August 30, 2009

Three Minute Update: 2009,08,30

(Side note: Too late to send me a letter:) See you in October!)

I flew to Quito on the 18th. Pablo invited me over for a while before he flies out to Buenas Aires. When we drove up, I said "Home again." The last time I visited was December 26. I've gratefully holed up in his house since arriving. I love the energy here.

Pablo is extremely busy wrapping up book projects before he travels. Between constantly working, he and I enjoy discussing the ridiculous, ruinous government in Ecuador, receiving well-known guests who are, ahem, opinionated about the current government, and enjoying a meal or two outside the house. (El Forno has amazing pizza!)

I spend the rest of my days gardening in his (once pitiful) front yard, napping, reading a bit, and spending time with the house help. Blanquita and Cristina make amazing breakfasts and lunches on weekdays. We chat in the kitchen, constantly finding something to laugh about. They are dear friends to me. I am certain I will miss them greatly when I leave again.

My bed is antique; I love it. Pablo told me it was the former President's bed. I can only wonder how the President's wife fit on the bed with the President :) Unfortunately the gorgeous antique wood frame has a post sticking out shin-high. I have thwacked the flesh of my leg so deeply so many times (subsequently clutching my leg and hopping around on the other while trying to keep my mouth shut...) That I finally wrapped a towel around the post. And an autographed print of Guayasamin hangs just outside my door -
And Oswaldo Mora has created a magnificent stained glass window partitioning the entryway from the living room. When the small spotlight shines from the living room, there is a blurred, softly cornered pattern cast on the wall of the hallway and into the bathroom painted, ceiling included, by Miguel Arguello.

I am leaving Quito tomorrow for a few days. Perhaps I will finally visit Cuenca, one of the cities I've long wished to explore. I'm uncertain.

I only have six weeks left in Ecuador. I plan on returning to Manta for two weeks to wrap up life, and hopefully to backpack to Cuenca, Salinas, Frailles, and Guayaquil.


August 27, 2009

El Justiciero - Vigilante Justice by Assassination

[[[[ Not for Grandma to read... ]]]]

Please note: The facts in the following account are a compilation of many conflicting stories and rumors. There is no source which gives facts, and the facts will never be known.

It's 8:20 pm on a street corner in Ecuador. I am sitting in an uncomfortable metal chair with two armed police officers. We are at Flamengo's eating homemade ice cream. I ordered dark chocolate with mint chocolate chip. They both took suit and we were happily enjoying our cones.

I ask about El Justiciero. I want to know what they think of him. Officer Patricio, a chief in Manta, begins to tell me about El Justiciero. I interrupt. I know who he was - That he was a vigilante assassin who gunned down uncountable dangerous drug traffickers, mafia, and gang members, that he stopped corruption and helped stabilize Manta. And that although he was murdered in public one month ago, no one knows who did it. Or at least is willing to put their life at risk to mention. Trooper Pablo, Patricio's partner for the night, says this is exactly what most believe. And that it is partly true.

It turns out that El Justiciero worked as part of the police investigation units; he worked for many divisions, and worked in cities all over Ecuador. The public might label him the third Boondock Saints, but he was really just a burly, intimidating man who was solving crime the old-fashioned way. How did he get to this place? His two brothers were murdered in front of him when he was a small boy. The murders were a result of a drug deal gone wrong. And so he went to Israel to be trained as an assassin, avowing to eradicate the heinous disease of crime that left his brothers as human sacrifices for the repercussions of man's fallacies. (Sin is disgusting.)

El Justiciero ran the streets unencumbered, completely liberated to kill as commanded. His weapons were the best, and his training in Israel left his marksmanship far more accurate than any local criminals.

This partnership was, for a time, ideal. The police told El Justiciero whom to kill, he assassinated them, the public praised El Justiciero and his ego inflamed, and the police were able to crudely resolve the criminal's effect on society. But it was this inflammation of ego which caused this delicate relationship to degenerate and ultimately be disastrous.

