Oct 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

What's worse than 21 1st graders in art class? 21 1st graders with mask's on so you can't tell who they are!

Oct 28, 2007

A Working Man

My first week of teaching is in the books. I've experienced everything from Pre-Kindergarten kids greeting me with hugs to Seniors trying to convince me Art is a class to study for upcoming tests. Let's just say Pre-K got what they wanted. I've enjoyed every minute. Good news is there has still been time for adventures so let's get straight to the photos:

The Puma's fear this group!

"Here kitty-kitty-kitty"

Wild Monkey (no, this is not me in the tree)
If this is an Ant Eater, I need to capture one and release it in our home.

Welcome to the Bahia (Black Market). Everything you could ever want can be found in these narrow hallways and price is always negotiable. Also, if you ever have something stolen from you while at the Bahia, simply go around the corner and you'll probably find your stuff for sale.

DVDs for $0.70. Many movies are so current they are still in the theater.

Don't ask where these came from
Art teacher and Language Arts Teacher in Love

Oct 19, 2007

Go Time

It's go time folks! Babies are coming and I am re-joining the working force on Monday. Actually looking forward to it. Retirement has been good but it's time to serve the kids of Ecuador. Don't worry though, adventures will still be had and posted on Spork. I observed the pre K and Kindergarten class on Tuesday and they scare the bejivys out of me. 1/2 don't speak English, I don't speak Spanish or gue-gue ga-ga and they don't understand "sit down", "get off the table", "stop drawing on Emilio", "keep your fingers out of your nose" or "no licking the paint!" Let the fun begin.
In our neighborhood we have ocean access and I found a family that rents Kayaks. So, Thursday we went kayaking with friends to explore the waterways, mangroves, birds and yes, alligators (true, but we did not see them). Check it out:

Ol Georgy doesn't have many friends in South America

Oct 15, 2007

Quito/ Otavalo

Quito and Otavalo: Both cities are located near each other in the Andes Mountains and are known for their artisan markets. Colder weather, rain, excellent restaurants, a coffee shop, beautiful mountains, large parks, people from all over the world, Indians and art up the ying yang. Check it out:

Lounge area at first Hostel in Quito
Hostel in Otavalo. Yes, inside is as beautiful as it looks outside
Night life in Quito. As many languages being spoken as adult bevy's being consumed.

Otavalo Artisan Market:
Many of the vender's at the artisan market carry all of their crafts for sale on their back. Early in the morning and then in the evening, this is the sight of vender's coming and going.

Many of the vender's are making their craft while you shop
Quito: Art in the park:

Looking better in Ecuador

Oct 11, 2007

New Trails, New Discovery

The local Ecuadorian Trail Team (I made this name up) has been cleaning up overgrown trails in the hills where we ride. "Trails" are being found in places that were just covered in tall grasses, leaves and bushes. What is an Ecuadorian Trail Team? Dump trucks dropping loads of baseball sized rocks, large tractor's, men with machete's and of course, fire. "Trails" simply equal forest service roads but don't tell the locals. Most have not experienced heavenly single track. So what did I discover? Thanks for asking. A shelter of some sort with 4 corners, leaf roof, bamboo bed, firewood, fire pit and a hunting bow. Being that I wasn't sure what was to be hunted and the fire pit was still hot, I quickly sacrificed my safety so I could provide you with these photos:

This last week in pictures:

Either deep in thought or trying to fill the cup
Medicine dolls
D is the cute one
"You don't scare me"
Street vender's having lunch. Yes, that's underwear for sale on the street corner

Oct 5, 2007

Snake Bite

No, I'm not writing you from the hospital. Friday's adventure was to a nursery where I was in search of plants for my new herb garden. Ignore your thought: "I didn't know he was a gardener." I've got more interesting news. Here's the story: Gardener starts yelling in Spanish for the other gardener's to come over to the trees, quickly. He then motions for me and Brian to come over so naturally I pull out my camera to capture whatever the excitement is about. Once Gardener notices I have a camera, he points to a very large snake and suggested I move closest to the snake for best photo opportunity. In my hesitation, I see Gardener #2 running towards us with a machete. I hesitate longer, then take position. I first see there are 2 snakes. One large snake (Killer), about 4' long and a smaller snake (Dinner), about 2' long. Round 1, Killer has Dinners' mid section in his mouth. Round 2, Killer still had Dinner by the mid section but now Dinner has bitten Killer on the head and is holding on. Classic lock jaw move. Round 3 was interrupted by machete Gardener throwing rocks at the snakes while Gardener #3 was poking at them with an 8' pole. Round 4, Dinner finally had to let go because he was dying from Killers' poison (seriously). Killer eats Dinner. True story. Check it out:
Killer and Dinner between white and yellow bag
Gardener's #1 and 2 with machete and pole. There is good reason why this photo is taken from a distance.

Adventure #2. How do we get 4 bags of soil and 1 bag of herbs back home? Gardener #1 took care of that for us. He simply whistled at the first truck he saw. Trucker pulled over, agreed to take us and our supplies home for $3. What was truckers name, where was he from, where was he going and was he safe? Trucker, don't ask, just driving around and yes. Well, as safe as a random truck with religious stickers and welded seat benches in the back can be.

Quick glimpse of our truck transportation
Random road side attraction....Yee Ha!