Sunday, October 30, 2005

i love it when the phantoms of rain linger in the environment, the damp, the humidity, all just suggestions. the freshness, the newness of it all. it smells of life. more of a buried feeling than a sensation, i guess. reminds me of more images than really have even entered through my eyes…upturned earth, moss (when is the last time i saw moss in guayaquil?), birds and rainbows... the rainy season wakes up every morning to this…the days swelter and burn, fester and sweat away, but the mornings are always new…un-disturbed puddles, beadlets on cars windshields, blank white skies. it’s all waiting for me to breathe it in. i ain’t scared of phantoms of rain. a bird couple built a nest in my windowsill a couple weeks ago. I never caught sight of the eggs, but today was the hatching. ugly little things, aren’t they? the new life that greets me every time i move the curtain aside makes my heart light.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

i ate your cookie today, megan. sorry, i couldn't think of how to mail it. and josh and daveo, if you visit me, i will PERSONALLY take you to a clasico del astillero, i promise. i probably wont wear blue, though. i've decided that was probably pushing it. ---------------------------- mercy and i were alone today to lead kids club, all our other helpers left on seperate little, when confronted with an hour in front of a group of forty 3-10 year olds, we acquiesed veggie tales. i noticed a little girl...she was way too young for kids club, she was so tiny... she was wearing her older sisters hand-me down dress and it didn't fit her right, and the zipper at the back had been left open. there were two uge of them reached from her shoulder to the middle of her back, the other one was almost parralel, a littel lower down...glue and green and even scabed over in places, where the skin broke. this tiny creature. i asked her cousins, the only explanation "her mom hit her"..."she dropped something"...i couldn't even get the girl to talk, i don't know if se CAN, and yet she committed a crime worthy of such a beating. and i want to do so much more than hold my open hands up to heaven and ask questions.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

cookies to anyone who reads all that.

dodging flying rocks and broken bottles, I stop to think, "wouldn't this make an interesting blog?"

