Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just My Luck

Today, after our guides decided weather conditions were too bad for the planned parasailing adventure of the morning, I thought to myself, "I guess it is just not in the cards for me this weekend..."

And then I promptly mentally slapped myself back to reality.  It seems in this country you have developed an overly high standard for an excellent weekend.  Dude, you had ice cream yesterday.  Twice.  In the United States would be like the best weekend of the month!  You are in a truck, on a mountain, with new friends, seeing a famous lake you read about in a book.  Not to mention it is a gorgeous day, and the family of a coworker has taken you in just for the heck of it to show you a good time.  Of course it is in the cards for you!

So yes, I did have a bit of bad luck this weekend, consisting of three major issues:
1) My travel buddy got the amazing opportunity to go on a weeklong trip with her host bro because she doesn't have to work at her internship this week.  And, as thrilled as I was for her- and I am, how cool of an opportunity!- I was a bit disappointed to cancel my travel plans and have nothing to do.
2) Someone squished my camera on the buseta, rendering the screen and therefore the camera (because for some reason they did not also put a little eye window on Kodak EasyShares all the way back in 2007) useless.
3) And then I didn't get to go parasailing and probably will not be able to because all my weekends have been filled and I am guessing there is no parasailing in Cuenca.

And to myself I say, boo-hoo.  Therefore, this post is about what an AMAZING weekend I had anyway, and just how lucky I am.

1) How cute is it that my coworker called my host sister (they are friends) to invite me to spend the weekend adventuring with her daughters just upon hearing of my predicament???
2) I ate a fish.  Like one that was fried with scales and eyes and everything.  And yes they laughed at me because I didn't like it THAT much, but I still ate it, almost all of it, by myself.
3) I went to my first ever Ecuadorian party that was just of young people.  The daughters are on a rock climbing team, and their trainer had a little dinner grill out.  It was a strange dynamic because he is 33 and acted like one of them, but otherwise it felt like when I hang out with my friends in college, and I really missed that atmosphere.  It is lots less common here because people live with their parents until they are married and also for me because I do not have Ecuadorian family members my age, so it is hard to meet people my age.
4) At this grill out, I ate a hot dog.  Well, two.  I actually missed hot dogs.  Also popcorn and mate.  Popcorn and mate deserve their own celebratory blog post, practically.
5) Ice cream count of the weekend- three.  Due to generosity, I only paid for one.
These are Ibarra's famous ice creams. They put the ingredients (just sugar, fruit, and egg whites) in a big copper pan and spin it around until it freezes. It is delicious and special to the region.

6) I watched my first horror movie.  Yes, first.  Ever.  (I may have been avoiding them on purpose...) And then I went to bed in a strange house with strange noises and slept like a baby.
7) I got to see the most beautiful view of Ibarra- and the famous Yahuarcocha, which translates to "Lake of Blood." This is where the Caranquis fought off the takeover of the Incas (and lost quite badly).  They say that the body count was over 30,000, and the lake turned red with blood. Today it was just a pretty lake, though.


8) I saw the coolest environmentally friendly house ever- one of their relatives built it himself, bit by bit.  It was built directly out of items in the environment, part of the plumbing system uses rainwater, and it definitely has a lookout on top where you can chill in a hammock.

9) There they set up a little discoteca for us because they know how much I like to dance.  Everyone was a bit embarrassed movin' it to reggaton at 3pm, but really every weekend needs a bit of bachata, so I'm happy about that.
10) I made Ecuadorian friends my age- lots of them, considering the nieces and nephews of my coworker also came along.  They are super nice people and hopefully we will hang out again before I head back to the U.S.

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