Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back to Ecuador

Who would have thought I (Kim) would be heading back to Ecuador just a little over a month after our last trip! The children are all in an outrage that they don't get to go...and a tiny bit worried about having their mama gone for a week. "Who's keeping the children?" is the FAQ of late and we've seen lots of smiles and raised eyebrows when we say "DADDY!" They'll have a great time and be just fine.

My dear friend Gayle and I are heading down to explore the possibility of starting a fair trade (hopefully eco-friendly) jeans cooperative in a small town called Pelileo. They've been making jeans for generations and would apparently welcome the opportunity to talk about Fair Trade possibilities. Gayle has past experience in the fashion industry and is a jeans designer. (You should ask about hidden talents of your friends. They may come in really handy!) We're armed with loads of questions and some ideas to pursue. Incidentally, feel free to toss any ideas into the hat about a name.

We had our fair share of tears at bedtime tonight. It was a great opportunity to talk a bit about what we're aiming to do and what we're dreaming about. I said to our oldest (Simeon, 7) that we're hoping to go make friends with some people who know how to make jeans. I told him that I'm pretty sure their lives are a lot harder than ours. We decided that if we didn't have clean water, or money for the doctor, or a chance to go to school, or enough to eat that we would hope that someone would come and be our friend and try to help us. I'm not sure what we'll find out and who we'll meet and what will come out of all this, but it felt good to articulate our hope.

We'll arrive in Ecuador tomorrow night, stay with our friends who live in Quito and travel 4 ish hours down through "volcano alley" to Pelileo on Tuesday. There's no hotel or restaurant in Pelileo so we're staying in the next village, Salisaca. (We googled Salisaca and saw a few good images of the town and the people. It looks very Ecuadorian!) I'm not sure whether or not there will be internet access, so this may be it until we return! Looking forward to the adventure!

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