Peace Corps Adventures

Please feel free to leave comments this is a blog for really just having fun and sharing my adventures. Isn't it great how anyone can now broadcast their life to the world!!


I live just a little out of the town center This is coming up into town. Notice the dirt roads and since it rains a lot it is ALWAYS muddy.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving in the Amazon Jungle

My thanksgiving was probably about the same as ya´lls back in the states I had turkey, stuffing, and all the fixen´s the difference was probably that it was about 90 degrees and I was in the middle of the Amazon Jungle. Which is absolutely amazing. I will upload pics when I have more time. Just wanted to say hope that everyone back home had an amazing Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ghosts and Gobblins in Cuenca

Halloween!!! Is a special time for Peace Corps Ecuador. 80% of the Volunteers in Ecuador descend upon the quaint town of Cuenca Ecuador, my home turf as I am a proud member of the Cuenca Cluster, for a time of festivities and just plain wierdness. The plain weirdness you ask - what could that entail? Well, for any of yous out there that have ever been Peace Corps volunteers first of all a shout out and secondly you know exactly what I am talking about. I believe that it is a special type of person that signs on to two years of living in squaler - or as in the the case of some Posh Corps Ecuador volunteers finery. When a large number of these personalities are congragated together the results are always fun, but at times as scary as Halloween. He he poor pun. Well the night was intersting, the music dissapointing, but the company EXCELLENT. Above is a picture of Me, Lindsey and Ariana. Please take note that Ariana and I have positioned our side pony tails on opposite sides, making our eighties costumes more unique. A shout out to Lily for the use of her very warm legwarmers, the night air in Cuenca can be quite chilly.
Projects?....? Hmm..... well I´ve been working on my Halloween costume and I finished War and Peace - which is excellent - as well as the Hitch Hiker´s Guide to the Galaxy - which if you have a slightly zany sense of humor, which I do, will find you laughing out loud in your Campo site.

Ariana, Trent, and Lindsey. Trent was a star because he works in a Sachila community and his Sachila name translates to star. Lindsey on the other hand dressed as a Sachila Indian.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

¨New York Times Weekend Edition¨
¨The Phenom Mexican pop group and stars from the popular telenovela Rebelde performed a surprise concert for Peace Corps Ecuador re-connect omnibus 95. The volunteers were both surprised and delighted that at the group´s appearance singing their popular single YO SOY REBELDE, during the battle of the bands contest. Volunteer Lisa Taylor was quoted as saying ¨the performance has been the best part of my volunteer service so far.¨ Other volunteers were moved to tears by the group´s dramatic performance.
Other performances included a traditional dance by jungle volunteers and some volunteers with ¨Real¨ talent were also interspersed with the jokes and crazy dances. The volunteers met in Mindo Ecuador for a 3 day conference to learn more about community integration, working with counterparts, and awesome tech skills such as website design and more on abono verde (green fertilizers). All in all Re-connect 95 was a great time and after a night of hard salsa dancing the volunteers returned to their sites with renewed vision and increased motivation. ¨
Serious group picture!! - Aren´t we a good look´n bunch of Volunteers and we all have projects started in our communities, what more could you possibly want.

Ariana and Calvin both play a mean air guitar!

Migualto and I on our opening duet. The song was very soulful and we really got into our parts!

Sexy group picture - Except for Joe - Joe needs to get his Sexy on!

Traditional Jungle dance

Volunteer with ¨Real Talent¨

After Re-connect I went to my friend Arianna´s site and we went hiking in a protected humid forest near her site. These are some fun pictures from the trip.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sponge Bob

Hello all,
Ok, fun stuff - I have pictures of the purebred mutt mountain pony sponge bob. Sponge Bob likes carrots and reminds me of Erin's horse Fergie - (Erin can you see the resemblance?) Unfortunately the hombre whom I purchased him from chopped off both his main and tail - I guess I can band it like a pleasure pony !?!

I ordered a saddle from a guy in Cuenca, which is not ready yet so I haven't had a chance to start his training.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bob Esponga (Sponge Bob)

I finally got a horse!!! I am soo excited about this. In Ecuador the going rate for a mountin pony is around 200 dollars. I will be quick to explain this is not the type of horse we are used to in the States. It is a little smidgeon of a thing - but is very strong. The horses in Ecuador are used mainly as pack horses and can carry surprising amounts of rice and corn - in this way they are similiar to ants. The name of my horse is Sponge Bob or Bob Esponga. I will put up pictures in two weeks - the next time I will be coming into town.

