Posts Tagged ‘Otavalo’

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Sara: busy week in Otavalo

November 21, 2011

I figured I would update everyone on whats going on in life right now, it seems like its been awhile! I am still at my internship in Otavalo in the Hospital, I have been observing doctors and nurses in Emergency, Surgery, Gynecology, and the Birthing Center and I will be going to Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in the next 2 weeks then I head back to Quito for a week then off to Bolivia! Time is sure flying by!

This week was crazy, a friend and I did tons of things! On Tuesday we went to an indigenous healing center where we got “cleaned with an egg.”  The egg is used in indigenous medicine to diagnose illnesses, my cleaning said that I have a little pain, but other than that I was a very healthy person. We also hiked up to an exposition building that is shaped like a hummingbird (the national bird), but we got to see a lot of original artwork by an artist from Otavalo.

This weekend though a friend and I stayed in Otavalo instead of traveling to see all that we could here. On Friday we went out to dinner and then to my host dad’s birthday party where we sat and talked forever with my host family and friends. Then we woke up at the crack of dawn (6a) to go the animal market.  Here all the people come from all around the city and country to sell their animals, there were tons of pigs, bunnies, puppies, chickens, roosters, cows, calfs, bulls, guinea pigs, cats, ducks, llamas, alpacas, goats… everything! I have a few pictures attached. Then after that we went to the food market and the artisan market where we got some more souvenirs and did a little people watching. It was a great time!

On Sunday Shelby and I went to a laguna, which a lake formed by a volcanic crater.  We even took a boat ride around the lake and learned all about it. It was really beautiful to see, we hiked to the top of one of the nearby hills to get a great view of the lake.  To get there we took a camioneta, which is a pick-up truck taxi where we sat in the bed of the truck. It was fun! After that we went to this little house on the outskirts of Otavalo where we got full body massages, it was amazing.

This coming week I am only in Otavalo for 2 days, I head back to Quito on Tuesday night for a workshop at my school and then I am heading to Cuenca, a little artisan city in Ecuador for Thanksgiving. I am super excited, it is the last place I wanted to travel to while I am here! 

Jambi Huasi - The egg cleaning The Hummingbird building Animal Market - Guinea Pigs Animal Market - Cattle Animal Market - Llamas Animal Market - Ducks Animal Market - Carrying Chickens Animal Market Food Market Meat Market Artisan Market - Jewelry  Lake - Shelby and I Lake Lake - on the hike 

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Sara: Banos and the move to Otavalo

October 26, 2011

This past weekend I went to Banos! It was so much fun, and everyone has been asking me what we did in Banos… the answer EVERYTHING! We got there on Friday night and ate some great Filet Mignon and then on Saturday we walked around the city, took a tour of the waterfalls in an open-aired party bus then hiked up and down a mountain to see the waterfalls, had a 2 hour massage and facial for only $35!, rented a go-cart, drove that to the hot springs, then had another amazing dinner at this restaurant called “La Casa de la Abuela.” Then on our way back to returning the go-cart we got stuck behind a 15 minute long funeral procession! Then on Sunday we went white water rafting (this is waaay more intense then a little river) with wet suits, life jackets, and helmets. We were in a boat with 3 guys from Poland which was super cool too! Although, the guide pushed me into the river and I had to get rescued by one of the Polish guys. It was fun nonetheless. We then took the bus home after saying goodbye to the awesome old couple that ran the hostel we stayed in and helped us with everything on our journey…we made record time back to Quito (3 hours).

But today I was up early and packed.  I moved to Otavalo (2 hours north of Quito) and am currently living with my new host family.  I have a mom, a dad, a sister who is 12 and a brother who is 9.  I start my first day of my internship in the Hospital tomorrow which I am really excited but a little nervous for!

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Sara: Busy week

October 17, 2011

Wow this past week has been crazy for me! My friends and I went to “El Rey León” or The Lion King in 3D (and yes in Spanish).  It was super fun listening and watching the movie and all the songs in Spanish, but knowing what they were saying in English too.  I have been incredibly busy finishing classes here and working on tons of homework and essays! On the 24th of October I will be starting my internship in the ER and possibly also in a Psychology Office, but we’ll see about that one.

