Friday, August 05, 2005
This is our last week in Otavalo…We’ve saturated our minds with Spanish and now are looking forward to our trip to see the humpback whales. The remainder of our volunteer experience hasn’t been all too exciting. We’ve been given the responsibility to see all the newborn babies who room in with their mothers. So basically, picture a room full of mostly indigenous women (or we should say girls-since some are even 14!!) and then, in walk in us two. We basically look through their charts, examine the newborns and try to do a lot of teaching and anticipatory guidance. Since a lot of these women are on their 6th kid or something crazy (by the age 24), they could probably teach us a thing or do about breastfeeding. An interesting thing we learned is because of the diet of the indigenous women, their breast milk is super nutritious and the kids are always huge. Of course, when we see them in clinic, it’s easy to know when breast feeding has stopped. The kids are scrawny, usually have “bechos” (parasites) and basically live on a diet of arroz, maize and all kinds of gross meat.
Besides the hospital and the language school, we basically just chill out in the town. A few of the panerias (bakeries/bread shops) and heladorias (ice cream shops) know our faces. Because of the lack of vegetarian selection, we end up making our own sandwiches, which are pretty good.
Here are a few pictures of the infamous market of Otavalo. We’ve gotten some good stuff and our bargaining skills rival those of the locals (not really). We’ve mastered the art of first asking “Cuanto questa (how much))?”…and then whatever answer they give, we furrow our brows, look at each other and shake our head sadly and say “hmmm…Muy carro (too expensive” and then (usually) Sharvari (it’s because I have no shame in bargaining) after a long pause, basically offer them $2 and then walk away like we don’t care (but we do)…they’ll usually stop us with a more reasonable price.
Adios amigos!….our next stop, Puerto Lopez and a city called Cuenca!