My arrival at the volunteer project
Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
32Trip End Jun 30, 2013
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I walked around my new town of Archidona, and was pleased to see that there were a few facilities, a couple of shops, pharmacists, restaurants and even better, internet cafes. Nothing fancy and clearly nothing marketed towards a tourist, no fancy WI-FI spots and nowhere advertising cappuccinos or anything familiar like that. They did have a small town plaza though, which was dominated by a church that had a strange red and white striped pattern painted on it. I sat and watched small local kids playing football for a while, as I knew that I was earlier than the arranged meeting time.
As I still had a nagging doubt that I should have followed the directions more closely, I decided to try the last step. So, when I couldn't wait any longer I asked a local taxi driver to take me to Amupakin, which is the name of the birthing center that I will be volunteering in for the next month. Naturally the taxi driver looked quite surprised, but he finally nodded that he knew where it was at least. That was a relief as I had been warned that they may not know and I may have to go into a series of explanations about the center, probably including some charades to try to jog their memories.
So at 4.30pm I pulled up to the small center, at the side of the town
After resting up for a while, I heard Adela shouting my name to come for dinner. She lead me around the back of the center, where there was a wooden shed and a small fire going in the middle. There are walls on most of the sides, but also a large open area that leads into the surrounding garden area, where they have numerous types of trees and plants and it is also where their chickens scratch about looking for scraps. This was clearly the kitchen area, and also probably the social setting for the center. Then the moment that I had been dreading arrived, they presented me with their best dinner set, and brought me over a home cooked soup, followed by some rice and a chicken leg. I inquired if they would join me for dinner and they all nodded something about having already eaten or they would eat later. Kory and I have come across this before and we never know if it is because they don't have the money to eat meat alongside you, or if they would rather eat separately, but either way it leaves you being the only one eating, and everyone else sitting there watching. I tried my best to hold down a conversation but they only spoke in Kichwa (the local tribal language) to each other and Adela said she didn't speak that much Spanish (I have since found out that she does). This is going to get interesting I think!! Following my dinner I was quickly escorted back to my room, as it had started to rain heavily and Adela thought it was going to get a lot worse. So I sat in my room for the rest of the night, watching programs on my laptop and hearing thunder and lightening fill the stormy sky.