Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Spoke too soon

So, the girls did not show their normal fortitude and both of us came down with altitude sickness! Poor little Jessie would start walking then just sit down and cry saying,¨My legs feel funny!¨ Fevery and dizzy, but we should be adjusted by tomorrow.

Yesterday we laid low, unpacked and went to the local downtown park where the children learned a very important spanish word, ¨helado.¨ This is usually yelled repeatedly until the man with the bicycle ice cream cart comes around. It was great to have a 5 year old translator (our friends´ child, Claire) for the ice cream guy and the taxi driver.

Today we left early for Ibarra, an artisan town about 3 hours north of Quito. Its near the Columbian border and an easy stopping point for Columbian refugees. Apparently, the situation in Columbia is gruesome with paramilitary groups doing all kinds of horrific acts of violence. Its surreal and disturbing to realize what doesn´t even make the news back home.

We met up with a friend of Chris´ who is a priest of the Episcopal Church there. After a series of unfortunate events (girls being sick, the truck battery died, the artisans didn´t meet us at the church as scheduled and the sample goods were locked in a closet with no key...), we drove up to some villages and met with people in their homes. What a treat! One family did ceramic work with a cooperative and they had a whistling parrot who also spoke Spanish in one of their trees. Everyone from the grandpa and grandma on down was there to be a part of the meeting. We ¨sealed the deal¨ on jewelry with some Sprite from the village store. And the children left with flowers and parrot feathers as gifts.

Next we went to a home where the woman´s husband was disabled (from a bike robbery) and she started a microenterprise making guazy, embroidered blouses and pants. She employs several local women and supports her family. Senora Laura Maria was inspirational to me! Her products were also beautiful, so we ordered a package to take home with us. Women´s blouses, girl´s blouses, crop pants, girl´s dresses...

Our children are troopers. Today they amused themselves even without Uno, Go Fish and coloring books (the airport staples). They greeted everyone they met and even tried out a little Spanish.

It was a successful day despite the setbacks.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I'm having fun reading about your adventures :) I didn't know there was such as thing as altitude sickness -- I hope you ladies are feeling better soon. G'nite --Amy