I would like to make a general disclaimer for this blog that applies to all past and forthcoming posts:
Crazy, Dangerous, Embarrassing and Unfortunate occurrences make better stories!
We are story tellers, selective story tellers at that. We're not using this blog as a diary, or an account of all mundane daily activities. We're mostly keeping this blog to entertain you all, and nothing makes a good story like a crazy field trip, a mugging, rabid dog attacks etc. The point I'm trying to make is, we've had wonderful experiences in Ecuador. It's beautiful here and our time here has, for the most part, been incredible. You just happen to get the stories that make for the best entertainment. That being said, I'll leave you with a softy so we can stop being told by various related and unrelated parents that we should come home:
Last sunday morning I got up at 730am to go for a hike with my dad and my brother. My dad is a tiny indigenous man, probably about 5 feet tall, who builds houses, grows corn, and runs all the time. My brother is studying engineering. He's kind of a goof, not particularly athletic, but he's super nice and really smart. We walked up the path that goes into the mountains of Lumbisi in the chilly morning air. On our way we passed women heading home after collecting beans from 430am, we saw kids walking herds of cattle up into the hills to graze and we greeted and were greeted by everyone we passed. As we hiked up, my dad pointed out to me medicinal plants that can be used to heal sore throats, injured backs, poor eyesight, and more. As we ascended the mountain he showed me the view of the city: we could see my university and all the nearby towns. He pointed out Cotopaxi and Tunguragua, the two snowcapped volcano peaks that surround Quito. He told me stories about farmers in Lumbisí finding ancient Incan artifacts, pottery, agricultural tools and even from time to time bodies encased in gold, buried beneath their corn fields. He even showed me a few pots that he had found that we have around our home. He explained that when the spanish conquerers came, the Incan tribes buried all of their belongings in the fields and fled, hoping to return someday. When we reached the top, we took a rest together, my brother and i panting while my dad jogged in place. We walked back down, stopping at the community cemetery where my dad pointed out the graves of my mother's parents. His own father had been buried in Quito because, when he died in the hospital, the authorities buried the body without consulting the family as to where they wanted him buried. My mom's mom passed away when she was 3, and her father when she was only a little bit older. After about an hour of getting to know Lumbisi and my family a little better, we went home where my mom had breakfast ready on the table. It was an awesome way to start the day and one of my favorite experiences i've had with my family in Lumbisi.
(k. i know that was kind of sissy. just had to throw it in there for all of the worrisome adults following this blog. no worries though, next weekend we're going to the Amazon with a CRAZY anthropology teacher, so i've got high hopes for stories chock full of malaria, drowning, insect consumption, pooping in a pit and more!)