Thursday, February 26, 2009

a little birthday night

so, here's a post about the nighttime portion of my birthday. it will not be long.

1. a girl in our program, ella, gave me a lapdance and it was hilarious. it included a little motorboat action, a banana and she took off her top.

2. watermelon margarita, SO GOOD.

3. so we were dancing and these guys come up to dance with us...

a.) alexis is dancing with this guy and he bites her neck, she was like geeze umz, so she comes to dance near me and some others when we realize, HER NECK WAS BLEEDING. crazy!
b.) guy from the same group, but different guy is dancing with me when he goes to kiss me and OUCH it was more like BITING OFF MY LIPS. and i was like OUCH that hurt! and then he tried again and I was like seriously you have got to stop, and in translated spanish said, "that gives my lips pain. you need to stop or my lips will soon have blood. the kiss is hard." and then i left to go dance with some other girlfriends.

weirdos at the beach, stop making us bleed. honestly, my lip was swollen the next day.

pretty sure there is a class in this SECRET comp lab, so maybe if i ever get internet again, i'll post more later.

oh and really really quick, in our one class the teacher just got a new job and they always say he is working at the ministry.

obviously that means he is a wizard.

two gross things

my little sister and little brother chew loudly with their mouths open. they like to sit on either side of me. it is like surround sound torture. i'm not sure how, but this happens even with soup.

speaking of things that gross me out an inordinate amount...

over the vacation, all my pieces in ceramics got moldy. BARF. my prof tried to tell me "oh, mold is really good for clay." i still used little tools to pick up and move my bottle models.

more about my 21st (!!!) birthday

this post will cover the day part of my birthday: Isla de la Plata

Nik already mentioned that we went and hiked Isla de la Plata and that it was ridiculously exhausting and I'm pretty sure that I was delirious because i could only think of the following, "slow and steady wins the race" LIE. and also, "when the going gets tough, the tough gets going." and I thought that one through so much I didn't even know what it meant at the end. I was also having imaginary conversations (in my head, mostly) with the birds that went like this:

"well, deeeeerrr, I'm a birrrdyy." and then it would say, "and whooooo are yooouuu????" and then again, "deerrrrrrr, buuurddyyy." so maybe i was suffering from heat stroke, but you should have seen those bird eyes, they spoke to ya'.

and THEN ...


we met people. from the u.s. who were working on the island. what was their job?


lololololHA|HAHAHHAAlolol. okay, who the heck's JOB is it to CAPTURE LITTLE KITTENS and then MATAR them! that's all i'm saying, quite possibly, the highlight of the hike.

we also went snorkeling and even though visbality wasn't the best, it was wonderfully refreshing. i got to swim really close to a school of fish and snorkel with my mouth over a ?water pipe? that was probably never washed. the water was ridiculously blue and it was awesome.

also to note, zack made us all delicious breakfast and when we got back to puerto lopez, they surprised me with birthday s'mores annnddd birthday pretzels!! the least stale ones i've had. delicious.

yay birthday day. it was the first time my birthday hasn't been cold!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Blue footed boobie at isla de la plata!!! (pato azul)

Nos gusta farrear!

So we made it back alive from Montañita, but not without our fair share of noteworthy (and by noteworthy i mean mental) happenings. Here is a quick overview:

1. Held up at knife point in Quito on the way to the bus station to Montañita. TERRIFYING. Only pat's phone got stolen b/c a car came up and started honking. Needless to say never again will we choose to walk two blocks rather than taxi. never again.

2. After 9 hour bus ride to Guayaquil and 3 hour bus ride from Guayaquil to Montañita we arrive move into our sweet hostel, the only downfall of which was the rank raw sewage smell suffocating all those on or around the first floor. (luckily our room was upstairs and since we reserved rooms in advance we got the best one with our own private bathroom that functioned normally for at least the first 48 hours of our trip).

3. SURF LESSON: if you do not have much balance on land, you probably have less in water.  If you can't swim, you will probably swallow gallons of salt water. Also, who even knew that surfing required SO MUCH ARM STRENGTH.  Despite all of these unknown facts that would have been nice to know in advance, we attempted and even succeeded at one or two surfing attempts. Not without significant war wounds, including bruises, cuts, Kelsey's minor concussion after being smacked in the head with her board, and a blow to our pride after an hour and a half of failed attempts. 

4.  There is nothing more delicious than a fresh fruit smoothie made for you by a street vendor after 3 hours of sleep. 

5.  THe party never stopped.  It would start around 8pm and we would stumble in between 3 and 5am, but couldn't sleep because it literally NEVER STOPPED.  It was so loud outside! Complete with beach front clubs, lots of bonfires, delicious beverage and food stands lining the streets and non stop music and dancing.  There were hundreds of people filling the streets where dreadlock-headed hippies would play the bongos and their female counterparts would do ribbon dancing to the tropical beats. Once or twice the power went out, and the entire town that had been pumping to various reggaeton tunes would be enveloped in darkness and silenced for a split second and then erupt into screams as we were doused in water and carnaval espuma in the dark!

