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Day 5 Ecuador - Tuesday June 10, 2014

posted May 31, 2015, 12:27 PM by Julie Lawson   [ updated May 31, 2015, 12:54 PM ]
With the survey complete, today Luke downloaded the survey data and we prepared a base drawing for the team to use. Luke and I set up shop in Glenn's office, where the WiFi signal happens to be strongest! I feel so fortunate to have WiFi and remain connected to home. It came in handy today as we needed some CAD assistance and some of my co-workers at ARCADIS pitched in to get everything cleaned up! Their dog, Canela (which means cinnamon in English), is sweet and kept us company as well. Glenn busily worked on his blog as we joined him in his work space - complete with a view of Imbabura! 

We have completely taken over the house. Steve and Kevin worked on the dining room table while Kendra and Rene worked in the living room. Ruth joined our host Marilyn at a local community where they taught English. 

The Pijal church prepared a very special lunch for us (in Ecuador, lunch is the largest meal of the day). So we traveled back to Pijal and enjoyed our first time trying Cuy (that's Guinea Pig to us in the United States)! Yes, it somewhat tasted like chicken - but not quite. In Ecuador they farm Guinea Pigs because it is more economical and requires less land than raising cattle. Still, cuy is not an every meal type meat - we were being honored by being served this delicacy. 

After lunch we walked up the street in Pijal to a daycare that FEDICE is involved in for Pijal children who are ages 4 or less. FEDICE is involved in many day cares so that the women can work and help provide for their families. The day care celebrates birthdays a few times a year, so we were able to take part in the festivities. They had dancing (which we were prompted to join in on), face painting, a puppet show, a pinata, playing outside on their playground and of course cake! It was all fun and games until we spun a merry go round a bit too hard (prompting one chlid to lose his cake) and broke the merry go round! Oops! 

We had yet another meal at the daycare, then went further up the mountain to visit a sundial that the local architect designed and had built. The local community used to rely on sundials to know when to plant, when to harvest, etc. There was a school near the sun dial and the grounds are used to teach the children how to plant and harvest food and gives them a hands on way to learn to take care of the earth around them. It was beautiful hiking around and enjoying nature and learning about the culture and history of the area. 

Luke and Julie joined Glenn in his office.

The women of the church worked hard in the basement of their church to prepare another meal for us (photo by Rene).

Cuy (Guinea Pig), an Ecuadorian delicacy (photo by Ruth).

Bulls on parade on a Pijal road.

Bethany, Rene, Ruth, Kendra, and Julie carrying the birthday cakes up to the daycare from the church.

The daycare in Pijal (it is common for buildings in Ecuador to have rebar sticking up from the roof).

A birthday party for the children of Pijal at their daycare.

Children enjoying the party (photo by Rene).

Enjoyed learning about the history and culture of the Cayambi.

The architect from Ecuador with the architect from Canada, standing on their respective sides of the sun dial.