AMIGOS Field Reporter Remy Engels
Hey everyone, my name is Remy (or Jeremy) Engels; I am a veteran participant in Chimborazo, Ecuador, and I will (hopefully) be providing you with a weekly “field report” from my community of Larcapungo. Obviously, my experience will be different from the other participants in Ecuador, but I hope this provides a brief, fun insight into my life right now. Enjoy!
Tips for surviving Larcapungo:
Be prepared to eat about 200 potatoes per week. Seriously, my partner Zeke has been counting. We get tons.
Be prepared to answer the following questions at all times of the day:
1. How much does it cost to go to the U.S.?
2. How long is the plane flight?
3. Where are you going, and for what?
… It’s basically all they ask.
Be prepared for cold wind! To all the worried moms [and dads] reading this, I’m sure your child is warm enough; host families are generous with giving extra clothes. Don’t worry.
And finally, be prepared for giggling host sisters and loving host moms that are always trying to feed you potato soup.
We arrived two weeks ago, we’ve been in community for almost one and a half weeks, and honestly, the time has flown by. In the time I’ve been in community, I’ve learned how to hand-wash laundry on a rock, I’ve herded sheep and pigs, I’ve changed my favorite animal to a llama (they’re just so awesome!), I’ve traveled 50 minutes with my head sticking out of the truck because I was too tall, I’ve learned some Quichua, I’ve almost called the community president by the wrong name in front of 200 people (and that was almost really, really embarrassing), and I’ve begun wearing the traditional indigenous Poncho on a daily basis, among many, many other amazing things.
We’re not 100% sure what our project will be yet, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated. The three best ideas we’ve come up with the community so far are: a cuy (guinea pig) farm, potato chips, and starting a women’s group that will make and sell ponchos and hats. The community will decide which one very soon.
Remember, we’re all safe, warm, well-fed, and having an absolutely fantastic time! That’s all for now, ¡hasta la próxima semana!