Thursday, Sep 15, 2016
We went to the Taj Mahal today…Cuenca style. There is a restaurant on the corner of Benigno Malo and Calle Large that we have passed a hundred times. Today we decided to have lunch there. They serve shawarma sandwiches which is like a middle eastern “gyro”. Chicken and beef is roasted on a large skewer and shaved off and put in the pita-like bread with some lettuce. Sauces are provided to spoon over the flavorful meats and it is absolutely delicious.
Chase is meeting someone from Hearts of Gold charity foundation. They are going to help disadvantaged kids learn English and help the kids do their homework at an after school program. He is meeting this person at Benigno Malo and Calle Large, and then they take the 30 minute bus ride to where these kids are. So, since the Taj Mahal is at the same corner, we choose to have lunch here.
I love how Chase’s Peace Corp gene is still serving and needs expression. I also like how he integrates within the local community in Ecuador so easily. He has made friends with some Ecuadorians and they all met at a bar the other night. When he came home he said, “Well, I really have to get my Spanish down because that is pretty much all that was spoken. About every 10 minutes one of them would catch me up in English with what was being said.” Immersion is key to learning here and he has jumped in with both feet.
I started a month-long online course and discussion titled “Art of Activism- Hard Conversations-Intro to Racism”. Every day there is new learning material emailed to us- reading, video, interviews, and chat sessions provided to address racism and get engaged in the conversation to stop it.
Once a week we meet live online to discuss the issues further. So far it is an eye-opening discourse for this 54 year old white guy. The creator of this course thought she would have 200 attendees. There are over 2000.
I think I have officially turned into an old man. Heidi and I were invited to go with some friends to a jazz concert tonight that starts at 8 pm. I couldn’t get myself psyched up to be outside…in the dark, in the cold, catching taxis to get there…so I choose to stay home and turn on my propane heater. Seriously, I need to get a life.
Things are good for us here in Ecuador though, and I wouldn’t miss this opportunity for anything.