Wilma made homemade granola and it was delicious. (Note to self: ask for recipe!)
We all went to Juana’s house at 10:00 (Gaby, Dome, Carol, Sara, and I). It was great to see her again after so long. We had patacones and she made platano verde bites with cheese in them. Then, the guanabana milkshakes. Oh my goodness I could have had a whole jug—it’s a sweet fruit, but with the milk it actually tasted like ice cream. Renato is bigger now! Quite the difference between 4 and 5 years old. We told all the chismes (gossip) and in general just chatted for hours and hours on end. After writing a few post cards and eating some cookies and coconut juice, I napped.
Everybody ended up at Wilma’s apartment for coffee—Me, Luis, Gaby, Juanse, Dome, Sara, Carol, Andres, Wilma, Hugo, Elssie, and Yana (the dog) with Rus (the other dog). I bought the coffee the day before but didn’t have the strainer for the coffee so Wilma was a gem and brought it up from downstairs because she knows I like coffee.
COFFEE ASIDE: With Wilma, there are 2 kinds of coffee, 1. el cafe que es cafe, and 2. el cafe que no es cafe. The first coffee we’ve always drank together isn’t really coffee at all but rather called Solkfe, and is broad bean, soy, and barley. It’s really tasty, and Ecuadorian, and good for you, but isn’t the real thing.
Gaby and Juanse are in the process of moving upstairs, so they went up, and the rest of the crew hung out downstairs in Carol’s room. We didn’t do much, and mostly just cracked jokes, but it was a lot of fun to just be there and relax and know that I can come back anytime and have this group of people to come back to. Carlita showed up, so it was fun to see her.
I took a long walk outside with Dome and Luis and Toucin. We chatted about some of the main differences I’ve noticed between here in Ecuador and back home… might as well share them here, right?
1. TIME: nobody here is on time hardly ever. They say 3:00, they mean 4:00 or later.
2. PLANS: are a gelatin material that shape-shift… don’t get your hopes up if people say we’re going to the beach over the weekend. Just go with the flow, and know that getting upset about not going to the beach will spoil the fact that instead you’re going to a cool restaurant or walking in a beautiful park or hanging with friends.
3. RULES: are more like suggestions than actual rules. If there is a rope that says do not enter, we can always chat it out with the security guard, for instance. If foreigners aren’t allowed in classes, well, we can sneak them in and not worry too much about being caught because even if we are caught we can likely talk ourselves out of the consequences.
4. LIVE IN THE PRESENT: this one is pretty cool, and taught me to actually enjoy my time with friends and family during reunions rather than be stressed about what is due tomorrow.
5. HONESTY: sometimes more, sometimes less. If somebody is making you mad, here you don’t skirt around pretending things are fine and then hold a grudge. Here, you get mad, get real, and tell the truth about what is getting on your nerves. This can be a great thing, since I’ve always been used to being over-sensitive and here I learned people are more real. If you ask about their haircut, though, expect an honest response. And without asking for it, people will tell you if you’ve gained or lost weight. Also, this honesty thing might not hold true in relationships… cheating is more common.
6. DANCING: is everywhere. Don’t be embarrassed; just jump in. This one is particularly hard for me.
We got back and Sandra tried to calm down Dome about what to do next year / where to study. Aww, sweet. I worked on my project for Dome upstairs.
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