Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beauty in imperfection.

The seeming obsession with perfection that I see in Bend is nonexistant here. Let me explain. In Bend, most people have a perfect house, with square corners, a tidy floorplan, pier one pillows on the relatively new and plush couch, spanking clean tilework and perfect edging on thier paint jobs. There´s a neat and orderly yard, with trimmed grass, a smooth walkway, flowerbeds, and if you venture up to the butte and take a gander at some of the million-dollar houses you will see incredible.... oh i seriously can not think of the word right now! But im talking about yards and water features that belong outside a five star hotel. Oh yes, landscape design. I have not used that word in a long time!
In Quito, and most of Ecuador for that matter, the cement block buildings are dirty, well used, painted in a variety of bright colors, highly utilitarian, and, above all, imperfect. The bathrooms are replete with hanging wires, and exposed plumbing, and the standard in paint jobs is that if the paint didnt ´splash too much on the floor or ceiling, then its passable. Aside from the apartment buildings, high rises, and some houses, I sometimes wonder if levels exist here. I also am stunned at the rapid pace with which the ladies trot along the crumbling, uneven sidewalks in heels. Stilettos sometimes...
Have you ever heard someone describe a place as "sterile"? (not to be confused with germs....) Meaning that its so new and perfect that it has no character? This is how I feel about many of the places in Bend. A feeling that nothing really interesting has happened there, that its so perfect that it makes the people themselves look sloppy.
I have yet to encounter a so-called "sterile" place in Quito. However, the beauty of a family with lovely children walking down a street past a pile of garbage and a stained wall topped with shards of broken glass to keep out robbers, is startling. Here, the people stand out. The arquitecture is of negligible importance. A woman would rather be neat as a pin, looking sharp and smelling good, than have a perfect yard... if she was fortunate enough to live in a house with a yard, that is. If there´s food cooking in the kitchen, and the family is content, that is more important than having all the latest appliences, and marble counters, with dishes that complement the paint in the dining room, and a state of the art stove.
I am not saying that there is no materialism here. It is just a different kind. However, I like the feeling that the people here are not as pressured, in general, to keep up the appearance of their houses to an extent that causes neglect of the more important things in life, and also, that they are not afraid to use things that are old. Things have a long life, and I think that many times, we dispose of perfectly good items well before their expiration date.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ahem... futbol ect

I went to an amazing partido de futbol yesterday, and it was an experience to remember! I am doing great, getting a lot more adjusted to life here, and i wish i could upload some more pictures, but for some reason, my computer is not letting me upload! Arrgh. Ecuador won the game, and everyone was happy. However, i heard enough bad language in Spanish to last me a while.... I have a Kichwa test tomorrow... if you read this post, pray that i will be able to remember all my stuff! Ñukaka Gracemi kani.... kikinka? ñukaka Bendmantami kani. Mana unkushkachu kani. Kampa yuyaypika, Mollyka alliallimi kan? He heeeee. betcha nobody knew what that meant. Ari. Nadie. Peace out, i will try to post pics later.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quito Ecuador

This is a very small part of a very large city.

If you go over to the right of the mountain and down into the houses, that is approximately where I live! Until December 20, that is. I have been trying to get used to the pollution, noise, and traffic, and so far I have not come too close to getting run over... well, lets just say that I'm glad my mom is not here to see me cross streets! I am studying at PUCE also known as La Catolica, and the first couple weeks of classes have been crazy!! I think that my final schedule is Quichua, Spanish, the Ecuadorian Amazon, and Ceramics. I woke up this morning thinking about what a pain it is to have to juggle things around and not know my schedule, and how hard it is to be so different from the Ecuadorian girls, and how I really don´t know what on earth I am even doing here! My Spanish seems worse than ever, but I think that is only because more is being required of it, and I have un poquito del gripe. A runny nose and sore throat. But that is all a part of culture shock, I think, which comes in waves. It's possible for me to be on top of the world, confident with Spanish, talkative and happy, in the morning, and then lonely and confused at lunchtime, and this can happen a few more times in the course of one day! It's interesting, to be sure. I have a student ID card now, which made me very happy for a while, and I'm in the process of registering my visa and getting my Cedula, or Ecuadorian ID card. After that, the paperwork will be at an all time low! Yay for no màs papers to fill out! Today we went to a museum with my Spanish class, and it was great. A very powerful depiction of the revolucion of Quito, and the fight against the Spanish colonization. However, I was reeeeaaallly tired afterward, and felt like I could just not absorb any more information, and no more Spanish please! I talked with the director of the choir today, and he said I could sing with them! Yay. I really feel like i need an outlet. It doesn't seem like there is anywhere in this city to be alone that is not dangerous, and sometimes I just want to yell really loud, or sing at the top of my lungs, or run in circles, or something, but I don´t want the attention that such behaviour would draw.... hehe. If you have a chance to look up Mindo on the web, do!! It is an amazing town in the middle of a cloud forest, and i went there last weekend with some other oregon students. Here is the cloud forest, and i think that the little white stuff is the town. I didn´take the photo, so Im not sure. Peace out for now, and i will update more later!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Last day of Class!!!

I am feeling really uninspired and uncreative right now, with an 8 page paper, a test, and a Spanish project ahead of me. However, I should be done by Monday or Tuesday of next week, and that makes me very glad! I have nothing else to say. Someone give me an idea for my next post.....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Weather Man is Confused...

Well, here it is the next to the last day in April, and it was sunny at 8, snowing at 10. I had no idea what to expect this afternoon when I'm supposed to go play tennis outside.... so what did I bring with me? Shorts! Brrr. I hope that it warms up about 20 degrees in the next two hours. Hmm, not likely. Oh well, a little freezaroo will toughen me up for whatever adventure life throws my way, right? Right. Besides, I like snow.... at least I did at the beginning of the season. Tell me again why I turned in my ski instructor uniform so early???

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's Time for a New Post!

There, I made a new post! Ha.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Life is good, and God is even better!

Sometimes I experience those moments where I actually realize how good life is, because of the overwhelming goodness of God! The closeness and unity with other people I've felt this last week brings joy to my heart, and I'm realizing more and more that my relationships with others are so much more important than anything I can "get done", or any accomplishments that I may deem somewhat praiseworthy, in a moment of pride. If I can share this goodness with other people; living, breathing, possibly world-changing beings who matter infinately more than things; I count that an accomplishment.

P.S. I know that Molly is going to do an amazing post about I Heart LaPine, so I won't even go there! =)