i wasn’t scared until the end, when i was in a pascualeña bus full of yellow t-shirts, chanting soccer fans, and a pounding bass drum, and karen decides to tell the guy standing in the aisle next to me that i support the blue team. let me go back to the beginning i went to a soccer game today. not any old soccer game, a clásico del astillero, Barcelona (yellow)vs. Emelec (blue), the sworn rivals, the two local teams who hate each other to bits and whose rabid supporters get into huge brawls with each other at every game they play. i went with Karen (Barcelonista) her brother Ronald (Barcelonista), Rachel from Canada (timid Emelecista). I myself am also Emelecista, ¡DALE CAMPEÓN!, thank you very much. It was Rachel’s idea. She wanted “the experience”. I know what these games are like so I wasn’t gong to let her go alone, and I wanted someone street-smart like Karen and well connected like Ronald to come along, too. So, we hopped into a pick up truck on the highway, full of Barcelonista’s, and we’re off. Personally, I’m used to being in the minority. As a general rule, Barcelona is the more popular team, and definitely has the louder set of fans, so my reputation as an Emelecista has made me the butt of a lot of friendly or not so friendly banter over the years. But I had my blue t-shirt on; I wore it proud… and a white one on underneath…neutral. In case things got hairy. The game itself was quite the “experience”. On the way in, we saw a woman duct taping bottle after bottle of gin and firewater to her leg, under her pant-leg. Rachel was taking a lot of pictures…we sat in a middle section, no “barras” (fan clubs…though the image that conjures isn’t exactly the right one…when I think of fan clubs, I think Backstreet Boys concerts…you should think British hooligans, with beer and pot and fireworks…)…the Barcelona barra (Sur Oscura) was concentrated in the North section of the cheapie seats, to our right. The Emelec barra filled the section directly opposite us…an ocean of blue. When they came into the stadium, all together, running and yelling and pounding their drums, the police had to herd them away from the fence that separates their section from the Sur Oscura’s. They didn’t want trouble before the game even began. When the teams came in, the barra’s exploded, as they did for each goal, of which there were only two (it was a tie game…1-1…probably for the best…Emelec wasn’t getting many chances)…the foul language of the soccer songs wafted through the airwaves and made me chuckle pretty constantly. Karen knew all the words but mumbled the bad ones. Ronald was over in the thick of the Sur Oscura, pounding a drum and doing know knows what else. He lives for this. Our section wasn’t the organized riot that the Sur Oscura was, but it was definitely a sea of yellow t-shirts. I was sitting behind the only other two Emelec fans I could spot, and that was a little bit reassuring. I don’t know how we got away without being drenched by a cup of beer or piss, though. Lucky. When the game’s over and it’s time to leave, I can feel the pressure rising. That probably would have been a good time to take off my blue shirt and fade into the crowd. Karen is safe with her yellow one, and Rachel is wearing pink. But blue…is vilified. One the way out, we had to duck some substance being tossed between two warring factions behind us, and rush towads the door. Someone pushed. Someone pinched our behinds. Someone suggested ripping the t-shirt off by force. Outside the stadium, someone tried to steal my purse. I held on tight and they ran away empty handed. Ronald meets us ouside and tells me to quick, take it off, take it off, and everybody, put their valuables inside rachel’s bag, and he’ll hold it. we all grab on to each other and move with the crowd towards the road. Ronald leads us into the thick of the exiting Sur Oscura cheering it was a tie game, doesn’t mean they can’t have a good time, right?...Ronald knows everyone, everyone knows him…he leads us on…we’re walking on the highway with this mob of fans. The police crowd us along. Someone starts to run “The Boca del Pozo are coming!” The Emelec fans. They have a reputation for violence and vandalism beyond the Sur Oscuras, and that’s saying something. I felt so out of place with the Sur Oscura, even though my blue t-shirt was stuffed in the dark recesses of Rachel’s bag, I still felt conspicuous, and would have much rather been with the Boca del Pozo, who cares if they are violent? They wouldn’t do anything to ME, if I were on the right side of this brewing war. In a split second after the first person starts running, its mass panic. Everybody is running. The police are chasing us away, hurrying us, and at the same time trying to keep the Boca del Pozo people restrained for a little longer. If the two factions mix, it will be worse than panic, there will be blood. Were running, Karen is screaming, Ronald is saying “Just walk, just walk”…immediately in front of us, I see this guy smash a television-sized boulder onto the pavement, and dozens gather to pick up the pieces. Guys are stopping everywhere to pick up stones off the ground. I know what THOSE are for. The police don’t have riot shields for nothing. Two beer bottles smash to our left. We keep running. You have to hurry but be completely aware of everyone and everything going on around you at the same on the highway, rocks overhead, glass on the floor, the person next to you, and make sure Ronald still has Rachel’s bag! Suddenly, salvation! Karen has managed to convince one of the motorists to let us in to their van. We pile in quick. close the door on the crowd of people who also wants in, get safe from the growing threat of the police and the Boca del Pozo. We’re all panting. And laughing now. We have to duck in case of flying rocks breaking the windows, but we feel safe. Karen and Rachel hug. Ronald and I share a hearty hand shake. We watch the chaos out the window. Rachel tries to take a photo of a group of policemen. Phew, relief. The van drops us off and we travel a bit further with a gang of Bacelonista’s…climb into a bus that will take us across the city to our homes…climb into this bus, I must add, along with 40 Sur Oscura members, complete with drum and banners and whispered warnings to the bus driver, to turn the lights out and close the door else the Boca del Pozo spots us. That’s when the incident described at the beginning happens…and I want to kill Karen. More colourful soccer songs…I bite my Emelecista tongue the whole ride home, I’m petrified, but almost there. I swear, if the Sur Oscura had asked me then and there on that bus if I was Emelecista, I would have understood exactly how Peter felt the first, second and third time before the rooster sang.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

podría vivir el resto de mi vida en español i could live the rest of my life in spanish ------------------------------------------ me siento...fatal. me enteré de algo que se suponía no me iba a enterar. pero, bueno. me gusta enterarme de cosas y saber la verdad la verdad es que rompí un corazón o estoy a punto de hacerlo y sin querer ------------------------------------------

Sunday, October 16, 2005

yes, it would be fotogénico. and skype would be interesting except i connect to the internet from a public internet cafe...with no, maybe interesting isn't the word...more so, improbable.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

1000 odd words

every friday and monday some of the students come over to play soccer. their footy boots aren't fancy, but they're functional. and sometimes...fffffotogenic.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

english class today...grrr. sometimes, i feel like such a failutre as a teacher. this kid...he looks sweet, huh? HE'S NOT! He's a robot, carefully disguised as a kid, he's been planted in my kindergarten class by some evil scientist...he is a torture machine...years have been spent to program him so he knows exactly what to do to transform me instantly from being normal to being VERY ANGRY.

