What have I been up to lately?? Mostly just working, classes, biking, and spending time with family/friends here. This weekend was pretty great. Friday night I went out with some people from Ciclopolis and others in my program for Charlotte’s birthday. We went to a sweet club and danced until 2 am! It was way fun, except for the fact I had to get up at 5:50 am! On Saturday we started our new session of workshops teaching women to ride bicycles. That went well; I was able to communicate better and help more than in the last session. I then went with my family to my aunt's house in Cumbaya (right outside of Quito) for my grandparents anniversary. Ohh my! This house was amazing! My uncle is an artist, so everything was really creative; all the walls were painted in bright colors with really cool paintings (done by him) hanging on them, antiques, lots of plants, and really just a cool modern design. Would have been nice to have my camera! During the meal the grandkids and kids made some speeches..and everyone was crying and I was even tearing up and it's not actually my family! I'm such a sap sometimes.
Sunday was the Ciclopaseo and it was suuper chevere (cool) because I helped with the organization 350.org (great organization! Check it out on the web!) passing out stickers and talking to people about climate change. I met a girl that works with 350.org in California and is partnering with the sector in Quito for an “action” event this upcoming weekend. So she’s been here for about a month working on promotions. I hadn’t thought of it before, but how perfect would that job be for me?? I could save the environment and use my spanish! Ha. After the ciclopaseo I went to the Mitad del Mundo, or the equator, with my family. Well actually I went to both of the “equators”. Because one is where the monument is built (where they originally thought the equator was) and has all the touristy stuff (it’s like a little town!) and the other is the actual geographical equator that they found via GPS. It was fun to see, but a bit over-hyped. Today I went on a field trip to Tumbaco to see an organization called “Red de Guardianes de Semillas" It was super sweet! They do a lot of different things, but much of their work focuses on education of sustainability, responsible eating, alternative technology, organic farms, biodiversity, and other environmental issues. We talked all about alimentation and how important it is to buy local products or grow your own food and the problems of hunger in the world. We also talked about how a lot of problems (with food products) come from countries depending on exports when they would be better off just using the resources in their own country. The couple in charge was really sweet and down to earth as well—I wish I was going to be here longer to do some volunteering with them. Well, this upcoming weekend I’m off to Esmeraldas (on the northwestern coast) to learn about the effects of the fish/shrimp companies on the Ecosystem there (or something to that extent …I’ll give a full report upon return!)
The actual Mitad Del Mundo!