We´re at the coast right now- if I walk out of the internet cafe and cross the street, I´m literally standing on the beach. It´s so beautiful. I´m staying about 100 feet from where I am right now, and sleeping in an actually comfortable bed! I had my first good nights sleep last night since getting to Ecuador. We´re going back to Bua tomorrow, so we can start work again Monday. We´re really close to finishing the toilets at the school, and we´re building another at the house of a guy named Freddy, which will be used by many families. We´re also building a well at Shinopi, the cultural center for the Tsachila.
Last Sunday we baked our chocolate chip cookies- it was an adventure! We just gave up trying to measure and threw things into the bowl until it tasted right. We made so many cookies! They actually turned out really good- our families loved them. It was so fun, six of the people staying near the school came over to see our compound (they are full of admiration for how far we have to walk each day to get to and from the school. It really is uphill both ways). 14 people was a lot to fit in our kitchen, but it worked.
We worked really hard all week on all the projects- my hands are all blisteres from shoveling and lifting rocks. A bunch more people got the 24 hour stomach bug, although some of them may well have been sick from the slightly off cheese two of the families used.
Thursday the lights were out all day. When it got dark there was nothing to see for miles, except the amazing stars. Sean, Emily, Alexis, Ian and I lay in the yard and watched them for hours. We saw so many shooting stars, some huge! Fifi and Chito (our puppies) slept on my stomach the whole time.
This week was much more relaxed than last week, but so fun. I´m really tired though, all those nights of waking up a million times are catching up. I´m so glad we´re here for the weekend! Maybe I´ll catch up a little.
We all read a bit of either End of Poverty or White Man´s Burden this week, and discussed them during a few seminars. I have to say, I think I agree much more with Easterly than with Sachs. So little of the aid given is actually going to the right places, I don´t see how we can possibly achieve the millenium goals. I think Easterly´s ideas about doing small projects initiated by people within the community who know what is really needed is the way to go. I think Invisible Children is following his method- even though the support is coming from the states, Jolie is directing all the projects and deciding what is needed. IC is addressing specific needs, not trying to change the system from the top down the way the Sachs method often seems to. I think they have sort of different goals too, though; Sachs wants to end extreme poverty, while I think Easterly is talking about general poverty, and just wants to improve quality of life. Also, he says a million times how often the IMF and World Bank are huge factors in countries right before they experience a crisis, and he keeps saying how that they definitely aren´t causing them but won´t give any proof. If we hadn´t read Perkins last week I would accept that, but as it is I think he may be ignoring some important things. We read some other global empire things which support Perkins, so that´s kind of scary.
Oh, and other news; my small camera broke! I don´t know why. It just stopped working. So I really need to get a new one now! I´m having some seriously bad luck wtih cameras.
I´ll have internet again before we leave tomorrow, so you should write to me before then!