El Fin Ya?

Trip Start Feb 08, 2006
Trip End Apr 2008

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Thursday, January 31, 2008

¡Saludos a todos! Pues, casi es hora de irme de Ecuador.  Y que pena que me da.  Claro que estoy emocionada por regresar a EEUU, pero también hay tantas cosas que voy a extrañar de este lindo país.  De verdad ha sido una experiencia inolvidable...
I can't believe that it is all coming to an end.  Three months from now I will be back in the states. Wow. Of course I am excited and looking forward to seeing family and friends, but I am also quite sad to say goodbye to this incredible place and its wonderful people - not to mention the fact that I am tremendously nervous about returning to a home that seems so very distant, in many ways.  Yet, I also know that this is all part of the typical Peace Corps experience, and readjusting to life in the US, though overwhelming at first, is possible. 
So, what have I been up to in these final months of service...?
First of all, our grant was finally approved for the waste management and environmental education project.  And although we haven't actually RECEIVED the money yet, the project is going well.  We have conducted 5 community environmental ed. activities (one of which was designed and implemented by members of the environmental group), with the final two scheduled for this month.  The weekly trash collection is now functioning - though not perfectly - and with the arrival of funds construction will begin and the final phase of the project will be complete.  Many of the issues we have confronted concerning the trash collection (the collector missing houses, passing too early or too late) will be resolved with the construction of the trash collection sites.
At the school I have been giving computer classes, and continuing English as well. This week I gave exams and Friday is the last day of the year. Oh, how I'm going to miss those kids.  In two years I've worked closely with them, watched them grow and change and saying goodbye will not be easy.  But then again, when are goodbyes easy?
Thanksgiving and Christmas were fabulous.  Turkey Day I spent in Zaruma with other volunteers.  It was potluck and we managed to have all the fixings...with very little communication or planning.  A very generous Ecuadorian couple, good friends of the volunteer in Zaruma, was so kind as to share their home with 15 crazy gringos. And despite the fact that the power went out and we had to prepare and eat the food in candle light, we all had a great time. 
For Christmas I prepared a 20-pound turkey for my good friends the Loayzas here in Cerro Azul.  I must admit, I was rather proud of my efforts.  For the first time in my life (and with very few of the amenities of a typical American kitchen) I made homemade stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes (purple Ecuadorian ones!), apple pie, blackberry pie (homemade crust...with no measuring cups), turkey gravy and of course the bird.  All of this for about 20 people.  It was great, yet another unforgettable experience.  Only major blunder: left the camera at home.  ¡Qué boba!
My plans for the next two months?  Aprovechar, aprovechar, aprovechar. In English, I'll be doing my best to take advantage of the little time I have left, mostly spending time with friends, and perhaps a bit of work on the side. Oh yes, and I am expecting two much-anticipated visitors before I head home: mi papá and...POR FIN...Cesar.  (Je, je, je, broma mi amor.)
I hope to get at least one more entry in before I leave Ecuador, so until then...
Chao. .
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ecuadorlt on

Re: eco-hostal for Cerro Azul

The easiest way to get to Cerro Azul is from Machala. The bus 'Coop. Paccha' which operates out of the 'Coop. Azuay' office runs from Machala to Paccha and passes right through Cerro Azul. The hostal is still in the works, very primitive stages, but perfectly comfortable. The woman that runs it is very hospitable. If you have any questions, please let me know. This place holds a very special place in my heart, so I am more than happy to talk about it!


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