The people gave El Justiciero power. He was a legend, and remains to be. He felt as a god. He did control the fate of many. One month he assassinated 92 people. Patricio confirmed the rumor that El Justiciero indeed had murdered some who were "less bad," not having committed serious crimes, and certainly had also murdered some innocent people. I assumed this, thinking that how could someone possibly assassinate almost 100 people and be certain all were hard criminals? El Justiciero had his own plethora of informants. He gave the police names, and helped "resolve" many issues. But certainly one must wonder about the effectiveness of this mode.

El Justiciero began to stray from his role as a police partner and definitionally began as a vigilante. The police lost control of him. And the public gave so much control to him, and he was so well informed, that he extorted the police and told them that they must either obey his orders or he would blaspheme the police units and reveal vital intelligence.

He committed several fatal errors: He dismissed his many body guards. During one crime he lifted his mask. And he chose to give a radio interview and reveal his name.

In short time he himself was assassinated. It was at night and outside of his housing development. The bullets found were police bullets. Patricio, the police officer, tells me the reason why the police cannot be culpable. But the public seems certain the police assassinated El Justiciero because they were no longer able to control him.

And as the Ecuadorian infrastructure to combat and prevent crime is almost non-existent, his case remains open. Patricio confirmed that citizens know they would be seriously harmed if they denounced those guilty for the death of El Justiciero.

Although the citizens of my region Manabí certainly praise the work of El Justiciero, and although there is certainly a statistically measurable drop in crime, we must consider:

Is a vigilante assassin truly helping society, or does it simply further degenerate our world?

Those murdered were certainly not given the right to a fair trial.
Would it have been possible to ever capture those criminals? Even half of them? I doubt it. They would have continued running free on the streets of Ecuador.

I strongly recall being mugged by petty thieves, a knife raised over my head, and two black men screaming at me and my friend. It shook me terribly.
I can only wonder how many people these criminals have terrorized, and have terrorized so much more profoundly than me. How the innocent are traumatized, and how this memory will never leave their mind.

Do we have right to "purge" such criminals?
Is there ever a point of which the number of lives they have ended, either literally or in taking freedom, could ever justify terminating the lives of the criminals?

What a society I do live in.
And what a world we all live in.

Officer Patricio, Trooper Pablo, and I finish our cones. The ice cream was somehow unsatisfying as we walked away. My heart was heavy.

August 19, 2009

Pizza with Archaeologist David Brown: Teaching, Women, and Red Fiats

Yesterday I flew into Quito to meet Pablo.
Turns out that he is publishing one book and a magazine, and editing a second book... And must make substantial headway before heading to Cartagena (Colombian Caribbean) for a meeting regarding one of his many projects.

And so we'll not be mountain climbing or scuba diving. Yet living without expectations has its benefits - Last night after Pablo finished a meeting, we picked David Brown up from his hotel. Pablo told me that he is a famous archaeologist. Google him, and you'll find:

"David Brown has worked for more than three decades helping people preserve the historic places of their communities. As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Brown led the development team for - and currently oversees the implementation of - the Next Trust Strategic Plan, a blueprint of the future of the National Trust. He also leads the creation of, the online virtual town square where people share proven tools, make connections, and get inspired to save historic places." (

He has his own book publishing company, is world renown for his digs, and seems to have endless opportunities because of his prestige in the archaeological community.

We picked him up on a cold, dark evening with fog persistently blowing around and through every object on the street. He wore an outfit as you would expect of a scholar of stature - A plaid, short, wool scarf with a sort of English sheepherder's hat, longish hair which is contained by his hat, and kindly eyes.

We all ate gourmet anchovy and artichoke and (salty) pruchetto pizza as Pablo and I listened to David. He is full of energy. He told us about his friend's new project on an integrated historical museum, his interesting friends, and opinion on good pizza. He had a dig in Italy. He was second in command and was in charge of all errands to the nearby pueblo. Unfortunately there were an abundance of young women, and he had to drive a red fiat into town and conveniently visit the delis full of local olives and Italian goodies. And about the women... The numbers were on his side, he said.