Everything is going great. My main project this week will be planting a garden. This garden is actually for me, but my hope is to use all organic practices and use it as a template garden for others in the area. My counterpart´s papa thought I was crazy for not wanting to kill the weeds and pests with wonderful chemicals! In training we learned some really cool ways to plant different crops together to minimize bugs as well as different home remedy´s we can make using chili and soap to kill the pest- who knew?

Now I will tell you all the story of the Riobamban Train.

This weekend I was in Riobamba for a meeting. And since we were up there Chandi, another volunteer, and I decided to take the Gringo train in Riobamba, which is a site seeing train the runs towards Cuenca, where I needed to end up anyways. Well we are chugging along, I will take this moment to mention everyone rides on top of the trian to better view the scenerey and wave to indigenous children as the train meanders through the sierran mountain range. So, we were sitting on top all of us a little grey, from the wind blowing up ash that was deposited on the ground from the recent volcano eruption, we were all having a great time in spite of the cold and the ash. When we were crossing a road and whack a nice Honda SUV smacks the train. Thank goodness both the people in the car were fine. The train had no damage, but the car was totalled. I still can´t understand what happened and how the guy driving didn´t see the train. Well, in the choas after the accident the driver of the train takes off. Rumors swarmed amongst the passengers, some of the better ones were that the driver of the train was drunk, a very unsettling thought and also that he had been arrested 4 months before for a similar accident. Nevertheless whatever the truth was the driver was scared about being arrested and se fue (he took off)! We sat at the spot of the accident for about 3 hours and finally they called another train conductor from the nearest city and we finished our train excursion. I finally arrived in Cuenca, after transferring to a bus 12 hours after getting on the train. It was a very long day.

If anyone is wondering what daft really means! I choose definition number 1 when choosing the name for my blog. Allthough the commoner definition might be number 2.

daft (dft) adj. daft·er, daft·est
1. Mad; crazy.
2. Foolish; stupid.
3. Scots Frolicsome

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hello All,

As I sit here, I try to think of some interesting stories or antidotes to make those of you living in the developed world smile and wistfully wonder what it would be like to be living the simple life of a Peace Corps Volunteer, nothing comes to mind. I would like to regale you with stories of eating strange things in the jungle or hiking mountains. But, right now the interesting thing that has happened in the last week is:

I ate a Chiremoya yesterday, it is a green fruit that is sort of custardy on the inside - it is really good and one of my favorite fruits, well the inside is white and so are the tinsy tiny worms that like to make their home in the fruit of the Chiremoya. Only after eating about half the fruit did I realize the tickling sensations on my tongue is not the normal texture of the chiremoya and yes, upon further inspection I became slightly horrified and nauseous.

Yes, this is kinda disgusting, but all in all it was a healthy meal as I do feel my diet is lacking in protien. Whatever this blog just keeps getting worse and worse. I promise to do better for those of you that are actually following my postings. For now Ciao.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Santo Domingo

Many Peace Corps volunteers have cited Santo Domingo as one of the sketchier towns in Ecuador. But, I have to admit it has a certain charm. As we passed a sparkling fountain making our way into the town, I remarked on it’s beauty. My friend Ariana - whose site is near Santo Domingo - preceded to inform me that Santo Domingo has a water shortage problem, but is planning on building more fountains. Hmmmm..... Anyway this week I gave a talk to some of the new kids on the block - volunteer trainees. He he some of you actually thought I gave a talk to the group NKB. Youngsters reading this are asking WHO? Sorry, hanging out with myself I have developed a humor disorder. Things I think are funny no one else does! Oh well. So I came up to Cayambe and talked to the group. Then I decided since I was already out of my site and had taken a 14 hour bus ride to get up north I might as well take some time and visit some of the other volunteers. It has been a fun week. Today Ariana and I are heading out to our friend Lindsay´s site.

Climbing a tree in the forest.

Climbing a tree in the forest.
I really didn´t climb the tree I just acted like I was going to!!