17 octubre 2006

No Pasa Nada

Hello, sorry for the lapse in blog entries but Ive been very busy getting used to my new living situation and trying to figure out which internet cafes are closest, fastest, cheapest, etc. Ahh the days of having internet at home at any time I want...actually this is much better for me because I can become a bit addicted to the internet when it is so convenient.
So let me tell you a little bit about my new Ecuadorian family. Magui (pronounced Maggie) is the mother and she is an amazing cook. She loves to explain in detail all about the way she has prepared the meal and what ingredients have gone into it. Im eating very well, meaning that I am always served a very large portion (it seems like its more than anyone else in the family...), but it is all extremely healthy. Magui prides herself in cooking very simply, using only fresh ingredients, many fruits, vegetables and whole grains. She also makes a point to tell me that she only uses "ajo y cebolla" (garlic and onion) to flavor her food--becuase she doesnt like her food "picante." She has definitely had her share of rough times in life, but has managed to maintain a very positive attitude and feels very blessed (and she gives all the credit to God). This is a picture of where my new room will be. Im still not in my room yet. They have to paint it and furnish it. It was supposed to be done by last Wednesday...I just remind myself that Im on Ecuadorian time and when they say it will be done on Wednesday that really means whenever in the near or far future that it happens to be ready. No pasa nada. Thats the way I see it. It will be ready when its ready. Im in Alexandras (Maggies daughter) room right now so I have a warm bed to sleep in and thats really all that matters. My new home is only a 10-20 minute walk from the hostel (the time depends on whether Im walking down the mountain or up it) so its good to still be close. Quito is stretched out along a narrow vally and I moved from one side of the valley directly to the opposite side.
So just when I thought that my birthday was over and the celebration was finished, my family decides to buy a cake and have a party for me. Above is a picture of Joanna, Allison and...at the moment the last name escapes me...sorry. Anyway, they are all Maguis grandchildren. Allison lives in the same house as I do and the other two girls (sisters) live next door with their parents.
On the far right is Magui, next to her is Sandra (who introduced me to the family) and next to her is Ashley. Ashley also lives in the house. Im so bad with names so I cant remember the last grandaghter on the left side. In the middle is the cake. They lit a candle (they only had the numbers 3 and 4, so in one week I gained 10 years), sang to me in Spanish and English and then told me to take a bite. I wasnt sure if I was misunderstanding what they were saying so I asked them to repeat it. "Yes take a bite!" they said. I felt so weird taking a bite directly from the cake, but I thought, hey why not, it must be an Ecuadorian tradition...

...So I took a bite and as I did they pushed my face into the cake. Thats the real Ecuadorian tradition! I was so surprised. I had icing in my nose and all over my face. It was really funny. Im so glad that my family feels that comfortable around me...

As far as other things go, Im still only teaching one student, but Ive made signs to hang in the universities so hopefully Ill be able to get those up soon. Every other day or so I go back to the hostel to hang out with people. Im torn between wanting to be around people my age who I can communicate with in ease and wanting to immerse myself completely in the language and culture of Ecaudor. Poco a poco...Im still in transition. My Spanish is improving, of course. Everyday I have to ask Allison to speak slowly--shes eight so she can get really excited about things and speak very quickly. The family is patient with me and they are more than willing to explain words and repeat entire stories or questions.

There have been a few misunderstandings, but nothing too major. The other day I was watching the news and I asked Magui if she liked the presidential candidate with the last name Correa (elections were last Sunday). She misunderstood and thought I was asking her if she liked to run (the spanish word for run is "correr"). She didnt seem surprised by the question and answered me as if I was really interested in her exercising habits. "Only a little," she answerd. "I get tired very easily." I didnt realize the misunderstanding until she started talking about running and walking and exercising in length. I decided to let it go and not point out the mistake. Whats so funny is that Magui is in her early 60s, stays at home most of the day and is not, lets say, the athletic type. So Im sure she thought it was a bit strange for me to ask if she likes to run...out of nowhere.

Well my friends (and family) thats about it. I look forward to hearing from you. Always feel free to comment--I love knowing who is reading this. Choa!


Blogger TheGlissonFamily said...

