Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Time to Move Along

Hello faithful blog followers,
Time is flying by we have already been at our current residence for a month. It’s time to move on from Sucre. We found an ecological farm/ashram that we have been welcomed to stay at. They have a number of projects going on which voluteers are encouraged to come and contribute to. Projects include farm work, building tasks, and educational plans at the farm and in nearby villages. In addition to community projects there are three community vegetarian meals each day, group yoga seesions each day, and they have a no drug policy (It will be nice to be around a more wholesome crowd). The farm is located in the Ecuadorean jungle amidst mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and hotsprings. So once school is finished this week we plan to head north. It will be a long overland trek, that will take a few days, and we are looking forward to seeing the countryside.

During a walk home yesterday evening, we noticed a crowd of people. Upon checking it out bit closer we noticed that there was a parade going on in the street. The parade consisted of lots of young people in different groups distinguished by different costumes, each group complete with its own band. The first group was about 30 grim reapers. Next was a lively dancing group clothed in all white. They were followed by an army of Roman soldiers. Then came characters in which the top half of the performers bodies including their arms were covered with a sack (looking like an oversized hat), a face was drawn on their stomachs, and fake arms came out at the waist. Taking up the rear was a cheer leading troop in skimpy cheer leading attire…oh yeah… by the way all the cheer leaders were men, many of which were fairly overweight. All of the groups were very animated and were dancing very flamboyantly they all seemed to be having a crazy good time. About half way through watching the parade from the sidelines some dapper guy with a face drawn on his bare stomach grabbed Cassie and pulled her into the parade to dance with him. Likewise a girl grabbed me and pulled me into the parade, asking me to dance with her (secretly I wanted to be in the parade the whole time I just needed an invitation). So we danced it up for the rest of the parade until we ended at a University building were the party continued in the street. Bottles of some mixed drink were being passed all around amidst the dancing. It was a pretty fun and energetic fiesta. After further inquiry I found out that this is the university student’s way of celebrating the end of the school year.

Thanks for your support,
Brent and Cassie

Thursday, October 15, 2009

You're living where?!!! With who?!!! Doing what?!!!

Dear Friends and Family,

There has been some concern brought to my attention regarding the last post. I realize that I should have been a bit clearer about what happened last weekend. Our current house mates consist of an Argentinean guy (Lucas) and another housemate (a French woman who recently finished volunteer work with a local NGO). Lucas is the father of a little boy, who spends time at the house regularly. Lucas is supporting his son through entertaining children at schools and birthday parties as a clown. These are the things that we were aware of upon moving into the house. Until last weekend, we were aware of only minimal drug use generally due to visitors to the house. The party that happened was a onetime deal (at least while we are here). For the next week the house residence will be Cassie, myself, Lucas, and the French women. After that we will be leaving the area. From my observations over the course of the last three weeks neither Lucas nor the French Women keep drugs in the house, and there will not be any more parties like last weekend.

We feel like the party last weekend was a bit uncomfortable and certainly not our preferred living situation.

I hope this puts some concerns to rest. Please know that what I described in the last post is not a situation that we prefer or that we are pursuing.

Thanks for your concern,

Brent and Cassie

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Party Scene

Turns out our choice of house mates is exposing us to a different scene in Sucre. Often times we completely miss each other, we are getting up to start our day and they are just going to bed, to sleep into the late afternoon. One guy offered me a pretty good deal for a new business opportunity. Turns out I can buy 10 grams of pure cocaine here for about $150 USD, I understand that any where in the US 1 gram goes for more then $100 USD.

I knew it was going to be a long night when I was shopping at the market and I received a flyer from someone that I didn’t recognize inviting me to a party that was taking place at my house. Our housemates hosted a party with a scheduled line up of performers, including clowns, puppets, juggling and fire dancing. The party got started around 12:00am. Once we were ready to go to bed around 3:30am we had to kick a few folks out of our room, and move the cocaine paraphernalia off of our bed. I got up around 10:00am to start the day and there was still about a dozen people finishing off the last of the gallon jug of vodka trying to counter act the stimulating effect of snorting cocaine all night so that they could eventually fall asleep.

The picture of the little girl has nothing to do with the party scene, it was just a picture Cassie took at the market.

Don’t worry Moms we will be leaving this place very soon, and we plan to be a bit more intentional about the next place we decide to stay, and I was joking about considering the new business opportunity.