret Garden hostel and gives them a tour of the prison, which is like a mini city with shops and restaurants and stuff.
Anyways, miss you all. I´m still working on getting stamps for postcards (learned the word in Spanish today so mwe´re getting closer) hopefully I cna get some in the mail soon.