5. a) a quick note about the food stands.  They all sold this DELICOUS grilled choclo (corn on the cob) smothered in some type of mystery sauce and cheese and it was sooooo good. I ate alot of it. 

6. And we were constantly covered in sand.  I will tell you, my anal organizational tendencies received a smack in the face by montañita's lifestyle choices.  Constant sand in my bed, constant muddy sand all over our bathroom, periodic water shortages which prevented showering, etc. (Of course, kelsey found all the cleaning supplies within the first day and we would sneak them out of the janitors closet to clean our room when no one was around.)

7. We celebrated kelsey's bday at Isla de la plata (a.k.a. 'poor man's galapagos'), a short day trip from montañita. We endured an unbelievably challenging hike in sweltering heat where we saw like 3 blue footed boobies and my ears burned and blistered like i've never seen. We also went snorkeling in some of the bluest water in Ecuador which was pretty awesome.

8.  After 5 days of this craziness and a total of about 15 hours of sleep in all that time we made our way back to Lumbisi safe and sound, though not without various bumps in the road such as booking a direct bus that stopped every 10 minutes, and realizing that all transport out of montañita was completely full. 

Either way, it was sooooo good to be at the beach for 5 days and I just wanna go back!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grapes here have giant seeds and Chavez is taking over the world!

So its been quite a while since our last post, a testament tof how busy/overwhelming/depressingly rainy it's been lately.  Ok so over the weekend it rained freaking cats and dogs, which resulted in power outages etc.  What's more? Ridiculous derrumbes! Huge amounts of mudslides that look crazy, apparently this is really normal and happens all the time and no one thinks anything of the fact that the main thoroughfares of Ecuador are completely impassable between the coast and the sierra. 

Mudslides in ecuador!!! hope we don't die!

 We'll have to see where this leads us for Carnaval! That's right, Carnaval is coming up and the ecuadorian tradition is to douse unsuspecting passersby with buckets of water, silly string/foam stuff and water balloons.  Kelsey even got caught by some high schoolers and covered in paint. GOOD! Anywho, so this carnaval we're planning on heading down the Coast to Montañita, a sweet surfer beach with perfect weather, a surf competition and one endless party. Plus, so much sun!   
This is the hostel where we are staying (stayed) in montañita complete with lots of hammocks and hot tubs. so good!

Ok so i wrote this last week (Feb 17th) but just had to post it before i updated you on carnaval


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

free cake

really quick: today when nik and I went to help teach english in a school in cumbaya all the kids had had to bake CAKES for homework! (there was a pumpkin pie recipe in their english book) so anyway, for a few hours we got to look at delicious fruit covered cakes as well as EAT delicious fruit covered cakes, free of charge, delish!

second: all the bus stops and random places around town have people walking around in crazy uniforms selling a delicious treat called ¨bon-ice¨which is basically an ice-pop that only costs ten cents. very refreshing, very cheap. i´m all about the bon-ice.

third: carnival is coming up! woo!

fourth: the other day our university was giving out free beer. at like ten a.m.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pics from the first weekend trip

Nikki tries some cuy. YUM YUM in the TUM TUM.
we stayed here, it was built all by the guy who owned it and it was super cool

waterfall at baños

little babies everywhere

nikki at cotopaxi, in the snow!

here´s what my dad would have done for a living had he grown up in ecuador

really pretty, don´t deny it. look at them there mountains.

Shower Sex (yeah, you want to read it now.)

So my little brother, Martín (2 yrs) is sick. He’s been very grumpy and cry-y all day long and eventually I caught on that it was because he was sick. I think I also caught on last night when he was vomiting in the kitchen sink. ANYWAY. I feel for him, he’s super cute and no one likes a sicky baby.

Last night my dad’s cousin was in a car accident. The car FLIPPED on the road and was upside down and the roads to Lumbisí are so twisty-turny—thank god that he wasn’t hurt at all and didn’t even go to the hospital. Well, getting to the point of the story:

Since the whole family was up at three a.m. due to the accident, all the little kidney beans put themselves WILLINGLY to bed (without even saying goodnight) at seven-thirty. (Normal bedtime here nine or nine-thirty—and weekdays that goes for me as well!) I’m busy at this nice new desk they bought two weeks ago, drowning in a sea of confusion for my Themes of Latin America class when I notice that BOTH parents are preparing to shower and in fact BOTH parents ARE showering at the SAME TIME.

It’s cool that they want to take advantage of the rare moment of tranquility and freedom in this house. They’ve normally got a lot on their plate.

I mean, it’s cool AND it’s weird, because the shower room isn’t in a separate part of the house. I guess that’s why the dad kept turning up the television volume after I kept sneaking to try and turn it down whenever the room was empty… ANYWAY.

So I’m just ignoring the fact that I have to pee and I’m ignoring the fact that I’m pretty sure the parents are getting a little freaky-deaky in the shower, splish-splashin’ and all that shit when LO and BEHOLD little Martín starts screaming his lungs off.

