Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Welcome to Ecuador

Stuffing my brain with info, juggling ideas of authority verses friendship, mediating between the actions and ideas of others, finding where I stand and learning to stand that ground, the chagras  and their deaf control, South American ways clashing with the intense productivity of the northern hemisphere, criss-crossing the equator, running shuttles, hustling and rustling a herd of horses that act like 2nd graders, learning authority of monstrous animals, dirty hands in a house with the water shut off.  Hole in the wall leather shops, long rides in the horse truck through the countryside stuffed in the middle of a Spanish that’s hard to understand with the leftover indigenous accent, 12 hour work days still not finishing, slow to non-existent internet to speed bump any progress, small kitchen dinners, hot chocolate and black tea, tough meat, coffee and sweet bread, tricky fireplace wars, the smell of eucalyptus,  mending broken fences, kicking poop, tacking horses, slathering pig fat on leather, Palusa the poop-eating dog, Guapa dog, Sally’s monologue brainstorming late-night calls amounting to an “I’ll call you later”, tiny town Pintag where I stand out more than usual with my blue eyes and long blonde locks, ponchos, scarves, fedoras, sheep skins, lassos, trucks blaring announcements, Jack FM, Cristian, Mariana, and Tais—the cutest little girl in the world, leather chaps, bandanas, equatorial sun, fog, green patchwork pastures, Quito in the quiet distance, Andean condors floating through the clouds, CLOUDS, lava flows, huge green grassy fields, bright yellow rubber boots, secret canyon valleys, alpine lagunas and waterfalls, waving grass, hand-drawn maps, alpacas and llamas, always over 10,000ft, secret stash of Nicaraguan rum, no days off, jumping deep ditches on horses, and the subdued violence of the Cotopaxi volcano looming in the distance waiting for its time,
Welcome to Ecuador.