Sorry for the extended absence; instead of dwelling on the expected excuses (We're so busy! The afternoon thunderstorms have knocked out our internet! Holly forgot to post something.... again...), I'm just going to jump into highlights from the week. It has been an exceptionally packed one, even in MPIE terms.

Sunday: We hosted a dinner party for Mafe's family at our house, cooking up a Tex-Mex fiesta even the most pica-adverse (pica = spicy) Ecuadorian's could enjoy. It still confuses me how much the Ecuadorians in our circle despise spicy foods. Since everything lacked any spice of any sort, the collection of spices for us gringos on the table was prolific, to say the least :)

On a rather depressing note, my beautiful camera Cecilia (please just humor me that it's normal to name electronic devices) was stolen out of my backpack while Eliah and I were at markets shopping for the evening's feast. The daily photographs will be lacking for the next few posts until I can figure out an alternative. Sad news all around, but that's how it goes I suppose.

Monday: Another stellar team meeting, productive day at Apoyo and Children's English, and a hysterical evening at women's exercise. Jocelyn and I set up a circuit training rotation, something the women had never seen, and we suffered through each station together. Considering that all 7 women in my group got up together and "went to the bathroom" right before we got to station 5, push-ups, they figured out ways to manipulate the system.

Thursday: Children's Art was an...experience. We studied Jackson Pollock and his splatter, drip, and pouring techniques before beginning our own. Each student mixed their own paint color (how Alexis, the most machismo guy in the class, ended up with bubble gum pink is still bothering me) and "took turns" splattering (read: throwing) it onto the butcher paper on the floor. Taking turns quickly turned into everyone throw the paint at the same time while Alexis dumps enormous pink piles of paint everywhere, but eh, at least it was fun. Hopefully they'll remember some of it! Dana's mom and brother came to class, too, which was awesome, and once I get a hold of the video they shot I'll be sure to post it.

Friday: We all headed to our respective destinations for Carnival: I hopped on a plane to the states (where this missive comes from), Jos and Serena braved the mud-pit streets on a bus headed to Canoa (the coast), Seth headed down to Argentina, and Dunc and Eliah went somewhere for a 4 day backpacking trip. Posting will be a little light this week as well, but when I get some news from Ecuador I'll be sure to share some choice anecdotes.