He mentioned his opinion on teaching at the university: The pay is too little to be worth all the hassle. He then turned and looked directly at me. You're not a teacher, are you? he asked, with a bit of caution in his eye. Actually, I said, I just quit my job teaching on Saturday. And our conversation on teaching ended there. I enjoyed his word choice - hassle. Teaching can be a hassle, to be certain. I suppose although one can do their best to frame the tedious work as service and betterment of society, there are certainly moments at 11 pm when one is still grading papers, still needing to lesson plan for the following day, and still needing to eat dinner. At these moments, teaching can be a hassle.

We spoke of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's president, who once worked next door to his office. They were good friends, David said. It hurts David to see the person Chavez has become. To see the speeches that Chavez gives, that he has so many dictator-like qualities, that he wishes Venezuela's rich upper class would flee just as Cuba's already has so that the masses will be left alone to his propaganda. What a sorry, disgusting mess.

In the end, I enjoyed an evening of listening to the person with someone who has had such a different life experience than I. He highlighted what was important to him, like Fiats and conservation of archaeological sites. And he licked his fingers while he ate pizza. Huzzah!

August 17, 2009

What I do... ( A few three-minute updates)

The elusive three minute update -

I calmly sit in a plastic chair in my apartment, my sweaty legs uncomfortably sticking to the scratched seat.
The neighbor's water pump chugs and hums and my crossed legs sting from the sunburn I earned today.

At precisely this hour eight months ago I arrived at a small apartment in Quito. At 2am I paced its roof as I considered my new physical location in the world, and tried to clear my mind from the stress and sleepiness that 27 hours of traveling brought me.

I have been home from Colombia for nearly a month. You ask what I do with my time? Sitting on tropical beaches sipping coconuts?
Just on weekends.

The first two weeks I spent here were a maze of offices for my visa. The Immigrations Department has a representative of whom I am on a first-name basis. (Jaime.) And I went to 13 different print shops looking for high-quality laser prints to advertise my massage business, Manos de Dios.

I spent (still spend...) a portion of each day attempting to assist a local Baptist church in editing their church's anniversary video. This is a nightmare - The person who taped it exported the media in the wrong media format, and while troubleshooting this, the computer I was granted to use changed twice, both times of which the editing software has shut down.

And on the side I volunteer for CouchSurfing by overseeing that all new members receive at least two personal greetings. And given that at times we have over 15,000 new members per week, this can be pretty hectic. I wrap up each day at about 4 to be certain I am at work, Wall Street Institute, at 5:00pm to teach English. I earn a whopping $12 per shift.

And, yes, on weekends you just may find me on the beach sipping coconuts.

My first weekend back in Manta I did gads of busy work, puked, went to an Indy movie La Nana, called my Nana Evelyn (Nana means nanny in Spanish, but Grandma in Italian), chatted with one of my best friends Elaine, and wrote an ultimatum letter to my insurance company who had not settled a claim from last January. I had a bit of fun writing the claim - I was steamed, and had every date and every email the company had not replied to regarding the resolution of my claim. Monday at 10 am my claim was approved. Old info: The claim was from January when my backpack loaded of all my daily needs, letters from you, TEVA shoes, et cetera was stolen on the beach. What a headache. I've just submitted the claim of being pick pocketed in Quito.
(July 19)

Memories from home are interesting. More interesting is to realize how your prior experiences and choices unexpectedly affect your present reality. A coworker at Wall Street, Fraydo, recently turned 41. And to show off my Gringa skills, I proudly sang him the Happy Birthday song which I learned while waitressing at Red Robbin. The song is cheerful and boisterous, borderline obnoxious - And I sing it well. I am certain I would have made Nick Samuel and the boys at the restaurant proud. I finished the song with about 15 students and colleagues thundering applause. The situation made me giggle. If only I had a paper toilet seat cover for Fraydo's head and a Polaroid camera...
(July 21)

