Saturday, March 5, 2011

Family visiting means plenty of travel

In absencia, since she´s in the Galápagos with her family right now, Becky writes about having family from the States visit her and Manna in Ecuador.  

Two Thursdays ago, my brother arrived in Quito.  I was excited for him to visit and see all the cool stuff I have been doing since July.  The day after he arrived, I brought him to Zoë`s and my cooking class for the Aliñambi nutrition program.  The program has started out very successfully and we’ve made some delicious and nutritious food.  In class that Friday we made a cream of spinach and lentil stew along with fruit salad, for which the kids brought all the fruit to class from home.  We also made some great jugo de mora (blackberry juice).  The kids really enjoyed this week`s recipes and even asked for them so that they could make it again at home.  Alex enjoyed helping with the class and trying to talk to the kids.

Two weekends ago, I took my brother to Tena, a town right inside the jungle.  There, we went on a daylong whitewater rafting trip, which was really cool.  It was a great way to get inside and experience the jungle.  Unfortunately, we both got food poisoning during the weekend (which is expected every now and then in Ecuador, especially for newcomers).  We missed hiking the caves outside of Tena in the morning, but the sickness passed pretty quickly and we were on our way back to Sangolquí the next afternoon.

My parents also arrived last week to visit.  They, along with my brother, visited the Manna Centro to see me at work.  They really enjoyed taking a tour of the Centro and looking in on the children’s art class.
I`ve been super excited to show my family around Ecuador.  Last weekend, we spent a lot of time in Old Town seeing the old churches and visiting museums.  We also went to the artisan market and Mitad del Mundo (where the equatorial line is located).  As you read this we are heading back from the Galápagos for a five-day cruise around the islands!

It’s really awesome having my family around to visit.  They get to see where I live and work and be a part of the great experience I am having here in Ecuador.  A feel that a lot of the time, while the people you love back home definitely support you, they do not exactly know or understand the work you are doing.  It’s nice sharing with my family a glimpse into my life here.

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