I am cracking up! (When I saw that you had commented on our blog, I thought maybe you had updated yours and I was right!) Your stories are so funny--I'm glad the family you're living with feels so comfortable with you. I can't believe they pushed your face into the cake! (I'll have to remember that one the next time we are with you on your birthday.) It was so good to talk to you yesterday even though the girls were a bit nutty. I'm so glad you are enjoying yourself and learning so many things. Love you. Bek

10:12 a. m.  
Anonymous moms and pops said...

Sweet Miranda, How wonderful to hear stories of your life in Ecuador! It's kind of weird to raise a child and know about every aspect of their lives intimately, and then have them move FAR AWAY and know relatively nothing of their life. That's why we as parents try so hard to do a good job raising our kids..so when they leave, you have confidence in them! We definately have confidence in you and admire you for your spunk and determination! Only because of you have we traveled abroad once and hope to again when we come to visit you in beautiful Ecuador! We love you!

5:58 p. m.  
Blogger Tiffany said...

you look beautiful in that picture with the girls where you are wearing the red sweater. Clearly, life is treating you well there! If that's the worse communication glitch you have, what a blessed time you will have! :)

6:33 p. m.  
Anonymous Hannah said...

I love random! I'm sure your family adores you... and who knows, maybe Magui will lace up her shoes and try to go running with you next time! thats so funny. Her fresh food sounds Yum, and I'm so glad they love you :)

8:04 p. m.  
Blogger Jen Reijgers said...

I check your blog everyday, your stories are so funny and I love hearing about all of your adventures. Can't wait to read more.

9:52 p. m.  
Blogger Conni H. said...

Miranda, I check everyday too! I am glad that you are doing well and that you are learning a lot and enjoying your journey.

Still praying for you.

10:31 p. m.  
Anonymous Stickler Chick Rueckert said...

I always wait with anticipation for the next tale of your adventures - I just beam when I read them! Expect an e-mail soon! Much love!

11:41 p. m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

Hi little one! As always, it is wonderful to hear about your "new life" in Ecudor. I think of you and pray for you each day. Your new family sounds so sweet. I know you will make the right decisions as you go along! You are a sweetie and I love you!Kiss,kiss!!!

7:30 a. m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

By the way! I just reread the last part of your story about the OLD in her 60's Magui! Are you saying someone in their 60's can't run?? I beg your pardon!!! I think I kept up fairly well a couple months ago with a 24 year old!!! Go Magui! Kiss, Kiss!

5:54 p. m.  
Blogger bradfordlstevens said...

Great blog Miranda. We love reading about your exploits. If they ask you to put your face by a cream pie, be careful! :-)

The Cardinals are tied with the Mets 1-1 in the 7th game of the NLCS. Are you keeping up with the Cardinals in Equador??

You are prayed for regularly by many in St. Louis.

God bless,

7:59 p. m.  
Blogger Becky said...

I love to hear your stories Miranda! Sounds like you are doing wonderful.... I'm sure your family LOVES you! Keep up the good work!!

9:54 p. m.  
Anonymous moms and pops said...

Miranda - can you say, "go Cardinals, win the World Series in Spanish?" We love you!

11:35 p. m.  
Blogger hanstevens said...

Represent the Cardinals for us in Ecuador....wooohooooo, WORLD SERIES BABY!!!!

11:39 p. m.  
Anonymous Sunny Park said...

I have laughed so much this morning. I love hearing about your life over there. It just seems so amazing to me that you are doing so much with your life. You look so beautiful and happy and your new familia sounds wonderful. I may be the only Detroit Tigers Fan on your blog...so GO TIGERS!!! :) I love you and pray for you. Can't wait to hear more.Have a great day!!!

10:50 a. m.  
Blogger bradfordlstevens said...

Just to keep you posted....The Cardinals won game 3 5-0 tonight in St. Louis! Game 4 is tomorrow night.

11:21 p. m.  
Blogger bradfordlstevens said...

The Cardinals won Game 4 last night in a dramatic come from behind victory 5-4. They play again tonight and could clinch the World Series at home with a victory! Just wanted to keep you posted! Hope you are doing well!

God bless,

6:53 p. m.  
Anonymous Jeremy J. said...

the 'mordita' is a common Hispanic tradition. Every hispanic suspects it but still goes along with it (reluctantly) ;-)

10:50 a. m.  
Blogger bradfordlstevens said...

Hi Miranda!

I am Texas visiting my parents. They love to read your blog; but, my mom thinks you need to update it more often! Can you imagine that?? By the way, do they follow the World Series down there???

12:02 a. m.  

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