This past week I also planned my trip to the Galapagos Islands; I will be going November 1–4.  I am so excited we get to visit Tortuga Bay and the Charles Darwin Research Center.  The trip is going to be incredibly fun! I also had my first experience with the Ecuadorian Post Office this past week which was awful… I went to get a package my parents sent me on Thursday and they took a copy of my passport and told me to come back on Friday.  So I returned on Friday to get another slip of paper which said I needed to pay a tax for the package at the bank which was 8 blocks away.  I walked to the bank, walked back and waited another hour and a half for my package, and I was the only person in the Post Office waiting.  By the time I received my package and left it was 5:30 at night, it took me 2 days and 2.5 hours!  Although, the peanut butter that my parents sent me made it all worth it in the end! Here a little jar of peanut butter (12 oz.) costs about $6.00!

Right now though I am writing yet another essay and getting ready to move to Otavalo for 6 weeks.  This coming weekend I believe I am traveling to Baños, which is a volcano with a hot springs, so it will be a really nice break before starting my internship!  But I am halfway though my entire stay abroad which is crazy to think about, time is moving my so fast! I will be in Bolivia in no time!

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Chelsea: Cold milk? What?

September 20, 2011

Back in the swing of things…back to my “reality” of classes and family time! The trip this weekend was fantastic – just a short 2 hour bus ride away from Quito! We tried out some different types of food – Ecuadorian-Mexican and Ecuadorian-Chinese, both a little different than what you would get in the U.S., but delicious. Otavalo is known for its huge market, and we definitely took advantage of that all Saturday morning! It was fun to look at all of the scarfs/jewelry/crafts and was a good test of my Spanish skills to bargain for my purchases!

Later in the day, we finally found an open tourism office and convinced the man there to let us go horseback riding, even though it was slightly raining and it was later in the day! We went on a horseback ride for over 2 hours through Indigenous communities and some tight mountain passes. My horse was deemed “alegre” (happy), and it definitely lived up to that—it had no concept of walking and liked to pass the guides. I definitely loved it.

We had our first essay due yesterday. Yikes! It’s hard to get anything academic done here with all of the distractions, but my group managed to crank out the 8 page paper in no time.

…just another full week of classes (without any trips, boo!), but should be fun!

This week has been full of cooking. My family had spaghetti (Ecuadorian-style) on Sunday and I made cheesy garlic bread that my family loved! This morning I made pristiños (a type of donut with a honey sauce…) to share with my Spanish class and tomorrow is my brother’s birthday so I’m making my family a breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon! 

…and this morning I got Trix.  My brother was eating them for breakfast and I think my drool tipped off my mom that I wanted some. It was delicious, despite the 10 minutes of making fun of the fact that I eat my cereal with cold milk (they drink it warm!). Worth it 🙂

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Sara: Otavalo/Mitad del Mundo

September 19, 2011

This weekend I went to Otavalo which is like a huge marketplace/town where I bought tons of awesome souvenirs and stuff.  I got some really nice Alpaca sweaters which is a great purchase here since the weather is chilly (like 50) in the mornings and then reaches about 70 every afternoon.  I found out will be doing my internship in Otavalo as well in a 24-hour Emergency Room at the Hospital de San Luis de Otavalo.  The city is super pretty and the main population there is indigenous people.  At the market we saw everything from scarfs and headbands to whole pig roasts and herbs you can buy by the pound.  On Sunday I went to Mitad del Mundo (the center of the Earth) which was amazing as well.  We took 2 buses and the Metrobus which is kind of like the light rail but Ecuadorianized. I attached some pictures from Mitad del Mundo to this post check them out!

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Kelly: solamente una semana más en Otavalo :(

April 29, 2011

Some pictures from the week. Many are of Cotacachi. I see her out my window every day and get really excited when there aren’t clouds covering her peak. In the indigenous cosmovision, all parts of nature have a gender (i.e. Mama Cotacachi, Taita/Papa Imbabura). The most wise and respected Yachaks of the community are the ones who assign gender to the grand landmarks. The genders can change or be more masculine/feminine depending on time, weather, and current characteristics of the natural feature.

