Notes from Windward: #67


Greetings from Ecuador

"Corn Hand" fills us in on what she's up to

Sarah making pizza last summer

     Hey everyone. I've now been in Ecuador nearly a week and it's been really amazing. I am now staying in a small village in the Andean highlands with mostly Indigenous people, most of whom still wear the traditional dress and a number of them also speak Quechua. The scenery is quite picturesque, and alongside the locals in traditional dress sometimes feels like I got sent back in time to an old Incan village. very fascinating. I found out the other day that my name actually means "corn hand" in Quechua. I just think that's so cool, especially since I am in the agricultural sector of the Peace Corps. Perhaps it's a sign that I really should take on Quechua... (??)

a view of Quito, Ecuador

     Anyway, after going through the somewhat long orientation and governmental beauocracy in DC, Quito, and Cayambe, I got to my village on Saturday. It is somewhat cold there at night, but pretty nice during the day. With my 6 blankets at night, I am quite cozy. The culture is quite different from the other places I have been in Latin America. They are pretty calm people, don't whistle and cat call all the time (or at all, for that matter), nor try to get you to marry them. They even drive somewhat normally, stopping at red lights and everything...

     The people in my village are pretty soft spoken and withdrawn. Not the outgoing, warm, party atmosphere that I came across previously in Colombia and especially the Dominican Republic. People in my village wake up around 3:30 or 4 and go down to milk the cows or other such farm work. They then work most of the day. They strike me as very hard workers. It's a shame they have such little educational opportunity because with their work ethic I'm sure they would do well.

Love you all and I hope you are doing well.

Sarah Mackay (i.e. corn hand)

Google Earth link for Quito, Ecuador

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67