We flew out of Denver one month ago today. In some ways we feel like we just left, but in other ways we feel like we've been traveling for much longer. In the grand scheme of things we've barely nicked the surface of our eight month long trip but so far it is all feeling manageable and, of course, fun!
We had another nice week at the farm. School continues to go well for the kids, and Danny and I are feeling good about our daily work.
Danny had three afternoons this week working with Genesis (one of the older students) and her family on the garden for her graduation requirement. The family has welcomed him, sharing all kinds of treats with him and teaching him what they know about the land.
Although there are some Ecuadorians who work on the farm:
-Oscar, Danilo, and Edgar- three 20 something guy who do all kinds of jobs on the farm and in the office
-Benja- a man in his sixties who oversees them
-Sergio- a handyman who does everything from building new beds to making bamboo fences
-Juanita and Norita- the señoras who cook and clean
-Dario- the boss
getting to know Genesis and her family has felt different. This connection has been a meaningful way for Danny to learn more about life in rural Ecuador and make a real relationship with a family here.
I have kind of a different experience on the farm because I spend my day mainly with the volunteers. Right now there is a couple from England, three American interns here for 6 or so months, a German woman here for a year, a woman from Norway, an American guy who came for classes and now is staying on to volunteer, and a woman from New Zealand. Danny and I are definitely the oldest ones. Because of the increasing interest a "gap year" most of these folks are kids right out of college not wanting to get a "real job." I can definitely relate and in a lot of ways I kind of feel like I am reliving some of my AmeriCorps experiences. But 10plus years and two kids later I've got a very different perspective.
One breaking news story from the kids- this week we did lots and lots of riding in the back of pickup trucks! Because we've got little ones, everyone always offers us the front cab of the trucks in which we take into Canoa. I've always just taken the front with the kids, but this week we threw caution to the wind and the kids are very happy with their new location for traveling. When in Rome, right?
Our plan is to stay at the farm for another 2 weeks. We're itching to see more of the country and it would be really nice to rent an apartment for ourselves in Quito and do some of our own cooking. We also would like to set up a short homestay through a language school and continue to practice our Spanish that way. We've got a bunch of plans brewing for now. We'll know more next weekend.