Monday, December 29, 2008

Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo

Merry Xmas and all the other religions that celebrate this time of year, and Happy New Years to everybody!!!
Xmas went very well for me. I spent it here in Mompiche, Ecuador. Here in Ecuador most of the celebration is done on the 24th. For me it included a dinner among all the people here that aren{t originally from here, that dont have family, including people that live here from other parts of the world like me. We each brought a plate, and it turned out to be completely vegetarian meal, DELICIOUS. We drank wine and ate til we were full! It was great. After that, I went to the house of a boyfriend I have here and spent their dinner with his family. They roasted a pig and all. Phew full. After that everybody in the town went to the disco (dance place) we have here and we all danced the night away....until 4 am! A different Xmas and very pleasurable. I felt very welcome and enjoyed my first xmas away from my family, I was surrounded by other family and friends here. The day of the 25th was spent eating candies and smaller little get toghethers for the kids and all. Spent the day on the beach and enjoyed it very much. The time between xmas ans news years is mostly celebration, music and food and happiness. It{s great. Tehre are rumors of how New Years will be spent...but it depends it on many things. I{ll let you all now.

I hope that Xmas was great for everybody and that you spent it how you wanted and made you happy. This time of year really is special. I hope everybody is happy and healthy.
It{s not the years in your life that counts, its the life in your years
Happy 2009!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In the Amazon

I figured it would be refreshing to get somebody elses point of view........ This is what mom had to say......

We made it out of the Jungle somewhat alive thank goodness. Did you know they have carnivorous ants??? Never heard of them, but when the guide showed them to us and said we had to run through this part it was kindof freaky & we ran like grease lightning. I have never in my life seen bugs as big as a large pear, but we did... It was a beetle. We saw a Coral snake that if it bit you, 30 seconds later you would not be able to breath & you would die. One of the coolest things we saw were lightning bugs that were flying around in the rain. Every night it rains in the jungle and one of the nights we did not have a candle to get back and forth to the kitchen which was about an 1/8th of a mile away in the pitch black crossing a bridge, going up & down mud staircases... We waited for the lightning and each time ran a bit further. It was crazy... I took us about a 1/2 hour to get to the kitchen where we actually got candles, & food. Another exciting adventure we had to cross the river to get to our destination... We had to get into intertubes with our stuff wrapped in plastic bags, tied to us and hope we make it to the other side. Holy S%&_!!! I have been in the Trinity river caught in the middle by myself in an intertube, but that was nothing... I have also been in class 5 rapids white water rafting on the deadly Kern River & that was nothing compared to this... I think we all thought we were going to die in the famous Amazon River with our guide Eduardo who says trust me.... I think we should have wised up when he took us to a beautiful lagoon & told us to dive right in from a rock about 12 feet from the water. Kristin was smart & told him yeah, right after you. Sure enough he dove in, but he dove a great deal further to the left than he originally told us. Just as we thought, to the right it was only about 5 feet deep and where he dove was at least 15 ft... Not intentional on his part of course, because what we have learned down here is when they say right here, or rigt there, it is not literal they truly expect you to read their mind & know this means about 6 feet to the left instead of where they pointed. For sure we are the tourists... The next days adventure was even crazier. A Shawman "Medicine Man" took us on a hike that should have been a couple of hours to some waterfalls... 8 hours later with one tiny 16oz bottle of water we returned. The hike for sure was meant for persons who were around 20 and had much more agility than myself. Of course we did not know this until breakfast the next morning when the women who was cooking for us said I was a very strong women to have made it all the way back because it was not a hike meant for me. I felt so embarassed when I came dragging back after 8 hours.. I thought I was such a wuss and went straight to bed for three hours only to be awoke for dinner & more water. The Medicine Man did not take any water with him and drank none while we did our entire hike. Wow that was amazing because those of us that are used to drinking at least 64oz in a day and are not of the camel variety were not able to hang. Even the other couple that was with us said they were frustrated by running out of water. When we brought the running out of water up to the main guide Eduardo he argued with Kristin & told her we just were too slow. She said that argueing with him was a useless battle because they are used to something completely different. I guess the main guide missed the class where people have the power of suggestion, and none of us that were on this tour will suggest his company. In the travel world where everyone asks your opinion on what to do and where to go in each city that is a big thing. In many resturant we went to they had a book where tourist could write comments about the resturants, hostel, tours, and trips and this one will not go down as one of the best. Aside from the crazy adventures the Jungle as a whole is magnificent. There were leaves that were as big as the top have of Kristins body. There were butterflys of every color in the rainbow... Incredible. There were flower varieties more beautiful than I have ever seen. They even showed us a plant that when humans touched it would go to sleep for 1 hour then rejuvinate itself. We made it out with our faces painted and the art of spitting poisonous darts through a wooden tube... that is the important part. There are many more stories but in person it will be more lively than reading my script. I have a 12 hour bus ride ahead tonight & I get on a plane for an 8 hour trip right after & return to LAX around midnight, and work the next day.