Sorry for such a terse last post…this next one doesn’t promise to be too much longer. We’ve been incredibly busy since leaving Bua last Wednesday morning (before which I was incredibly busy being hit on by another drunk Ecuadorian, throwing up for the first time since 3rd grade, coaching Isabel to kill a scorpion in our living room (because I was sick and also too afraid to look at it…scorpions are in a scary bug league of their own as far as I’m concerned), and getting cleansed by our host grandfather because our family thought that both Isabel and I were suffering from “mal de ojo” (evil looks) and not, as we suspected, “mal de leche” (evil milk). ) Whew! That was a long and winding parenthetical.
So, what have we been so very busy with? Media projects! I’m in the text group this month, so we had to write summaries for the website about our time in Costa Rica and Ecuador as well as an article about the history of water resources in Bua. As time consuming as that was and as many late nights as we had, the other three groups had it harder. The Google Earth project group ended up not being able to use Google Earth because, shockingly, the people at Google haven’t yet found it imperative to take satellite pictures of Bua. They also tried to use the GPS map of Bua that some folks at Yanapuma are working on, but they ended up with PowerPoint. Don’t let that deter you though. I’ve seen it and it’s a far cooler presentation than PowerPoint deserves to drag down with its dull name. The podcast group was decimated by illness (Alexis, the only group member with Garage Band experience was out with a parasite and Dave was out with…not a parasite…but something) but managed to overcome that obstacle and their technological difficulties to put together a presentation that I would really love to listen to. I’m sure it’s awesome. I heard a rough version and it sounded pretty interesting. It was the video group, however, that had it the hardest of all. They had a few nights of not going to sleep at all and only finished last night (this morning?) at 2am in the Lima airport. I was up, too, and saw the finished product. I was very impressed and you will be too, but please, for their sakes, multiply your level of wow by 100. It was that hard to put it all together and they deserve the credit.
So now you’re thinking, “Huh. Those might be interesting. I’d like to learn about water in Bua and see awesome photos from TBB’s time there. I wish Becca had told me how to do that…” (If you are not thinking that, you should be). Well, lucky you, here’s a quick How To: Go to www.thinkingbeyondborders.org. Click on “Student Voices.” Click on Costa Rica for our summary of our time there, or Ecuador for our summary-ette and the media projects. Simple, no? Except…we’ve had some uploading issues so you’ll have to wait until at least October 25th…because tomorrow WE’RE GOING TO MACHU PICCHU!!! (And we can’t upload until we get back).
Our last few days in Quito weren’t all work and no play, though. Don’t get the wrong idea. I hit up the marketplace and got some very sweet knit hats to keep me warm on our hike and next year at college. We took a fieldtrip to Quito’s largest water treatment plant which was up on a hill so the view was beautiful. Saturday most of the group went on a hike, but I was feeling a little under the weather so I stuck around Quito – took a walk and ran some errands. I even found an English language bookstore (called the Confederate Bookstore…run by a guy from Virginia who bought it six years ago from his friend who was likely also from Virginia) and got The Beautiful and the Damned, a two-in-one by Virginia Woolf with Jacob’s Room and The Waves and some assorted long poems by Auden. Yay!
We left for the airport at 3pm Sunday for our 6pm flight. We arrived in Lima at about 8pm, collected our bags, went through customs and then camped out against a wall until we could check in for our 5am flight to Cusco around 4am. A few people slept. I didn’t really. I did, however, fill out my ballot, catch up on journaling and watch Silence of the Lambs which I rather liked (and Anthony Heald, an actor from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is in it and I recognized him right away and it felt like I knew someone in the movie).
When we finally arrived in Cusco we had a briefing with our the agency that will guide us up Machu Picchu (I’m terrified, by the way…altitude is TOUGH) and then were left to our own devices. Despite an overwhelming desire to sleep, we all went out and enjoyed the city. I did some major shopping, but since it’s 3.1 soles to the dollar I didn’t do major damage. I got a fabulous llama charm necklace (for some reason I’m attracted to anything llama…it’s my new favorite animal by far), a long pair of wool socks, wool glittens (the glove/mitten combo) and a tealish skirt like the ones the indigenous Peruvians wear around and also kind of like people wore in the ‘50’s.
However, it is late and I am tired and I’m not quite done packing so I’m going to sign off. If you don’t hear from me ‘til around Halloween, I’m sorry, but immediately after Machu Picchu we get on airplanes for three days and head to China. We arrive late on the 27th I believe…
Anyway, remember to check out the media projects! (Oh and also, the video of Correa addressing us at his speech in Santo Domingo is going out with the TBB newsletter and will be on YouTube under TBB).