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meeting some friendly locals

Still freaking tired during the night, at times I got so crazy because of the itch on my legs that I hardly slept. Needless to say, by the time our alarm clock went off, I was a complete zombie and although I tried to get dressed as quickly as I could, I needed some sleep more than anything else.

I guess the prospect of learning a bit more about the mountain people here in Guamote and the surrounded area, was more than an incentive enough to get down the stairs and as soon as I had a bit of food into my system, I was still feeling tired, but more than ready to start the day!

Inti Sisa, has started out as a community project of a few Belgian people, who wanted to help the indigenous people here in Guamote and although they started out with helping the local teachers in the mountain villages, nowadays they don’t rely on donations alone since they have the income of the hotel as well. Over the years, volunteers have come and gone, but thanks to all of their efforts, Inti Sisa has grown from an idea of a few people into a realization with an educational centre in the town of Guamote, where job opportunities are almost non existent. Till this day, thanks to the hotel, 15 people have a fixed income with an honest wage, have social security and in turn made sure their children, husbands and wives also have found a second home in their little community. Hopefully one day, they can double it … we can only hope of course!

Learning about it sounded amazing enough, but seeing it with our own eyes, is something even more impressive. 

This morning, Eva was going to be our guide and as she took our entire group towards the educational centre, we soon got an idea on how the daily life of a preschooler looked like as well as learned a little bit more about the sewing and computer classes they give to the children as well as their parents in order to get a better life. It was clear to each and everyone of us, that Eva was worn on all fours, like they say in Belgium and this was even more obvious once we stepped onto the local bus where Eva took us up to one of the mountain villages. Here we had a chance not only to see how the daily life in a local school was going on, but Eva also guided us to her close and personal friend, who gave us a better insight into the clothing of the mountain people as well as the differences in wool.

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The most impressive thing during our morning drive up the mountains, was a visit to a typical “choza”, which is just a simple form of a house made out of mud or stone walls with a grass roof on top. Although this type of housing was mostly used as barns for the livestock, some people actually did live in them. Even at this present day a minority of people refuse to build new homes and decided to stay in these typical houses. As soon as we got back in Guamote again, it was already lunch time and once back at the hotel, we noticed that our friendly staff prepared us some delicious toppings, so that we could make ourselves some yummy wraps. They even provided loads of fruit, so that we could have a healthier variety as well. They were just so thoughtful and friendly that I already felt a little sad, knowing that we had to leave tomorrow morning.

In the afternoon, we had some free time on our hands, but if we wanted, there was also an opportunity to go for a walk through town, which sounded pretty good to me, so instead of staying in the hotel and make some empanadas like a few others of our group, I was more than ready to discover this seemingly abandoned looking town.Lazaro, who turned out to be not only a music teacher, but a guide as well, took us out in his town and showed us all the major sights such as the main street, the cemetery, the bullring, the parish church as well as the train station.

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When we were back on our way towards the hotel, it was already past 5 PM and with just a little luck, I even managed to get something at the pharmacist for my itchy legs. Earlier today, I showed the horrible spots on my legs to someone of our group, who stated I definitely got an allergic reaction to bites from sandflies. That together with an insect bite and of course the usual mosquito bites, made my trip towards the jungle a more than memorable one, but hopefully with some soothing lotion, I would be just fine in the upcoming weeks … yeah me, as it turned out I would have a few more weeks of "itchy joy"!

Just like yesterday, dinner was served promptly at 7 PM and like the day before, I can’t but state that the starter, main course and dessert were more than yummy and with my tummy filled, I turned to my room and decided to let the homefront know that I was still in the world of the living.Though it was still early, about 9 PM, a hot shower and a rub with lotion later, I decided to have an early night and closed my eyes, hoping that this night would be a better one than the one I had last.

Posted by Ils1976 05:20 Archived in Ecuador

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