Tuesday, June 30, 2009

what have we been up to?

a lot. Here's the run-down on the past couple of weeks.

~Jonathan finished his 40-page magazine for Ascend. Printed and ready-to-go.

~We took a weekend trip to Quito.

~We ended our month-long stint without a camera. Thanks to Mom and Dad for the new camera a to Sarah Ligget for bringing it to us and showing us around Quito for an evening. Back to taking silly, random pictures.

~We slept in a hostel for $6. It was even a private room. One of the many reasons to love South America.

~We explored beautiful Quito. All the colonial Spanish buildings reminded me of living in Spain.

~We took pictures of tons of cool doors.

~We saw the site where Simon Bolivar arrived on his first visit to Ecuador. I expressed to Jonathan my excitement about this location and the thrill of seeing it in real life after studying so much about Simon Bolivar as a Latin American History minor. He expressed to me his excitement about recognizing the font on the plaque… Trajan, apparently. Ah, college.

~We accidentally got in the way of the changing of the guards ceremony at the capitol building. Oops. Oh well... it wasn't nearly as grand as the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

~We saw a statue of Bolivar’s chum, Mariscal Sucre (won the decisive battle for Ecuador's independence from Spain), that I swear was really Joseph Smith. See for yourself.

~We got poured on by the rain.

~We saw a kid selling nooses whips?

~We went home to Riobamba and on with the work.

~I translated Ascend’s bylaws into Spanish. Yikes.

~I had a Skype job interview with the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. Cross your fingers and pray for me; I would love this job.

~Jonathan had his first Young Men activity. Pizza, a movie, and popcorn. A success!

~I continue to read home design and DIY blog after blog after blog.

~I dream of living in my great-grandma's old house. Love that house... If only we had the money to buy.

~Jonathan writes songs on the guitar and always has a new melody going through his head.

~We got stuck on a steep hill while trying to deliver a too-big-for-our-truck load of bricks to a remote community.

~After the men, women, and some strong little kids from the community hauled up a good portion of the bricks on their backs, we pushed and finally made it.

~Jonathan played with some boys in the community and they shared their scythe with him.

~We played in the nursery.

~To thank us for the bricks, the community leaders gave us lunch. Potatoes and cuy (guinea pig).

~I cut my long bangs with dull kitchen scissors… no pictures, please.

~We missed Matt and Heather’s wedding. :( We heard it was beautiful, though, and are so happy for them!

~We went for a walk on the outskirts of Riobamba… got caught in a rainstorm and drenched.

~I made spaghetti for the bajillionth time. WHEN will Jonathan get sick of it?! Please!

~We talked to family on Skype.

~ We went with our coworkers to check out a new community that needs some help. We hiked with the community leaders through the countryside so they could show us their aquifer. Beautiful and exhilirating. That's me in the pink, taking a dramatic bow after I slipped and almost slid down the mountain.

~This community fed us a huge lunch of toasted corn, chicken and rice soup, potatoes with peanut sauce, rabbit, and fresh Babaco (Mountain Papaya) juice.

~We, along with the Ascend team, continue to tirelessly organize agenda, projects, supplies, menu, transportation, lodging, etc. for the expedition.

~Jonathan and I watched Disney sing-along videos one after another on YouTube before bed last night. We recommend it. Always a good time. ...I know you; I walked with you once upon a dream....

~This afternoon we stared at each other in disbelief as we sat through a ten second earthquake. It wasn’t strong enough to knock you off your feet, but definitely shaking the buildings and definitely spooky. According to some seismic tracking websites and some volcano websites, Tungurahua, the active volcano near Riobamba, has been a little more active than usual the past week… spewing molten rocks and ash and such. And apparently causing little earthquakes. UPDATE: The Riobamba newspaper this morning reported the earthquake as 4.5 on the Richter Scale.

Here’s a picture of Tungurahua erupting in 2006. Photo taken in Riobamba and courtesy of scienceblogs.com.

(Mom: even if the volcano starts erupting like this again, we are not close enough to be in danger of lava nor flying molten rocks. just ash in the air.)

~I continue to perfect my very convincing bark to rile up the neighbor dogs. Never ceases to entertain.

So what have you been up to?


David and Brooke Gallagher said...

Love all your crazy adventures! Glad to hear that your not to close to that volcano, but just in case, be safe!

hoistgrace said...

Wow, that´s quite a lot to report on. I think of everything you said Amanda the most important piece of information I can add is this: Amanda has a really convincing bark.

polatis said...

Love the blog....always fun to read about your Ecuador adventures. Our family has been up to....

We enjoyed the cool May & June weather here in St. George, although, the HOT has finally reared it's ugly, sweaty head.
We are going to the Capital Reef area for the 4th of July weekend.
Then off to Newport to stay at the beach later in the month.
Travis came home for the month of May and now he's back in GA taking a summer class and working. He is graduating in Dec. Ryan was ordained an Elder last Sunday, or should I say, "The Burbs"....
Jordon is loving his mission in Brazil. He will be home in 10 months! Zach is enjoying his Pathfinder and a girl named Amanda. Life is busy but good. I hope you get the job!! You asked what we have been up to. Now you have it in a nutshell - Shauna

amanda said...

Thanks for updating me, Shauna! I still can't believe Ryan and Zack are so old...

I'm glad to hear everything seems to be going well. You guys should definitely do the Calf Creek Falls hike while you're in the Capitol Reef area. I love that place!

cathy said...

Wouldn't that be cool if you lived in Grandma's house? I'm still chaffed that they ripped out the old oven and put it on the sidewalk. Of course, it disappeared like 10 minutes later. Not that I would have used it, but you, know, it has sentimental value. :)
Cool adventures. Amanda can bark? Who knew?
Tell Jonathan that I love noticing the fonts in everything, too.
So do you eat the guinea pig yet? Have you been totally immersed?

Heidi said...

Aww! I'm glad my cousin met up with you in Quito. I was wondering if she'd see you during her trip.

Chels... said...



Sounds like you're having a ton of fun... and then some. ;)

Brittany Anne Nielsen said...

i'm sorta jealous of your life.
it was joseph smith, i'm sure of it.