Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ecuador May 15, 2008

Ecuador May 15, 2008

The whole world walks in Ecuador. It could have something to do with poverty and people not being able to afford a car. Another excellent reason is to stay off of the crowded and unsafe roads. I have never seen a bus travel at a high rate of speed but they do here.

Each bus has a driver of course but each bus also has a conductor. It is normally a young man who hangs out of the front passenger door taking fares from people. He also shouts instructions to the driver about when to start and stop. That is where the organization ends.

I have seen children as young as four years old both enter and depart the bus without the benefit of having the bus come to a complete stop. They kind of make a leap of faith hoping to make it into the bus or off the bus. No one grabs them and the conductor also steps aside to allow for a complete leap. There is a church here about every ten feet. Maybe they all have an angel helping them or they are buoyed by some very serious faith.

My new instructor Miguel is great. He is about forty years old and very calm and collected. He makes a point of stopping on a regular basis to ask if I have any questions and if I understand what we are doing. My afternoon instructor Edwin would talk a mile a minute and never ask for confirmation that I even heard what he had said. My former morning instructor Yadira Ordonez was very well paced and patient. It was easy to learn from her. Hopefully Miguel will be around for a while.

It was a very quiet day in the Athens of Latin America. It rained all day but not hard enough to impede doing something. I had a long list of new irregular verbs so after lunch I sequestered myself in my room to study. Time well spent.

Elena my house Senora told me last night that Julie is moving out on Sunday. Julie had mentioned earlier that she was going to a beach resort with a friend for two weeks and then coming back to Cuenca before she goes to the Galapagos. I think that she is seeing someone here from the school. I met her and a guy in the street this week and she made a point of not introducing him to me. Women would understand this. It is kind of like bringing your boyfriend home to meet your parents. Some level of commitment if she introduced her friend to this old guy who lives in her house.

I get up at 4 am every morning and have for years. I can watch CNN here in English and this morning I was interested in listening to the pundits talk about John Edward’s endorsement of Obama. I guess I was too interested as Julie had to knock on my door to ask if I would turn down the TV. I guess it is gratifying to have a 28 year old woman complain that a 66 year old man is making too much noise in the middle of the night.

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