Friday, April 18, 2008

MANA and the Latest Happenings

I haven´t really posted in a while because there really hasn´t been anything too, too exciting, but in keeping my weekend happenings documented, I decided I will talk a little bit about what I´ve been up to.

Otavalo, Cotacachi, Ibarra

The Saturday after spring break I went with Anina to Otavalo again because last time we went (during our Runa Tupari experience) she was sick and did not get to do any looking around at the artisal market, much less buy anything. We did all kinds of souvenir and gift shopping, then met up with David (our tour guide from last time who I became friends with and had been keeping in touch with) and had lunch together. We then caught a bus to Cotacachi, the leather capital of Ecuador (where you can get nice leather jackets for as cheap as $45!), to do some more shopping. Anina bought a beautiful leather purse and I got myself a leather wallet. That night we stayed in Cotacachi and hung out with David some more. We got pizza and ate it at our hostel while we watched parts of El Crimen del Padre Amaro, with Gael Garcia Bernal (who I just found out is from Guadalajara ---man, Jalisco has so much talent to offer!). The next morning we caught a bus to Ibarra, which is famous for their helados de paila (amazing fruit ice cream). We ate breakfast there, walked around the town, and got to help some kids who after following us around for a while had to courage to ask us for an interview for their English class. Anina helped them out by answering some questions in English, and in turn they led us to the best helados the paila. Anina and I both got mora and coconut flavors, it was delicious!

Emily´s Cumpleaños

On the 8th was Emily´s 21st bday and we went out to lunch an ¨Italian¨ restaurant near school. It was a fun little lunch in that we got a lot of eating done since we got a huge free (and delicious) gelato sundae because the waiter was a bit inept and kept getting our orders wrong, as well as quite a bit of studying done, since all of us had tests that afternoon. That night we all got together at Jessica´s house, ate pizza and watched Emily´s favorite movie ¨Hedwig¨ about some transexual man/woman. Interesting, but don´t think I´ll ever watch it again.

DISP-ing it all Weekend

The next weekend we pretty much just did work. Like nonstop. It was rediculous but it had to be done. We all had our 25 pg DISP (directed investigative study project) due on Wednesday and none of us had started, writing it that is. Emily and I went over to Anina´s house on Saturday and worked all day (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) with only taking a break to go pick up the Mana tickets and grab some pizza for dinner. On Sunday Emily came to my house to work some more, although this time I worked on my huge marketing project, also due that Wed. It was a crazy work weekend but also a crazy sickness weekend. That day we found out that Jessica, who had had a headache and 104 temperature pretty much every single night for the past 3 nights, had Typhoid! Random, but true. (Although, now after getting medication, many tests, and not much improvement the doctors aren´t quite sure what she has). I, on the other hand, had major eye problems. They were super itchy and red, and I had a lot of trouble seeing. Luckily on Monday I was able to go to the doctor and get some eye drops. Now, after wearing my glasses everyday for the entire week and having the eye drops, I´m better.


Last night was the event that I´d been waiting for such a long time, the Mana concert! The concert was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m., but people started getting in line to go in at 11 a.m.! Despite my fanaticness, even I thought this was rediculous since the doors opened at 3 p.m. We decided that we would all get togther at Maureen´s house, who lives about a block away from el Estadio Nacional Atahualpa (where the Ecuadorian national soccer team plays) around 5, grab some shwarma near by, then head out to stand in line. After dinner we went to go stand in the line that went around for blocks. Luckily, we were able to find some of Maureen´s friends (who had been waiting in line for 2 hrs already) and cut them. Standing in line was rediculous because there was no order and people, like us, kept cutting --although I justify our cutting because we still had to wait for like 3 hours before finally getting in, we didn´t cut right before getting in, like tons of people did. It was tiring and kinda of frustrating because there were tons of police officers just standing around and not enforcing the line at all. In the end though, the wait was worth it.

We had tickets in cancha, which means that we got to stand in the field for the concert. This kind of sucked in the sense that we had already been standing for many hours, but the atmosphere during the concert was great. Everyone sang, danced, jumped, screamed, and did pretty much everything you do at rock concerts. I even heard a few people echandose un grito during ¨sigo siendo el rey,¨ although I do have to say, Ecuadorians don´t do it as well as Mexicans.

Although I had seen the Amar es Combatir World Tour concert twice already (in San Diego last April and in LA in October) and I already knew what to expect, there were a few spins to the concert that I really enjoyed, one of them being the great fire and firework spectacle that the concert ended with and the other being when Fher waived around the Mexican flag attached to the Ecuadorian flag, saying that Mana owed a lot to Ecuador, seeing as it was the first country (even before Mexico) who truly supported them. Like Emily said, it just represented me so well (although the American flag was still missing) since after being in Ecuador for almost 5 months, I do feel a very strong and special tie with this country. The Mana concert was, of course, AMAZING, and such a great treat after turning in the DISP and my marketing project the day before.

Side note: Jessica, despite being super sick still and having been in the hospital for some tests earlier that day, also went to the concert and fulfilled one of her top 10 things/dreams to do in life. It was really cool to share this love of Mana with her and see how excited she was.

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