Beware if you ever find him staring back at you in a class YOU teach. You might be tempted to be kind. I would say, no. Tie him down as soon as possible, and sit him on his own, so that if you fly into a rage at him, you flailing arms wont injure any innocent bystanders.

People think kindergarteners are pretty tame. Looks at those evil eyes and tell me that kid is tame.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

the wall

the walls of my house are white. sometimes, i want to fill them the infuriating part is, i could fill them. i'm allowed to. so far, i've only filled a square foot of it. my friend carlos filled a space twenty times that big. my friend armando said he was going to do some graffitti too, sometime. but if i had paint, and time, what would i fill it with? rain and black and white patterns and faces...words, words, words...which words? any words. all the words you could fancy. landscapes and colours...lots of colours...i want proof that people in the world can still love (i found a love note on the street the other day. a stranger loves a stranger. how breathtaking! do you ever look into other cars on the highway and wonder where those people are headed, and what they are talking about, and what their relationship is to each other?) anyone who wants to can come fill a wall in my house. there are lots of them. at least 11.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

scrap metal from ecuador

went to eat at one of my students houses today (Jorge) fish soup and fish on rice with some beans..menestra. menestra is my favourite. after the meal, his mom showed me pictures, of her eldest son who was killed at the age of 20, of Jorge when he was younger (he is hydrocephalic)...of their relatives in the country... during the meal, the dad interrogated me on canada ("how many people live there" "do they have fish in canada?" does it rain in canada?" "do they have rivers in canada?") and, randomly, china ("is it true they are building a hydroelectric plant there for the whole world?" "they don't grow crops in china, right? they just have soil on their roofs to grow cucumbers")...all very amusing. the kind of conversation where you wish you had your best friend there so you could catch their eye and make them giggle. so, i guess he was talking about that three river dam, but, i definitely don't think it will power the whole world, and i also don't think they are building it out of scrap metal from ecuador. i could be wrong.

Monday, October 03, 2005

hot stuff

i miss you guys i miss janice and leslie because they were always nice to me and said nice things, and leslie made my bed a few times and was just a generally agreeable bedmate. and now she's travelling who knows where and i wish i could tag along with her. i greatly admire that girl. janice watched alias in my room all the time and we laughed at each others exclamations. and i like janice. i'm glad she came back. i miss luke because he sent me this photo and we talked on the phone. i miss heidi and satch and jack and pam because they all want to come visit me next summer and i am about to have a baby, thinking about it. its alot of people. but i WANT them all to come. its just my parents i have to convince. but because im thinking about them alot i end up talking about them alot, to my parents, and janna, and daniel, so i miss them more. gosh its hot right now.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

oh, and i have a new phone number for anyone who wants it. it actually works. like, you can get through. but nobody will call me. if you want it, comment or email. email is better because that way the general public wont know how unpopular i am...if i don't get any comments. you know.
I guess I should update. Everybody else seems to be doing it. *sigh* Someone hinted the other day that they liked me more before I went away to Bible School. That felt like a punch in the stomach. I guess we all like to think we improve over time...or at least I arrogantly assumed Bible School improved me...or at least that I was a slightly better person, with more stuf together, when it was all over. I've had to chew on that for a week now. I still feel hurt by the idea, but I have to think about it, don't I? My friends here don't want to be my friends anymore. So they should know something I don't. Oh well. I'm not going to let that colour my life. Whatever changed my while at Bible school...whether it was God or me or the english weather, its over and the current process is more important. "do the right thing" THAT, my friends, is a really good movie. fight the power.