Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From the Banana Capital of the World

Okay – Here I am in Guayaquil Ecuador. It´s such an awesome city. The first day, yesterday, was moderately overwhelming. It´s always a little overwhelming when you have no idea where in the world you are. At church everyone was asking us where we lived…yeah, I couldn´t respond because I didn´t know. That´s always fun when you take a taxi and don´t know where you live, but we are managing. A friend brought us a map today. I already feel better. With a map, I can start figuring things out. Plus, I´ve already located some important areas – the Temple (which is within walking distance), the supermarket, the farmacia, Centro de Empleo (where we have the internship), the pool, and home. What else do I need to know?
I love all the palmeras (palm trees) and the flowering trees. I love the warm humid air. It´s so pleasant at night to walk outside and have it be a comfortable 80 degrees and humid. By the architecture, it´s quite apparent that I´m in South America.
This week we are just going to orient ourselves. We aren´t actually teaching the workshop yet. But, starting next week we are going to start travelling around Guayaquil and teaching the workshops at night. It will be an interesting experience. Johnny (my manager) kept telling us to take our cameras so that we can take pictures of the poverty and show every one at home. I think it will be a shocking experience. We live in the best part of town, with the pelucones (rich folks). There are lots of newer cars and newer buildings. We live right behind the World Trade Center in Guayaquil and by some nice shopping centers and the temple is close so that says it all. But Guayaquil isn´t a rich city. More than 70% of Ecuatorians live below the poverty line which means that they live on $2 a day or less per person. We can´t even imagine what that would be like. Things here aren´t really very cheap either. Today, we went to the grocery store and they use the American dollar as currency and the food was the same price basically as in the US, therefore, for those people living in poverty, I have no idea how they can even survive. It´s a poverty that I can´t really even understand. I hope we can help the people.
We have made some friends – every one has been nice enough to call us or drop by to invite us to different events. We are making friends which makes everything so much more enjoyable and meaningful. I can´t really complain. We have been warmly welcomed and are definitely being taken care of.
All is well in Guayaquil…


  1. I am so excited for you! I'm glad your arm didn't get in the way of your experience. Way to leave the country!

  2. wow, sounds like El Salvador. They use US Dollars but still hold the value of colones, which means...things are still very expensive...so sad!! I hope you guys can make at least a little bit of a difference. It will be great!
    Love you Becky!

  3. I'm glad you posted...i'm excited for you!

  4. 2 questions for to ask yourself:
    "why did I have a blog for an entire 5 weeks before letting my older sister in on the secret?" and also "why do I not have a link to said sister's blog, nor a picture of her in the "sisters" portion on the left side of the page?"
    these are very good questions.
    glad you're enjoying Ecuador! Help those people get jobs!!