I rode a horse in el Parque Carolina across from my house yesterday. Wow, les extraño mis caballitos! It was great.

I’ve been called “jovencita” (joven= young, cita= an affectioante, diminutive add-on that is used a lot here) several times, by different people, once I disclose my age. I wonder if it’s true. The typical age guess for me has been about 24. It’s one of those things I won’t be able to recognize until I’m past this life-stage, right? Like when I was in fifth grade and thought whatever little click I was part of “ruled the school,” and then came sixth grade all of a sudden and we got our egos checked.

Luzmila, Humberto, Maiya, Itumi, and I took an adventure to el Lago San Pablo today. It was beautiful. The local communities used to supplement their diets with fish from the lake, but then an invasive species was introduced that ate all/most of the fish inidgenous to the lake (colonialization happens in waterlife too!). This fishy lives in the very bottom of the lake, so is hard to catch. There are also problems of pollution and receding water. Despite this, the lake is gorgeous and gave me peace. We took a motorboat tour of half the lake; Itumi pointed our every duck to me, “Miraaa Kelly. Un pato allá, y allá, y aquí…”

We went on a walk after eating fruit and bread on the dock. We were trying to get to El Lechero, but we ended up above la Cascada Peguche. I didn’t know that San Pablo supplies the waterfall before this; I have a better idea of the geography now 

Most of the soccer fields can also double for swimming pools. Hay demasiada lluvia en este momento.

Itumi, enthralled by feeding the ducks. “Mis hijos, mis hijos,” he kept saying.

Lago San Pablo

Boat tour over half the lake

Would like to mention that there is a pair of adirondack chairs suspended on posts above the water… don’t think this picture shows them.

Totora- it grows in quantities around this lake and many local women earn a living (well…hopefully) from constructing tortora mats. Most indigenous families use these mats under mattresses, as doormats, and/or as beds.

Taita Imbabura (can you see the heart?)

El corazón de Imbabura

Estimado Peguche: Te encanto. Mejores deseos, K

Now to continue working on my beast of a paper…

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Kelly: The past week

April 20, 2011

Jueves (14/4): Completed a couple of interviews with people. A friend made a Chinese soup with shrimp for lunch. My tutor and I tried to meet in Ibarra to talk about my paper, but we couldn’t find each other and the cafe we agreed to meet at was closed and buses took longer than normal. It was three hours and an entire 90 centavos needlessly spent on buses (round trip, mind you).

Viernes (15/4): Did more interviews. Had a meeting with Emilia from CIMAS to talk about how my internship is going and what I’m doing. I had a hard time explaining that last part because I don’t necessarily have a set schedule, but I end up doing a lot of little, varied things that make the days fly by. I got a bit overwhelmed in realizing that a) this paper is going to take a lot of time to write/complete, b) I only have two weeks left in Otavalo and, c) I only have 4 weeks left in Ecuador. Emilia was very complimentary of my project though and said it’s something that’s never been looked-into before.

There was a going away party for several Ecuadorian friends (and friends of friends). Two people are going to Venezuela (separate cities though) and two are headed to Chicago for nine months. I left the activity at 4am, which, I found out later, is when things started happening. It’s probably a good thing that there will be less people to hang out with in these last couple weeks… I hope it will help reduce my procrastination.

