Wednesday, July 14, 2010

T-Minus One Month

I know, I know, I haven't written a blog in a couple weeks, and I'm sorry, but I just don't want to write a post that just tells you what my daily routine is, Uber boring. Need to keep our faithful readers somewhat interested...

Time is winding down for me in Baños. Today marks exactly one month and I will reunited with Dalene who I miss ever so much, and reunited with my passport country, which to be honest, I don't miss much at all.

To say the least, it has been extremely difficult to be apart from Dalene for this long, but we both knew it would be. The cochroaches in the apartment have become my new flatmates but do a shitty job of keeping me company, so I resort to offing them.

Say hello to my little friend

Again, thankfully for Skype I am able to see Dalene (when the internet is working), but I don't know how many times I have just stared at her for a few seconds, then told her to get her ass on a plane and get back here. Overall the decision for me to stay (and Dalene to go) was the right one and we have no regrets. My time here has been ever so rewarding. The experiences, the kids, the volunteers (well most of them), and the family at the BIB have been incredible.

Anyway, here is what has happened over the past couple weeks:

- I got my Visa extension!!! After 4, 8 hour round-trips to Quito, I finally was handed my passport with the extension in it. RELIEF!! Of course, needless to say, the other volunteers and I went out and partied to celebrate.

Yo y Sam

- I decided to take on instructing Yoga classes for the children. With the help of Cecilia (a volunteer from Spain) it was a huge hit and we ended up having 2 classes instead of 1 because of the amount of kids who signed up. The kids seemed to really get into it, although I am still having to teach them the meaning of "tranquilo" at times.

- On the weekend some other volunteers and I decided to take off for a day trip to Rio Bamba.

waitin' for the bus

The city sits at the base of extinct Volcan Chimbarazo. On a clear day the volcano is supposed to be magnificent. In fact, the volcano has the famed reputation of being the highest point on earth. Because of it's longitudinal position the volcano actually sits higher than 7000 ft than Mt. Everest. So if you want to get as close as you can to the sun, this is the mountain that you need to climb.

Although touted in the tour books as being a delightful city with beautiful scenery, we were not fortunate to get a clear day and so the distant views were not spectacular.

We had only a day to spend here, and we stuck around town. We got to experience the mercado mayorista which turned out to be just a huge vegetable emporium and not the market we were looking for. So we eventually found our way back to the centro and were able to take in what beauty Rio Bamba had to offer. On Saturdays the streets shut down from traffic and vendors line them for about 6 square blocks. They sell EVERYTHING, from fruits and veg, clothes, batteries, nail clippers, and animals.

Oops, wrong market

Chris and Sam, we found it eventually

Yes, they sell everything...

Animal market

One thing about traveling is that you have to have patience and an eye to see the beauty that every place has to offer. Given how long I have been traveling, it takes a lot more to amaze me. But being open to new places and aimlessly wandering does have its benefits. We were able to capture some cool shots of the city, and some art in the form of wall graffiti.

Having spare time on the weekends means that I need to find things to do. For some reason I had a craving for chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. Sam had told me that her sister's birthday was on Monday, so that was the only excuse I needed to get my ass in gear. The result was awesome!! Too bad that her sister couldn't have enjoyed a piece with us.

As a result of this, the BIB will be hosting a Birthday day for all the kids at the BIB and guess who's baking the cakes. Uh huh, this guy.

We have a busy month ahead of us. The BIB is planning a yard sale at the end of the month and a benefit concert. Classes are in full swing because school is out and the kids want to take English lessons. The classes are nearly packed and finding a desk space is pretty difficult these days at the BIB. Some of us are thinking about escaping for a quick trip out to the coast, which I am really hoping happens. I would like to see the ocean one last time before I make my way home.

Sam has done an awesome job painting some of the furniture in the library. Amy and Chris have taken on a handful of English classes, and new art projects for the niños. Sam and I have tackled an Inter-cambio (an exchange for English and Spanish speakers to improve on their language) on our own and it actually went pretty good, at least we think the crowd enjoyed it.

We truly are FAMily here.

Until next time.


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