My Fourth Day in Ecuador

Trip Start Mar 04, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Monday, March 8, 2004

So I have been here for four days and I love it so far. Dale and I arrived on Thursday night around midnight and stayed in a hostel in Quito. Imagine our surprise when there were all the amenities of an American hotel. Friday we spent the morning at the Peace Corps office and got our introduction to Peace Corps Ecuador or as its more commonly referred to, Posh Corps. We received a welcome package that was way too organized. Our techinical training manual is on a CD. Dale and I were completely taken aback. Everyone at headquarters was great and we were whisked through there pretty quickly. At noon we drove up to our training site in Cayambe. We ate with some of our trainers and everyone was really supportive and happy to have us. Friday afternoon we sat in on a Ecuadorian history session. At 5pm I was taken to my new host family not really knowing any Spanish at all. Talking about a long dinner! My family is wonderful. I have a sister, 23, two brothers, 22 & 24 and of course a mom and a dad. I live in a house on the hill that has a small garden, a pen full of sheep, ducks, chickens, a cage full of rabbits and a cage full of guinea pigs. For you Haiti people, its cold but there is plently of electricity and hot water. I am not exactly sure if this Peace Corps or not!!!! Saturday I woke up early to catch the bus for our animal production field trip. We went to Otavali which is a big tourist destination. We were there to check out the large and small animal markets but we also got to see all the Andean artist wares. Dale and I kept wondering if we were on vacaction or not. The scenery was surreal. After Otavali, we went to a llama farm and played with the llamas for the afternoon. I feed them salt which they love, got a lesson in lassoing from one of the Texans, roped myself a llama, injected it with vitamins and let it loose. They are beautiful animals especially when there are huge mountains and volcanos in the background. Sunday, yesterday, I had five hours of one on one Spanish. To be honest, this is the only thing I am worried about. I have six weeks to get to the Intermediate Mid level and I am maybe Beginner High now. I understand a lot but can not speak or respond very well. Five hours of intensive one on one Spanish makes my head nearly explode. Its so much information I end up not retaining much. The trainers assure me that it will come and I have all the resources here at my fingertips. WeŽll see. I miss all you Haiti folk tons and I wish you guys were here with Dale and I. Otherwise, everything is great and please drop me a line whenever you can. Hasta luego! Mateo
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