muy frustrado!!! I just spent forty minutes posting and then all the computers turned off!!!" Someone tripped over a plug %&%#¬!!!
Last Sunday a hopped on an Ibarra bound bus and made the relatively short trip in 1.5 hours. Many of my friends in omnibus 97 had to leave for their site visits Saturday night - overnight trips lasting well into the next day, some as long as 20 hours. True, Ecuador is a small country - also true is the lack of many good roads. Even where the roads are paved and solid it is always slow going.
I arrived in Ibarra and met my PC contact, Nick Zetts, a volunteer from Virginia who´s been here about a year. While waiting for the next bus up to his town of Cahuasqi we drank (cold!) pilseners and played video soccer. Eventually we caught the bus and with some other friends of Nick´s we set off for the 2 hour trip. Cahuasqi is west and North of Ibarra, and we slowly made our way up and up and up, passing through charming pueblos wearing fresh and bright coats of paint- greens and yellows and blues. Most towns had beautiful central plazas fronted by handsome iglesias - being sunday afternoon the towns were full of locals chatting, working, and playing. As we got farther from Ibarra, and higher in the mountains, the roads became narrow and crumbly - occassionally traffic would have to back up to allow others to pass.
Cahuasqi comes into vies - it is appropriately called the island in the sky - a peaceful farming community lying in a fertile valley - encircled by some of the most rugged mountains I have ever seen.
We leave the bus - the air is hot and thin, our elevation is close to 10000 feet, I believe. A brief stop for some local hellados - ice cream made in heavy copper pots with local fruits and no cream- it´s fantastic. We make our way to nick´s casa - he and friends have planned a pizza party for tonight so we boil tomatos, make crusts from scratch, and fire up the clay horno (oven). Feeding it kindling and wood the hoirno soon reaches 600 degrees or so, the pizzas cook in 3 or 4 minutes, and they are fantastic. We eat and drink cerveza well into the night.
Well that´s the condensed version of my original - sorry about that. More later, and I promise NEXT post will contain photos!