Interviews: In Summation

A few wrap-ups:

1. Of course, 20 minutes after making fun of Dana for having pink eye, guess who was smote for her mockery...that's right. We both will be wearing our glasses from here on out of abject fear of recurrence.

2. Yes, I realize I spelled chef incorrectly in my interview video (thanks for pointing that one out, Craig)... what can I say, other than I will never win any awards when it comes to spelling.

3. Want to know what happened to the extra footage from all the interviews? Oh, I have plans (besides using some of it as future blackmail for any of our politically-interested PDs, cough cough Eliah), and these plans involve putting together random segments each week. Live in fear, other PDs, live in fear.

That's all :)
(oh, and Happy Sunday, too!)

Health Notice

(Mark Hand, guest blogger extraordinaire. Thanks for another awesome entry, Mark!)

"Swine Flue Hits Manna Project!

No, not like that, mothers. We at MPIE are all happy and relatively healthy (if you ignore for the moment that both Dana and Holly have pink eye of all things) and - while sometimes the men act like pigs - none of us are suffering from H1M16 or whatever it is that has replaced sharks as America's obligatory summer phobia.

But MPIE has been hit by the gripe in a way we hadn't anticipated. Over the last two weeks, our library attendance has fluctuated wildly - falling from a range of 20-35 children in April to 8-25 children in May. We've been scratching our heads, reorganizing, playing a lot of Blokus and re-engaging to make sure our library is at full tilt.

At a community meal last week, however, the mother of one of library's youngest patrons informed Holly as to why Rumilomans were avoiding MPI headquarters: that's right, swine flu. Given that Ecuador's ten cases of swine flu have all stemmed from foreign travel, our new summer volunteers are, apparently, suspect.

The solution? According to our informant, we should a) take our next round of summer volunteers to the Ministry of Health for H1N1 screening, and b) publicly post a "None of us have swine flu" notice outside the library. Thoughts?


My Smallest Doctor

(Today's guest blog is from Mark Hand, who is currently in Quito with Dunc listening to a talk by President Carter...maybe I can squeeze another guest blog out of them about that!)

"On average, I kick back six rounds of antibiotics a year for sinus infections. If you've never had a sinus infection, it feels a lot like being held underwater and hit in the face with a rubber mallet at the same time, while somebody sucks out your life force.

One of the young girls who frequents the library these days is named Melani, and she noticed me snorting and sniffling the other day. "What's wrong with you, profe?" she asked, wrinkling her own nose.

"I've got gripe," I told her. Gripe, which is pronounced GREE-pay, can be applied to just about any mild sickness resembling a cold. It's a lot like the flu in Southern Africa. I didn't feel like explaining the intricacies of sinusitis to a nine year-old, so gripe worked just fine.

"You know what, profe? You should have tilo tea. We've got some at my house, you can come by and get it tonight. You put this much in water once it's boiling, let it sit, and it will cure you fast." At this, I asked Melani if she had ever considered being a doctor. Her eyes lit up, and she told me "Yes, profe! Since I was little!"

Melani and I spent the next thirty minutes in the health and wellness section of the library, she trying to explain pictures of hernias and scabies to me, I trying my best to be encouraging without actually having to look closely at any of them. Kind of reminded me of watching Animal Planet with my sister Minette growing up.

The tilo tea, which consisted of boiled flowers Melani pulled off of a bush in her front garden as she tried to set me up on a date with her shy older sister, didn't quite do the trick. I'm hoping the second round of antibiotics I got from a Chile-trained ENT in Quito will. Melani was disappointed that the tea didn't work, but agreed that antibiotics were a good next step.


Another Friday Evening

Sorry for the seriously lacking first week of December in Daily Life world. Been battling another stomach bug which caused me to lose the past 2 days in a haze of restless sleeping and toilet cuddling.

Tonight was the first time I'd been outside since Wednesday (which is slightly disgusting, I realize), but what a welcome back I got. The sky was literally on fire for half an hour, and I was feeling bold enough to climb the rickety old ladder up to the second roof to try and capture the colors. It's a testament to South American sunsets that the pictures don't even come close.

Happy winter weekend,

So THAT'S what's wrong...

Every time Eliah and I head over to the University of San Francisco, Quito (USFQ) for a meeting regarding the community garden/recycling/agricultural learning center we’re in the midst of planning, I end up getting sick. Eliah has been spreading around the rumor that school itself makes me physically ill, which is absolutely NOT the truth, seeing as how I love the collegiate feel of that place almost as much as I love the English Department building at Vanderbilt. (I mean how could you not? Vaulted ceilings, stained oak panels, stained glass windows, spiral staircases, literature and poetry professors in every room...yes please). But yet again, yesterday we had a meeting at USFQ with a few different Ecology professors, and boom, this morning I had to attend our weekly meeting from the “comfort” of the downstairs bathroom.

Mark finally said enough is enough, it’s time to figure out what is actually going on (apparently he wasn’t as willing as Eliah to assume a jinxed college campus was behind all the sickness), and so we hopped into a cab and headed out to Quito. 5 hours later I’m back in my bed with my two new friends, Parasite and Amoeba, chillin’ in my intestines, glaring at the three big bottles of Pedialite BUBBLE GUM FLAVOR that are currently sitting on my bedside table and stand as the only liquids I’m allowed to drink for the next week.

And of course today’s the day Jocelyn decides to make Ropa Vieja for dinner. Woe is me.

In other news, I’ve decided to include a daily photo with each update. So at least you have something pretty to look at while thinking about parasites and amoebas.

Tune in tomorrow for the weekly guest blog, I promise it won’t be about being sick :)

Until Thursday, 


(the entryway to the Galileo Building at USFQ)