Elena and I had a very busy weekend in Catazacon. It started with us traveling to the river (about a 30 minute walk) with a few of our oldest students and spending the afternoon swimming and diving. Our students showed us the ropes in fruit picking on our way back to the village…We’ve found that cacao contains some of the most delicious fruit here in Ecuador. When we got back to Catazacon we were lucky to get to meet up with Ben, Rani, and Amelia who came to stay for the night! We went to the sequia (swimming hole) with them and our students and then all headed to Elena’s house for a birthday party. After dinner, café, and a lot of singing we got to watch and take part in some traditional Ecuadorian dancing. It was a late night – we didn’t go to bed until 11! 🙂
Saturday was filled with a fruit picking adventure in the morning at Elena’s family farm. We collected about 300 oranges before we returned back to the village for lunch. The second half of the day included a trip to Moraspungo, church for Elena, and some chancho (or pig) washing for me with my siblings and then a dip in the sequia with all of my neighbors.
On Sunday Elena watched a neighborhood soccer game and spent the day visiting with her host family. I went to the market in Quinsaloma and then to a barbeque with my host sister. They sang karaoke for about 3 hours and then persuaded me to participate…needless to say, the song “I Will Always Love You” is better left to Whitney Houston.
All in all Elena and I are really enjoying Catazacon and our host families. We are getting to learn how to cook “real” Ecuadorian food, master the bus system to neighboring villages, pick fruit effortlessly, and find swimming holes with ease like our students do. This week has already started out incredibly well at school. We are beginning to teach “The Family” and then will move on to “The Body.” We will keep you posted!