Wednesday, September 22, 2010

colorful colorado

Reasons why Colorado is wonderful..... My FAMILY and my childhood homeMi hermana Not having to miss any more birthdays or holidays

Mom's birthdayAshley's birthday celebtation

Meeting RPCVs
Fall in Colorado with good company

Ari comes to visit

New Belgium Bike Tour

Halloween (Indian Jones, a pro-rockclimber, a wealthy oil owner, a giant pumpkin, a Chilean miner and purple treasure troll)

Dance seshs with friends in Denver
House sitting at my friend's cabin

The beautiful Rocky mountain view from the cabin

Meagan making a delicious dinner
Deceivingly friendly picture.

This same horse gave me a startling welcome when Meagan was giving me a tour of her cabin and the barn. We opened up the gate and another horse nipped at the black horse, which caused him to do an about face and kick his hind leg straight back in a line drive to my thigh/buttocks area. My body went into shock but after the adrenalin wore off, I realized my leg was still intact and nothing was broken. I walked away with a bruise...unbelievably lucky!

Christmas in the mountains. Kristin moved to Colorado! Yay! The Rubias together again!

Enjoying my home town but still missing Ecuador dearly

Thursday, August 26, 2010

South Beach

On my way back to Colorado, I stopped in Miami

Our spectacular view from our remarkable hotel room. Hanging with my long lost Irene was truly heart warming. It was odd seeing her drive up to pick me up at the airport rather than arriving on bus as she did so many times in Ecuador to get to my site to teach English classes together. TQMMMM pero mucho Irene! Swipe your card and you could buy yourself a new car, a Rolex watch or something a little closer to our budget....mints! Day trip to the Keys!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

hasta luego ecuador

One of the hardest see you laters of my life...I couldn't even get myself to say good-bye, just "until next time."
The last few months of my service flew by. I blinked, and I was already having to pack-up my life and home that I had created for the last two years. I finished-up projects and focused the last month on spending as much time with all the people who were so dear to me. Plan International threw me a work going away party and there were many great memories shared and several tears shed. I got up to say my thank you speech, and could hardly get any words out before I lost it and had tears streaming down my face. It ended up being one emotional good-bye after another.

Expectingly so, the worst of them all was my last day in my community. I knew my community going away party was going to be tough but I had no idea just how tough it was going to be. Once the flood gates opened, there was no return. The party and speeches were so endearing and the words expressed will forever be in my heart.

We played games and danced the night away trying to make light of the situation. We finally parted ways once there were no tears left to cry, and we were left with unforgettable memories.

Fortunately, I introduced my friends to Facebook and Skype so when they ride into the city, we can still talk and be included in each other's lives.I truly looki forward to going back and visiting! Hasta luego Ecuador

Monday, July 12, 2010

happy (belated) 4th!

My dear Irene, World Teach volunteer, came back to visit after a year of being in the states. She use to come to my site every week, and we would teach English together in the far away remote communities. After her service was up, she started a new exciting adventure in Miami. We were SO excited when she shared the news that she was coming to see us. Her visit was so nice, and it was like she had never left. TQMMM Irene! It was only appropriate to welcome Irene back with a community dance!
The ever so famous "Diamantes" played at the dance, and the next thing I knew....we were up on stage taking pictures with them.Mis gringitas who danced the night away Getting back to the house at 4am and crashing, only to get up the next day to celebrate the 4th of July!
Que viva la U-S-A! We started off the 4th of July bash just like any other American singing the good ol' national anthem. We played all sorts of games, had an Hora Loca and celebrated Independence Day
Ecua-American style.
You must keep dancing without letting the lime drop.
I couldn't stop laughing for the life of me, while Kristen had her game face on.
Sarah made us a delicous American flag cake. She had to get creative without blueberries and strawberries at hand....and I think she did a fabulous job!We ate lobster for lunch! yum!!little Dila was so happy this day and loved playing in the face you can see from her mini-blue mustache. Considering I couldn't be in the US this yeart to celebrate the 4th like last year, I'd say spending time with the people I care about here came in second best.
Happy birthday los Estados Unidos!

Big bad wolf

A big project we have been working on for the last month is a play that addresses child sexual assualt. The actors are members from my community, and I am really excited for the group to travel around and present the play. They sing, dance, recite poetry, use puppets and even have a big bad wolf.

Supper granny giving the kids a lesson

It's funny to see some of the older ladies in my town play young girls skipping around and jump roping. the young star of a program called Fama o Drama sang at the grand opening of the our show.
A big congratulations to the performers in the play!!
Random photo....but I wanted to take the chance to thank some of my favorite people who are a continuous big support and hold a special place in my heart. MUCHAS gracias nanas! las quiero mucho!!

Become facebook friends with Victoria

HIV prevention work in the high schools

Peace Corps trained us PCV in Guayaquil a couple of months ago in HIV prevention, and my counterpart and I have now completed the Cuanto Sabes de VIH y SIDA program in 3 different high schools in my communities. It's been really well received, and we have been invited by high schools all over the area to implement the program in their communty. The project is super interactive and the best part about it is we trained 20 peer educators and they are the ones that put on the workshops. It has been awesome to see the peer educators grow into their own and confidently give presentations to their classmates on a topic that is usually considered taboo and not easy to talk about. Victoria VIH is a traveling doll that my HIV task force group came up with that is being passed around from volunteer to volunteer to promote HIV education throughout the country. I was the lucky 1st person to host Victoria in my site. She participated in my Cuanto Sabes project and paseared mucho in my site. She couldn't leave my site without eating some encebollado...delicous Manabi soup that I eat at least three times per week. :)Victoria with the lovely encebollado chef who has a little stand near the park in my town.

The kids in the daycare center loved Victoria too. The doll was a great way to create a dialouge within the community.

Victoria even has a facebook page! Become her facebook friend. Just look up Victoria del Vih and see more picutres of her travels.