I can’t ignore a sick baby! So I try my best to comfort him but when you’re two years old and sick all you want is your mom. In fact, I’m 20 and when I was sick last weekend I still only wanted my mom, so what’s that mean? It means: the kid isn’t going to stop fussing regardless of what I do for him. So what, you ask?



In fact, noone even answered right away. I actually took Isaac to the kitchen to try and get him either a cool washrag since he was burning up or some water, since he normally likes that. I had to wait for the parents to be ready and then the mom opened the door and called for him. And I had to bring him to her, while she was in a towel and the dad was still in the shower because Martín had settled a little bit in my arms and certainly wouldn’t have adjusted well to be set on the floor to walk to her.


No, wait, I’m wrong—that wasn’t stereotypical Ecuador that was just stereotypical my a veces stupid life.

A few minutes after the mom got dressed in the bathroom and came out with Martín the dad came out and sat on the couch, breathing hard with a hint of disappoint. It was weird.

Sorry this was long, gonna stop thinking about it now,

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bugbites and Beaches

Here is a quick update on our actual lives, a minor digression from our continually uninformative yet comical anecdotes:

1. Last weekend we went with our program to Esmeraldas, the northern coast of ecaudor. On Friday we went to a finca (farm) in the bosque tropical (tropical rainforest) on the Coast. We had to walk a little ways through rainforest to get to the farm, which was a little house with a completely open air first floor. They had a kitchen with stove and refrig and everything but no walls it was really awesome. We made chocolate from cocoa beans and smeared our faces with red berries that the indig folks use to block out the sun. Don't know why I didn't see it coming but apparently it rains a buttload in the rainforest. obvs. So there were torrential downpours that never stopped and we had to sprint back through the forrest to the bus. Clearly we were all soaked so the whole crew stripped down and used the bus as a drying rack while we drove to Tonsupa, a beach in Esmeraldas. Unfortunately nothing dried out cause the rain never stopped and we all just started to feel moldy.
2. Dude, you know when we do our own traveling we'll be staying in freaking ghetto hostels but you'd think when we go with the program they'd get us a place that isn't FLEA INFESTED. right so alexis, kelsey and I share a bed, and at 2 am we wake up to kstew puking her guts out. As if that isn't bad enough we all realize, or I realize for that matter, that i have hundreds, thousands of bug bites all over my body! we proceed to shower ourselves in bugspray and attempt to go back to sleep, but when I woke up in the morning I couldn't ignore the fact that I looked like a total leper or like i had scabies or something. Gross.
3. Saturday we go Estiro del Tigre, a super poor coastal village where we brought milk to the children and helped with some manual labor and mostly just felt sad about how totally hopeless the situation is for these super cute kids. Later we checked out Atacames, the main beach in Esmeraldas, a kitschy, more likely than not prostitute-infested, touristy, grimy and yet all at once lively and enjoyable nugget of ecuadorian culture. Tried ceviche there, i mean i know its like the national food of all coastal areas in south america but, just being honest here, not a fan.
4. Needless to say i wore long pants, long sleeves, and bug spray to bed saturday night despite the suffocatingly humid coastal heat. Alas, what more could I have expected upon waking up in the morning--a face covered in disgusting bug bites. Don't worry though, Sunday was definitely my fav. day of the trip. We went on a boat ride around the manglares (mangroves) on la isla del muisne, tasted some of the most delicious pineapple ever to grace the earth, road in some shady kramer-style rickshaws, burned on the beach and returned home safely.... Oh wait, did i say safely? What I meant was, there were torrential downpours that caused severe mudslides along the narrow, winding, clifftop roads where we were driving that broke the main bridge back to Quito forcing us to reroute and adding 5 hours to our trip. We got home at like 2am. AWESOME.

No matter how sarcastic and evil I sound in this post I want you to know that it was actually really sick and totally authentically ecuador--bug bites included. Kels is better, my bug bites are shrinking and all is well for now!!!!

<3 nik

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I've refound the art of squatting over a toilet. Back at home, somewhere along the line, I lost the precious skill, but for some reason, here in Ecuador, it's all come back to me--sort of like riding a bike I guess. Why has squatting once again become a prominent part of my life? One can never be sure. Maybe it's because I'm no longer peeing in cozy 269 or comfy 1018 with the people near and dear to me. Or (more likely!) maybe it's because in Ecuador toilets don't come with TOILET SEATS. I'm not really sure WHY but the tradition here seems to be

1. install toilets
2. promptly remove the toilet seat

and then an optional step three which is

3. check to see if there is toilet paper and\or soap in the bathroom, if there is, remove that also

And I'm not talking about the shady bathrooms we have to use on our trips all over the country. I'm talking about USFQ, people. THE UNIVERSITY. NO TOILET SEATS. And thusly squatting has returned. Full force squatting, 24/7. Long live the upper-thigh muscles.

Peeing like a champ,