Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday Night Fun

On Friday nights, all the volunteers get together at one of the couple's houses. I make some food and others make dessert and we have a wonderful time. It is my favorite day of the week. One perk of living in a third world country in South America is the box Concho y Toro wine that is only $2.80. Don't knock it until you've tried it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A day at the market

We just happened upon this very Ecua market (a.k.a. we were the only gringas there) the other day... anyone hungry?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A poem for Thanksgiving

Oh it's funny the things you miss,
aside from the very obvious,
like shiny pink Chanel lip gloss
and bright green turtle flip flops.
Skirts you cannot wear
because of perverts everywhere.
Erin's pub's gigantic mugs
followed by gentle belly rubs.

Eating garlic linguine on Kate's floor
and watching falling snow out the kitchen door.
All at once it comes flooding back
every memory hidden in that intimate stack.
Ones you forgot you even had;
the good and the bad.

You no longer mind being called Batty
because back then you weren´t such a fatty.
You give up bread despite your desire to become a French baker
because now you are an adventure taker.
Thursday nights on the couch,
your favorite candies in a secret pouch.

Your best perfume,
the beer and food you used to consume.
New items Whole Foods is pitchin',
puttering around your own kitchen.
Your best friend's laugh,
excel math,
fresh crisp fall air,
walking down the street without mustering an objectifying stare.

I remember Walt Whitman on his ceiling,
he was the only one to return the feeling.
How she held my hand
while listening to Paul Simon and his band.
I'll always be fond
of that summer night at Colby pond.
Nor will I forget your face
when I walked into our favorite place.

Oh how Laurie will never know how much it meant
that package that she sent.
Villanova Basketball,
the famous word wall.
Whiskey from her sock drawer,
not knowing what we were reading ancient love letters for.

Dinners at spooning close at Danforth,
drinking pinot on the porch.
The wonderful, loving Steele family
and how they always gave happily.

A hundred times over the stair
even though he never showed a care.
Doing dishes at 121,
basking in the New England sun.
Margaritas and 'Dirty Dancing Havana' on cold winter's nights,
the warm dim glow from recessed lights.
Happy hour with my karate friends.
The letters that she always sends.

Singing 'Sunspot Baby'
with dad is never a maybe.
The fat cat in the chair.
How he played with my hair.
The porch club,
A luxurious bathtub.

Glossy magazines and books,
innocent sultry looks.
Crayola markers and their creative powers,
admiring your glorious sunflowers.
How I miss the thrill of driving,
but here it is is like voluntarily dying.
The wonders of the Internet.
How I felt the day we first met.

Beth and my daily phone calls.
Clean and friendly bathroom stalls.
Warm water,
The Lewers's daughter.
The list goes on and on
for the plethora of thoughts will never be gone.
Getting paid,
nail polish with Sunshine at Rite Aid.
Our little trips,
stealing sips.

I feel I've lived a thousand lives,
as it all comes pouring out of the archives.
I just wanted to take a moment to say,
that I think of you ALL every day.

I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude.
I miss you and love you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The curious incident with the shower in the afternoon...

So showering here is interesting. Ecuador doesn't exactly have anything like what we have at home: get in and turn on the water, VOILA! Constant hot water is very rare and a highly prized commodity. Cold water is used for everything. That being said, two different types of showers exist: gas and electric. My first house (by the way, we moved AND have a fridge now, woohoo!) had a gas shower. Let me attempt to explain how this worked: I would tell my host mom I wanted to shower and she would go outside and light the fire for hot water. I was hesitant to attempt this myself until one afternoon when I was desperate. I grabbed the matches from the kitchen, opened the door, and stood in front of the propane tank and pilot thingy on the wall. I stared intently for thirty seconds until I decided to be brave despite my enormously overwhelming fear of burning the house down. I flicked the switch on the gas tank, which let out a whistling and whirling noise. Ok, I think. Next, I moved the lever on the wall to one for hot water and attempted to light about five matches before I could get one to stay on fire long enough for me to light the pilot in the very small hole above the lever. (Picture a big white box. On the bottom is a lever that moves horizontally. In the middle of the white box thingy above the lever is a small hole with lots of metal coils. You have to light the fire in the hole. Not an easy task.) Everything seemed fine and I didn't burn the house down, phew. I ran upstairs to turn on the water. It was freezing. I returned to the "backyard" to check for flames. Nothing was happening and the pilot was out. I said a prayer and lit it again. Success. Another journey to the bathroom upstairs ended in another cold water discovery. I just wanted to take a freaking shower! I returned to the gas tank to investigate further. The pilot was out again so I attempted to light it again only this time, a back flash like flame busted out in my face. The little white box blew up! Luckily, I immediately put my left arm up to protect my face and quickly turned the gas tank off. The fire went out instantly. I checked my body for damage and discovered I had burned most of the hair off my left arm but managed to keep the remaining parts in tact. I even had eyebrows and eyelashes, which seemed like a miracle after the GIGANTIC flame attacked me. The wall unit appeared to be ok, but I was in no mood to try again. Needless to say, I gave up on the shower after that. I still do not have hair on half my arm. Lovely.

The shower in our new house is electric. Don't ask how it works, I have no idea other than the shower head is plugged in and we somehow manage to avoid electrocution but our showers are what I would imagine what it would feel like if someone peed on you. Highly unpleasant.

Shockingly, I never really feel clean...