A Different Kind of List

(Wednesday's guest blog comes from Serena Zhou, a new MPI Ecuador Program Director and resident whiteboard drawer. Serena can eat Eliah under the table at any given meal, has picked up Spanish faster than anyone I've ever met, and nearly cried when Zak's girlfriend mailed her the Olympic opening ceremonies from her dearly loved China.)

Things I Wish I Had Known...

-When possible, choose the window seat on crowded buses (esp. if you are a female). You never know what to expect in this "machismo" society.

-Never flush ANYTHING down the toilet.

-Always bring your camera with you (in case a cow decides to give birth in front of the classroom like Jocelyn and Dunc)

-Avoid carrying anything over a 5 dollar bill; otherwise, you may not get change.

-Don't rely on the internet to find information on...anything around here.

-Do not look at an Ecuadorian man on the street in the eye for over 3 seconds. They will think you're interested.

-Don't trust a stray dog like Diego who will use Gringos for food and then leave you and break your heart.

-Do not tell an Ecuadorian you don't like Pilsener (the Ecuadorian beer) even though it really is gross. It will shatter their national pride and they will get defensive.

-Don't attempt to play soccer with locals until you have had plenty of time to acclimate.

- Always bring a rain coat with you...everywhere.

-The Godfather is the most confusing movie ever made in the history of mankind. Even the Wikipedia site is confusing.

-"Chinese" restaurants are owned by Ecuadorians.

-Bed bugs actually DO bite.

-Try to put national pride aside if you want to conquer the world in "Risk." I learned this the hard way.


The Occasional Glitch

Hi. I know what you're thinking: Holly, the Daily Life blog has only been up and running for 2 days and you've already started slacking, ahh... where have you been for the last 5 days?! I'd like to take this opportunity to explain a little something we like to call "s.w" or Shifty Wireless. Ok no, we actually don't call it that, but I am putting in a concerted effort to help it catch on. Every once in a while, for reasons beyond our understanding, our internet signal up and leaves us in a manner reminiscent of the Keith Urban song "You'll Think of Me". Considering we've all spent the past few days dreaming about wireless internet, the similarities are quite strong.

In the most recent case, Friday morning rolls around, Jos and Dunc headed out to English class, and with them went our sweet and precious internet signal. We thought it was just another one of those random, inexplicable technological failings. Apparently we were wrong. Turns out (thanks to Dunc and Eliah's investigative skills and countless phone calls to the internet company) our connection was terminated because of confusion over a bill payment. Note: we paid the bill, it was the company who was confused.

Regardless, the signal is back, albeit currently limited to a single cord connection. Now begins the task of sharing between 10 of us one internet cord. I would propose a UFC wrestling match to determine priority, but considering Mark almost broke Dunc's rib the last time that happened, not sure that'd be the best idea.

Happy belated birthday wishes to Luke, and stay tuned for Mark Hand's first guest blog tomorrow!

Best, Holly