Amigos con derechos

My Spanish classes are paying off. Today I learned the Ecuadorian term for Friends with Benefits. So, you see, it´s useful information that I will use in the real world. I am understanding more by the day, but as far as speaking goes, that´s coming along much more slowly. I almost went rounds trying to locate my water bottle earlier at the Internet Cafe. Luckily the Ecuadorian people are exceedingly patient.

That´s one thing I have to say about Bahia. The people are so friendly. I´ve never had so many strangers smile and say Hello to me. I mean, yes, I am most likely volunteering to do some good in their community as I am most obviously a gringa. But they could also be bitter or just keep to themselves. But they are a very friendly people. And most of the men are not threatening or sleaze infested in their greetings, but rather friendly and sometimes overly curious.

My favorite meal of the day here is breakfast. I can eat whatever I want and as much as I want and take as long as I want. I never considered myself a slow eater until I came to Ecuador where my fellow volunteers are forced to wait for me to finish picking at my food. One thing I have learned from this experience is its best to be master of your own stomach. The woman who cooks for us, Marta, is absolutely lovely. And she has willingly accomodated my distaste for red meat and pork though occasionally I do eat chicken, I thought this was only fair. But the food here is very rich and heavy in dairy and my stomach is just not having it anymore. Essentially, my digestive system kind of hates me.

I fall more in love with the students at Primero de Octobre every time I see them. That´s the public school I am teaching at and the students are from farmers´ families. They´re just so beautiful and eager to learn that it breaks my heart that they might not be able to discover their full potential due to a poorly drawn hand somewhere along the line.

I miss my dryer. You know that machine that sometimes shrinks items accidentally? Well spend some time in a country without one and you´ll start missing it. Here my clothes are washed by a tiny woman named Felicidad who speaks very quickly and very Spanish. She bangs our clothes on a rock and rings them out and hangs them up. And, thus, my clothes have lost all shape. Which is really disheartening for a girl with curves. And yet, the Ecuadorian women manage to find fabrics that require them to pour their sizely asses into pants. It is remarkable. The Ecuadorian women are small in stature, but they´re holding it down where it counts. It´s no wonder the Ecuadorian men are so appreciative of women.

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