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Brittany: A little easier

November 1, 2010

Things were easier today, and it makes me more optimistic about my time here.

At work we had a half day of pretty intense manual labor, moving wood and metal and picking up trash. We’re not exactly sure why all of this is laying around. They just finished constructing two buildings that will be a library and a museum, so we think the debris is perhaps from the construction. We worked with some other men that were really funny. They talked to us about all the things we can do in and around Tena on the weekends, and even made us a list with little tips, like “ask for Freddy.” After working for a few hours, one of the guys pulled out a sack of cold Budweiser’s. It was a little ridiculous to have a beer at 11:30 in the morning but very refreshing!

For the second part of the day we learned how to give tours of the island, which we will start doing tomorrow. I am not sure how we are expected to have memorized all of the plant names after hearing the information just once…but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it. I’m excited for this part of the job. It will be a really great way to practice my Spanish. It also means we will work a lot of weekends but I don’t really mind. The other students are working a lot too, so a day off just means I’d be at my house all day.

My family is very nice and I’m getting more comfortable in the house. I was momentarily freaked out yesterday after work though because my mom told me the shower was broken, and that I should shower in the backyard, which is in full view of the house… I ended up just showering in the bathroom. The water pressure was really weak, but it was the same as the first night and good enough.

One thing I’m not so excited about is the fact my family is very religious. My Quito family came off that way at first…but they ended up being really fun and very relaxed about their religion. For example, my Quito mom wants us to go out dancing together when I get back in December.

This family is quite different. They apparently do not believe in smoking, dancing or drinking. They told me this after I explained how much I enjoyed taking salsa lessons in Quito… Anybody seen ¨Footloose?¨ I may have to break free and dance in some creepy construction site like Kevin Bacon.

May not hear from me for a few days. I am headed to Coca, a place near here, to see the impacts of the oil industry with my professor.

–Brittany Libra

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