Sunday, January 29, 2006

Students 1, Government 0. And pictures!

Well, this is getting to be ritual... Sunday afternoons enjoying the sun and wireless internet at the Plaza de Las Americas. Good thing Katie is busy updating us on her transition to Texan in between my posts.

So, it's been quite a week. The student protests continued, and we had the Ecuadorian equivalent of a snow day on Thursday, when the government preemptively closed down all schools in response to the threat of a nationwide student strike. That same day they finished announcing their COMPLETE cave to the students' demands. They had already agreed not to raise bus fares, and now have also finally agreed to issue the long-awaited student ID cards and to enforce the student half rate on buses. I'm not sure if it's a testament to student agency, or just a sign of how weak the Ecuadorian government is, that high school students can take on the national government and military police, and within 10 days come out completely victorious. El Comercio covers the story and also has this great slideshow of photos from the protests. Or here is a short article in English: Ecuador: Peace Back, for a While.

Friday I was delighted to get not only Jenna's package but a letter from Ruth! Best mail day ever!

Saturday I made my Ecuadorian musical debut, singing in a concert at the university. It actually turned out to be part of a Catholic service celebrating St. Thomas Aquinas, which explained why we were singing the christmas reportoire from last semester. Looking forward to June when we will participate in a university choral festival.

And, last but not least, PICTURES!!! From my trip 2 weeks ago to Latacunga. I did a lot of editorializing this time around, so be sure to read the captions for the whole travelogue.

6 comments:

  1. I'm first! er... I have nothing to say. um...

    Thanks for the pics! And yay students!

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  2. Hooray for half fares. Also, hooray for military restraint! ... Great tourist pix. My new guidebook leaves out the pix and didn't mention the special bus seat for three and a half.

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  3. Hey, what about our package????? We did send you one from Juneau, I swear!!!! Bah. Well, expect one from Texas one of these days, which hopefully will appear with a little more promptness than our previous one.

    Oh, and can you get just plain postcards, or do they have to be in envelopes? (I remember a friend from Colombia saying that if people mail them plain old postcards, they just disappear... don't know if the Ecuadorian mail system is quite that sketchy, but I'm not inclined to be trusting after the incredible lag time in our package arrival.) Let me know!

    xoxoxox

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  4. There's no rhyme or reason as to when the packages come, it seems. My roommates have all gotten all of their packages, but some have inexplicably taken months and months. As yours and your mom's are apparently taking. That´s ok, it just leaves me in a constant state of suspense. Is it here yet? How about now? Now?

    Oh, and yes, postcards are A-ok. I've gotten some from both of my parents, so feel free to send away! One of these days I'll send some postcards from here... despite selling every other possible piece of merchandise on the street, you really have to look for postcards.

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  5. What a great great trip! I'm definitely forwarding the photos to my family in support of Maddie's senior trip to Ecuador. You and Rachel look great. I'm so glad you met up to be such compatible travel buddies!

    Wish I could get half off on the Louisville bus. But I can't complain too much, it's only a dollar. And every time I go out somebody gives me something, whether it be a piece of gum or ugly key chain! Such nice Southern folk!

    I'm glad Ruth's so responsible. Darn her for showing me up!

    xoxo, lo

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