Lots of Work, But Also Some Play

I've been meaning to write a blog for a few days about the other things I've gotten up to in Quito, but I just haven't had the time! And every day I wait, the list of things to write about gets longer.

This has been a busier week at work. Mark and Chuck are visiting from the U.S. office, so they have brought a lot of news from EWMI and from USAID about the development of the project. In turn, the SEJP here has been working hard to show to Mark and Chuck all the advancements they've made in the past year. This visit comes with it a whole new to-do list for the Project, and in part for me. I recently finished translating the website, which we are working on putting online, and I am also going to work on a form SEJP will use to assess the application of alternative case disposition procedures in courts. In addition, Chuck and Mark want the Project to put together some bulletins or flash flyers explaining in a concise and succinct way the achievements of the Project in the past year. I may take ahold of crafting those documents in English.

My after-hours have quickly filled up too. Last Saturday I went to the Capilla del Hombre, or Chapel of Man in English. That site is the crowning work of one of Ecuador's greatest artists, Oswaldo Guayasamín. It had a bunch of his paintings and sculptures in it, which were all hauntingly moving. From the Wikipedia, "The Chapel is meant to document not only man's cruelty to man but also the potential for greatness within humanity." Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

His self-portrait:


My favorite painting:


On Sunday my roomski Nelly and I went to the artesan markets near one of the parks in the city. I looked around at a lot of the different crafts and the indigenous folk that came to the city to sell their wares. But I only contemplated, and didn't buy anything - I'm holding out for my trip to Otavalo, which is the really well-known artesan market in the country.

On Monday I started my dance & cardio classes, which nicely are right across the street. They've left me wiped out - whipping me back into shape after the exercise glut I hit during finals.

Tuesday evening Nelly and I went to dinner with her sister, her niece, and her niece's friend from the U.S. - the two girls will be sophomores at Dickinson in the fall. We went to a really neat café/bar called Café Mosaico that had great views of the Old City (called the Centro) at nighttime. After that, we went driving through el Centro at night, to see the churches and buildings all lit up in the evening glow. It was a beautiful sight to see at night, but sadly my camera did not take good pictures, so I will have to go back during the day on a weekend. This short trip also was a sort of shock treatment to my safety concerns, as some of the worst neighborhoods in Quito are in el Centro - and we drove through them aimlessly at night, sometimes getting a bit lost, encountering a dead end road, or driving in one of the lanes specifically reserved for ambulances and the bus circuits of the city.

On Wednesday evening, it just so happened that my supervisor from CEDHA in Córdoba, Argentina last year was in town for a few days working at a professional conference. We met up and went to a bar in the La Mariscal district, where all the happening partying is (and all the foreigners) for a cappucino. Daniel told me about some of the advances the mining program at CEDHA has made, how things are going there, and some of the groups he's working with in Quito, and I in turn shared about the Project.

Tonight I'm resting up - all this running around has taken a toll on me. More to come later!