Edit Blog Post
Published: June 21st 2011
A few of the other volunteers brought extra medical supplies and toys for children to donate, so today marked a work/sightseeing trip.
Mariana, Lucho, four other volunteers and I set off first to Otavalo to visit Paige who was working at a day care there. We arrived a few hours later at a small village, bumping and bouncing as we drove slowly up the rocky road to the school. About 40 kids between the ages of one and five greeted us with smiling faces and muddy hands. They flocked around us as we were shown the various school rooms and art projects that littered the tables. As we went back outside to a slight drizzle they couldn´t be happier to have pictures taken of them, waving enthusiastically to the camera and jumping in the mud and puddles, not affected in the slightest by the cool weather.
Bouncing back down the road the kids all waving and shouting good-bye in their native Quetchuan language, we then drove to Pimampiro to drop off the medical supplies to the small clinic/fire station there. We were instantly greeted by a flock of elderly men and women from the retired home next door who
all said hello to us individually and seemed very glad to see some new faces. We had a traditional lunch of soup with popped popcorn (my new favorite thing to eat here) tons of rice, chicken, avocado, tomato, plantains and raspberry juice. We then met a friend of Mariana´s, Patricio, who is the Dueño of a hacienda and a huge farm. There he raises livestock, grows corn, makes his own cheese among other things and has received diplomas from a variety of universities around the world including UW-Madison! He knew all about Wisconsin (and Iowa, for that matter) because of all the agriculture there. He also served us a few generous shots of some watermelon liquor that he has started producing and selling around Ecuador. Tasty.
As we drove through rolling, green mountains that make up the Andes to Ibarra, we passed the valley of El Chota, a village made up of Afro-Ecuadorian inhabitants. Beans are grown in great quantity here, but the valley is known more famously to be the homeland of many famous Ecuadorian soccer players. In Mariana’s words, ¨here, they know only two things: how to grow beans and play soccer.¨ It´s a shame that this
is how many Ecuadorians see these people who, in reality, have brought their own rich culture to Ecuador, particularly with their music and dance. They are very well known for marimba and bomba music, and as Nancy told me, ¨they are born with the music and dance in their blood¨.
We then headed to Ibarra, a beautiful town known for its colonial white-washed houses, and known as the White City. People paraded through the streets having just come back from a Copa del Rey soccer game that was held there.
After making one more stop at the market in Cotcachi and picking up a few last gifts we all needed to barter and buy, we made the winding trip back to Quito, the full moon brightly guiding the road home.
Tot: 1.363s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 10; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0286s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.3mb