Sorry about the last entry! I was sitting in the internet café when my host family ran in and said, hey we’re going to the teleferico wanna come? The car’s outside! Haha latin American culture, exhibit a. This is gonna be a long blog entry since I have a lot to fill you in on. Just to warn ya…
This weekend has been packed with stuff. I already mentioned Thursday night, which was kind of a bust, the celebration for their independence day. Friday me and Kara went out with Pancho the international student director and a bunch of other bca students to the mariscal. The mariscal is nicknamed “gringolandia” by Ecuadorians, because it is a district that is mostly filled with tourists. There’s tons of really neat restaurants, as well as karaoke and dance places, pool halls, etc. It’s quite an experience to walk around a little. We went to a salsa dancing place that was an improvement from the place in otavalo, and that was a lot of fun practicing the salsa steps we’re learning in class with my girlfriends. The guys are very forward though, so I’ve learned to be very blunt and just say, hey, I have a boyfriend! Go away! Because if you don’t, they don’t get the idea. Even if I wasn’t dating Aaron I would probably tell them that anyway! It’s frustrating that they don’t seem to have the last bit of respect for women, but it makes me appreciate so much more that Aaron cares about me for who I am and my relationship with God, when the guys here just see your white skin and try and hit on you. We learned in culture class about about “Machismo”, a strong cultural influence in this country. It basically translates to mean male chauvinism. For example, when a man here introduces his wife, in Spanish he says, “This is my woman.” Of course a woman would never be able to say that about her husband. Women are looked at as objects here. When Kara and I walk to the bus everyday, even if I look like crap and I’m dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, we get hissed at and the men on the streets say awful things. Luckily my Spanish is still bad so I don’t understand everything, haha. When I asked my Spanish teacher about it, she said she’s just used to it. If she walks down the street and men don’t make cat calls to her, she feels like she should go back home and put on some more makeup and nicer clothes. She was dead serious. I could hardly believe it. For all you boys out there, let me tell you that the most unattractive thing you can do is to disrespect women. Learn from the examples of Godly men and never act like the majority of Ecuadorian guys! Haha. Okay that’s enough of that sermon for now.
On the way home, Kara and I had quite an experience with a taxi driver. You always ask them how much it’ll cost to get home before you get in the taxi. This particular guy told us $3, which is pretty steep for a 5 minute drive. But we were tired and didn’t want to wait for another one. When we got to our house, we handed him a $5 bill and he said, in the most obvious lying voice, “Uh…I don’t have change for a 5.” We were stuck. All I had was $2 in change. But we decided to stick up for ourselves. We knew as a taxi driver he HAD to have two dollars in change. So we sat there arguing with him for about 5 minutes. I was like, sir, this is is ridiculous! That was only a 5 minute drive! And Kara was going, either you can give us the change or you can take the 2 dollars we have! When he realized that we weren’t backing down, he finally “found” two dollars in change. We were so proud of ourselves! I hate it when people try to take advantage of you like that.
On Saturday afternoon I went to the mall, which is right down the street, to meet with the Hewes. They are the missionary family that I connected with before arriving through email. To finally get a chance to meet them was SO cool. We had lunch and talked about their ministry and how I might be able to help. They attend the English Fellowship Church, which was founded by missionary families (including the Elliots from the end of the spear!) as a place where missions families could come to worship in their own language. The church is in need of help with worship, so I may find myself getting plugged in there, but I’m not sure. I’m praying about it. Kara and I visited this morning and we had a great experience. It’s an awesome church and the people are so welcoming. But part of me wants to go to a Spanish-speaking church instead. But EFC does a lot of really neat community outreach and even has an English-teaching program that incorporates the gospel. We’ll see. But the Hewes are going to give me a tour of their Christian TV studio next week so I can check that out, too. Joe Hewes actually used to be a manager and producer of CBS news in New York before taking a BIG pay cut to come to Ecuador and help run a tv channel that witnesses to the people of quito. Pretty cool stuff. It was so exciting to hit it off well with them, and they’re thrilled that I can speak Spanish (more or less). They’re still learning since they just got here 9 months ago. Please pray that God will help me as I decide how to plug into ministry here! The good thing is that I have to pick and choose what to do – better than having nowhere to start!
Last night our host families tried to take us to the teleferico, one of Quito’s biggest tourist attractions. It’s a cable car that takes people up to the top of mount pichinca, an incredible view for a pretty decent price. At the top of the mountain, there’s also a random amusement park and a huge furniture store. The whole roller coaster on top of a mountain thing is cool, but I’m pretty confused about the furniture store. Expecting Americans to buy a full dining room table set and get it down the mountain, let alone on an airplane, seems pretty silly to me. We couldn’t ride the cable car since the lines were too long but it was still pretty fun. Later last night we went to a futbol game! It was the liga quito team against a team from a very small city in ecaudor. Talk about corruption! The game was ridiculous. The whole BCA group went, and we had a lot of fun cheering, but the underdog team beat Quito and it was totally unfair. They scored a goal in the first half, and the rest of the game they kept pretending to be injured so the clock would keep running, since they don’t stop it here for injuries. They tack on a little extra time later but not nearly enough. Like seriously, these guys could have a career in soap opera. This one player was literally on a stretcher and then got up laughing and ran back onto the field – just to keep the other team from having enough time to score! At the end of the game, huge police troops with shields stood below the fans who were throwing all kind of stuff onto the field in anger. They had to stand around the goalie and ref to protect them because they had cheated so bad. It was nuts! We had a blast though. I’ll definitely want to go back to more games!
Well this entry is ridiculously long even though I could write more! Love you all and have a good one! Give my family a hug for me since I can’t!