|Posing for the Holidays|
A few quick things:
- I finally hiked El Altar, which has been on my ecua-bucket list for a while. Despite all the horrible stories I have heard about bad weather and knee deep mud, we had absolutely gorgeous weather for our entire hike. Besides getting to enjoy a bit of snow in December, we were graced with morning sundogs—one of my favorite natural phenomena and something I only thought existed on the Great Plains, Scandinavia, and Siberia.
- At a very gringo-y Thanksgiving, I attempted to make lefse, in honor of the great state of South Dakota. It hardly turned out the way that I had intended it to, that is, like how my family makes it. But people swore it tasted good... probably because they have never had legitimate lefse. Their loss, my gain.
- I hosted two RPCVs from Senegal for a few days while they were backpacking through South America. Peace Corps creates a cozily networked world of volunteers and it was great to share the differences and similarities of our experiences living abroad. Plus, one had even served near by to a good friend of mine from college—crazy small world. And we got to enjoy the first Zaruma Shabbot dinner together. Please insert "Stuff White People Do" joke here.
- Denali has gone missing. I had forgotten that amongst the joys of owning pets, there is the tragic aspect where they get sick, die, or get lost. Paccha has consequently been peppered with missing posters, I have promised $10 to anyone who can bring my cat back, and people are constantly coming to me with false spottings of Miss Denali. I am still hoping for a miracle—cats are known to do strangers things—but maybe Denali was never meant to live in the States and decided to cut out early.
- COS conference is less than one month away, meaning that Omnibus 105 is nearly done with its service. Oddly, it feels like no time has passed and that it was only yesterday that I was experiencing the coldest of South Dakota winters, hanging out in coffee shops, touring breweries, and dressing up for Christmas parties. I don't think I am prepared for the shock of returning and realizing that not everyone's life has been on the same two year standstill that mine has. My parents are nearly 60, my youngest brother can drink legally, friends are now married, others are to be soon, careers are being established, and I am still reliving the memories of 2010.
- Paccha had the grand opening of its newest city park. After a flowery presentation of all the sponsors, a few vueltas, and some picture taking in front of the Christmas Tree, the whole town took to the street and danced late into the night. Nostalgia is already setting in and I am dreading the day when I will not be able to look forward to a town celebration that includes cumbia, salsa, and endless hours of dancing.
- It's mango season! In an attempt to convey how awesome mango season actually is, yesterday I bought 13 mangos for $3 and my host mom complained that I was over charged. Those 13 mangos included three different varieties and tasted 100x better than any mango you could ever buy in the States. Unless of course you live in Hawaii, where I hear that mango trees are in abundance.
- I know I have posted about this guy before, but seeing as he had now been joined by a RPCV from Ecuador, I feel the need to do so again. In an effort to raise awareness, both his own and of others, Ken Ilgunas is walking the entire proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. He started out in Alberta and is now in Kansas—so badass.
- The newest issue of El Clima is out!
- Only nine more days until I get to see my family for the first time in over a year—best Christmas present ever.
|The refuge where we "camped" at the base of El Altar|
|Columbia Sportswear ad|