I cant believe how quickly every day passes. I feel like I have been in Pimampiro FOREVER...and its actually just been one week. Life here is great...everyone works as a community, everyone says hi to each other in the streets, there is no crime, the views are amazing, and on and on. We feel very at home here, we feel as if we are in a place that we could stay for quite some time, a place that we would love for each and everyone of you to see! Imagine as the sun comes up and the clouds burn off seeing mountains on all sides, green lush mountains with more types of plants than you can find most anywhere else in the world. And then every block that you walk someone says goodmorning, and when you arrive at work you get a kiss on the cheek and a hug from everyone. Such a loving and welcoming culture.
Thursday we arrived at the clinic as we had discussed the day before with the director, she put us right to work helping out the nurses. Nurses here play a very different role then in the states, as you will see. First we did intake, things like height, weight, and temperature after we made it through all the patients then we made some gauze. How exactly did we do that you may ask...well it comes in a box cut into squares (or what is supposed to be squares) and we must fold them exactly the same way every time to make a stack of six. After making this stack of six then they are placed into a piece of paper that is folded like oragami and then placed into the autoclave...now they are called sterile gauze. Im not exactly sure if it works like this, but that is what we do most afternoons in the clinic. At the end of the day she told us to "go learn Spanish," duh lady like we arent trying! Her attitude made us not want to return...
After that first day of work, which is obviously not what we want to do while we are here, we talked to Paul (the new one). We decided not to let her get the best of us and return to the clinic in the morning but let her in on what we are trying to accomplish here. Paul went with us and we let her into our thoughts and what we could do for her and her community. Things are better...but she still tells us to go home and learn Spanish every day. Geez lady...its not like I can be fluent in 2 days...but I do wish that that was possible. Just a little tidbit about the shower water...I never feel clean! The water is barely a drip and you have to chase that one drip around the shower. When you soap your leg, you have to lift it as high as possible for the soap to even rinse off, needless to say my hair still has shampoo from last week!
This past weekend, Elaina´s (our momma here) daughter came home from college. She is 23 and is in chef school in Quito. Saturday night she invited us to go for a ride with her and her friends, this riding basically is one square mile around Pimampiro. We pass the same people, honk at the same people, then when that gets old we stop in front of the plaza (town square) all pile out and turn up the iPod player. After a few hours that got old, we walked the block home and headed to bed. The past few days have been a special time around here, the man who has donated a large amount of money for alot of the projects in Pimampiro has been visiting. Sunday we (everyone that has anything to do with the projects here) hosted a dinner for this guy Ken, Sue (a lady who is from the states but teaches here) was in charge and she rounded us all up to help. We spent the day chopping vegetables and cutting up fruit and helping her make enchiladas for this Mexican themed dinner. It was a great success with many of the key players here attending. There was a live band, the oldies were dancing away...and we got to talk to Ken about our potential projects. He is super excited to see what we come up with...so keep that connection in your thoughts please!
Monday morning we joined the entourage and headed up to San Francisco, one of the 35 surrounding communities, to check out the bio-intensive gardens. Basically these people are double digging their gardens, composting, and not using pesticides and their fruits and vegetables are turning out so much better. It truly amazing the progress that they have made. Liz and I got the privilege to ride in the back of the truck (the bed-yes) where we could see all the sites on our way up to the sky. This small town is way up in the clouds, not sure the exact height but I do know that Pimampiro is at 10,000 feet and we drove an hour uphill to get to this village. These people were proud to show us their gardens. After the gardens we checked out the trout farm. Someone built 10 years ago a facility to grow trout and abandoned it for whatever reason. There happens to be a man in this community that is an expert in this field, he has come up with a whole plan where they can produce the eggs and grow the trout from egg to death in just 8 months. They are hoping to get this project underway very soon.
By this time it is lunch time on Monday, we head to the school (where the kids have their own garden beds at the school and also will be working with the trout) and they serve us lunch. Lunch was great, with smoked trout and all! After saying goodbye we checked out the clinic, where they see about 35 patients a day and have some equipment and medications given to them by the government. It runs pretty well, but they are open to any help that we can offer. We jumped back in the back of the truck and returned to Pimampiro, ice cream was our first stop (the ice cream here is amazing) then to Paragachi. Paragachi is only a few miles downhill from Pimampiro but it is like a desert, the ground is super sandy and they have no water to water their gardens. They have running water in their houses, some people, but the government does not allow that water to be used for watering plants. Therefore they are proposing a water project to bring the water from its source about 5 miles away. Expensive, but needed since this place is so dry. While in Paragachi we decided we wanted to play the kids in a game of soccer. I'll have you know the gringos (white people) won! With the help of a few little local boys of course. Definitely was a sight, I'm sure...the best part was this old Colombian man who lives there, he walks with a walking stick but he quickly threw that thing down and was heading balls and giving us young folk a run for our money. Couldn't believe that man could move like that!
Check out Liz´s pictures...Ill post some another day. One more thing that I forgot...there is a girl/lady that works at the house that we are staying at that obviously has a handicap but our "mom" here has people working for her all day every day, just helping her around the house. She usually doesn't say much but just stares at us when we are in the house, well the other day when Elaina left she pulled out her wallet. She was showing us pictures in her wallet and her ID card...it read "47% incapacitated"...hmm does the government really give these people a percentage or retardedness?