Sábado (16/4): Transcribed interviews for a while; it takes so long to do, especially when there are words in Spanish I don’t recognize or screaming babies in the background who make it difficult to hear. Had fanesca at the family of a friend’s house. Here’s how wiki translated some information about la fanesca: “

“The fanesca is a soup typical Ecuadorian cuisine , is traditionally served during the period of Easter (or even a week before). This is a soup that is served hot. Tradition from Spain. Its preparation brings the whole family several days before getting down to work to peel the beans and let the soup more delicate, so are taking away the grain, grain husks. The fanesca is all a celebration that marks the Ecuadorian culture, is about teamwork, sharing and enjoy the cooperation of all members of the family, the Andean tradition, the wisdom of the elderly, children’s hands and the time of the grandmothers. Cooked in milk and cod. This exquisite dish blends indigenous tradition of Spanish culture. In honor of the twelve apostles, has 12 ingredients, including grains are typically Andean such as: corn , quinoa , lupines , beans , peas ,lentils , peanuts and beans . It tastes very special and delicious. Its scent back to the grandmother’s home preparations.”

Anyway, it was quite good and I was easily welcomed into the family affair. Out of necessity, I’m getting better at denying seconds and thirds.

After a nap, a friend and I hung out in the Plaza de los Ponchos for a couple hours: people-watching, making up movie-scripts about stray groups of dogs, and playing a second of hot lava monster. We joined others to play Jenga at a pub, then braved the rain to go dancing. There ended up being a huge fight—evidence of which remained in blood splatters on cars. When they started letting people in/out of the bar again, the energy was tense and we witnessed the beginings of more conflicts. Maybe the full moon had influence.

Domingo (17/4): Went with Humberto to the start of a soccer tournament in Iluman (I think?) called “Llullu Muru Raymi Pascuas La Bolsa,” which I assume is Quechua. It’s an indigenous tourney for kids/young adults, and like all indigenous festivities here, food was not lacking. During the comencement ceremony, the madrinas (which translates to “godmother” but has different significance in this situation as most of the girls were under 18 years old) of each team and the madrinas of the tourney in general were recognized and the organizers and other women of the community presented their gifts of food (chicken and potatoes or a quantity of cooked grains). Once all the grains were dumped onto a sheet in the middle of the field, tended by several women and circled by hungry dogs, it was an unorganized rush to grab handfuls of the communal snack. Humberto didn’t have a bag with him, so we ate out of his cupped fleece jacket as we walked to Peguche to meet up with Luzmila, Shryi, Ishanti, and Itumi at the church.

So it was palm Sunday, right? Did you know that there is a species of little birds who live in the special type of palm-Sunday tree whose numbers are endangered because of the desforestation of this plant? It’s true. Which is why it’s not allowed to use that type of plant anymore—any leaf will do. Luzmila brought the tops of two stalks of corn and we carried the now-blessed bundle with us back to the soccer fields to watch a game or two. Shyri had been upset that this was the first tournament he hadn’t played in in nine years, but he ended up meeting up with friends who let him join. From everything I hear, he’s a great jugador and is always participating in some tournament or pick0up game.

Lunes (18/4): Worked on transcribing. Conducted two really interesting interviews. One with a holistically-minded gynocologist and the other with Luzmila. Found out that before pharmacists sell anti-conception or birth-control methods to women, they ask whether they are married or not; this helps explain why the pregnancy-rate of teenagers is one of the highest in South America (also, 94% of sexually-active young people know about birth control methods, yet only 42% use them). Men are not questioned about their marital status. Oh machismo—it manifests in so many ways. From a liberal, feminist, equal-rights perspective it’s interesting to live in this culture that degrades and highly values women at the same time. I don’t always know how to deal with it.

Went to Regina’s house to have fanesca with her host family. Every family has their own special way of making it and each claim that their grandma’s is the best. (I preferred the first type. It had peanut butter. PB always wins).

Martes (19/4): More f-ing transcribing. Practiced to a new Dave Farmar yoga podcast! Helped grind chochlo to make a colada. Will be meeting up with a friend to hang out before she returns to the states.

Also, did I ever post a picture of me wearing the anaco? I have proof…

 (I’m staying in Cesar’s room. He told me once that he likes the indigenous from my country and has dreams to meet and marry one… explanations for the wall decoration)

At the wedding. One friend of Humberto’s told me I should always wear the anaco. I think I look like I’m 12.

Erika and I took pictures with Photo Booth today. She’s been in a surprisingly friendly mood compared to the usual blank face she gives me when I try to chat with her.

 

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