Greetings all. So to catch up on the past couple weeks...still in Olmedo with Doña Edita and still not terribly ill. This Friday (4 more days) we find out our sites! Everyone is speculating and voicing their hopes but in the end it´s all out of our hands. If I had to choose, I would want to live in the rainforest or the highlands. Everyone just talks about how miserably hot the coast and rainforest are but at least the rainforest has all the rare stuff (plants and animals) that you would never get to see anywhere else. Look at me speculating and hoping...to continue with the story now.
2 weekends ago my group took a cultural trip to Cotacachi and Otavalo. Both have a high population of indigenous people most of whom speak Quichua in addition to Spanish. In Cotacachi we went to a waterfall called Cascada de Peguche which was amazing. The water was freezing and it felt amazing to stand under the fall although a bit painful. It was quite a comedic site for the Ecuadorians seeing a crazy group of gringos screaming and laughing in the water. I cut my foot in two places which was a bit of a bummer but I´m all healed up now and I still got to play in the volunteer soccer tourney. That night in Cotacachi we did homestays with indigenous families. I stayed with Jacob with a family of three. Milton, Mercedes, and I can´t remember the name of the 5 year old daughter. They were nice people and we had radishes, lentils, and rice for dinner. The next morning Jacob and I went with Mercedes to harvest corn and beans in their farm with her 3 year old niece. At first the little girl was really shy but then as I was bending over to picks some beans she jumped on my back and whispered in a develish voice in my ear "MATA." Of course in Spanish this means "kill" and it´s hilarious because after she said it she it would switch back to a cute little girl laughing in your face. This continued for the rest of the morning and now "mata" is quite the joke with our group.
Later that afternoon we went to Otavalo which is home to the biggest flea/crafts market in all of South America. The main area is called Plaza de Ponchos and is full of all kinds of cloths, trinkets, and all sorts of random stuff. I really wanted to buy some alpaca clothing but I should wait because if I get placed in the coast of rainforest they will not serve me well at all. I did however buy a sweet cowboy hat, a white buttonup shirt with indigenous designs, and a charango which is a very small guitar-like intrument. It has 10 strings and sounds awesome when played correctly. The problem is that it´s tuned totally different than a guitar so I have to relearn all the chords and finger positions. I will be a charango shredder after 2 years. We ate some fried tilapia with yucca and rice from a street vendor in the market and it completely rocked my world for $1.20. God I love it! The market was great and once I find out my site I may be making a trip back to get alpaca clothes. We shall see.
Aside from that, training has pretty much been....well...training. Mucho trabajo and mucho español. We had a fun medical session last week about dangerous insects and wierd skin diseases (pictures included). Tomorrow we have a medical session on STD´s and pregnancy (pictures included I assume. Should be fun. Last friday we had mañana deportiva where each town of trainees, and the staff had a soccer team. There were 12 teams in all and after a long day Olmedo finishd 2nd and yes we did get silver medals!!! Not to mention we beat the staff 2-1 to make the finals. Needless to say they were not happy. Amyway I have to go now but I promise I will put pictures up this week and hopefully a video of me killing a guinea pig which happened yesterday. Tommorow I will post that story because it deserves a post of it´s own. Love to all and thanks for reading. Drop me an email every now and then and keep me updated on life back home. Ciao.