How to receive Tom's Unscented Natural Care Deoderant in Ecuador

Just for fun: On July 17 I went to the post office to pick up a very special package from my friend Mark (the drummer based in Salem): Tom's Deodorant. I confess - The last two weeks in Colombia and the first week in Manta I was, well, stinky. And so I was motivated to obtain this package. I needed to pick up the package with ID. Taxi to post office: $1. Told that Aduana (customs) was not here for the day. Taxi home: $1. Taxi the following day: $1. Waited 15 minutes for voraceous paper stamping. Told I must go TO customs to pay a fee. Taxi driver said he would take me there for $1.25. He took me to the old customs site, and wanted to charge me more to go to the current location. Ok - Only another $0.25. But the site was 20 minutes outside of town. Right. Arrived, waited in scorching sun to hand papers through a blinded window. Learned I am only here to obtain another stamp and now have to go to a specific bank to pay the customs fee. Taxi to bank: $1.50. AND, GET THIS: All this running around was to pay a $0.13 fee!!! Aaaaagh! Return by taxi to give papers to post office: $1.00. Fee for package staying in office four weeks: $3.45. Taxi home: $1.00.

And so, I now proudly am un-stink-ified, wearing Tom's Long-Lasting Unscented Natural Care Deodorant, thanks to Mark and the many rich cabbies of the Manta region.
By the way - I actually offered to pay the $0.13 fee all the way back at the post office to save myself the additional $4 and hour to pay the $0.13 fee - and the customs man declined in the most professional of ways. Sigh.
(July 23)

Next adventure: ?Mystery.

I am off to ummmm... I don't know.
(partially copied from a prior blog)-

I am thankfully flying to Quito tomorrow to travel for a few days with my good friend Pablo. I have no idea where we will travel to... But given that he has written a few photography books on Ecuador, I am certain that we will have a beautiful view and a trip full of smiles.

My value in this trip rests in friendship -
He is one of the good friends I mentioned in my blog a few days ago, the type one can trust, follow, and lead. I am grateful to God to be able to relax (and adventure) with a friend.

It is a blessing to see him again. I have few good friends in Ecuador. It is encouraging to know I will again talk politics, spirituality, travel, love, etc with a friend who cares about me.

Note: Read my December blogs to learn more about my time with Pablo - He is a National Geograhic phototographer. I was able to spend time at his family's finca and enjoy an elegant photo shoot there, and also spent Christmas with the entire family. What a delight!

PROUD of my sister-heads! And lovin' my parents -

My little sister Laura is attending OSU to be a sexy engineer. (Really, she will be the envy of all the men in the yellow plastic hardhats. Hee hee.)

And my delightful older sister, Chrissy, was given a temporary promotion. Knowing her integrity, work ethic, and giggle, I think it likely the promotion will be not-so-temporary.

I LOVE YOU, sister heads!!!

And on those pesky parents -
I can now say that my dad and mom are of my very closest friends. Not because we share activities (because we obviously do not!), but because they have dedicated themselves to loving me while I am abroad. I am speechless when I consider their dedication and softness toward me.

I LOVE YOU, mum and pappey!!!

August 15, 2009

Sobbing, hurting, and grateful.

Yesterday I finished my workday at 8 p.m. and was craving a huge hamburger. There's a place down the road that sells soda, a messy hamburger with the works, and fresh fries for $3.50. Expensive for my budget, but worth it.

I decided to call around and see who would accompany me. I literally called all the friends in my phone. A few were busy or going out to party. I don't enjoy clubbing. And the rest did not answer their phone.

I have lived in Manta for eight months. How is it that I have not made strong enough friends to find someone to share a burger with???
I remember living in Houston for three months, and in Mexico for five months - And within weeks of living in both places I had too many people calling me wanting to spend time with me and get to know me.

I walked in my door at home. My roommate Maira and her boyfriend were in Maira and I's bedroom. So I sat on a plastic stool in the corner of our empty diningroom and began to cry. Then sob. Maira heard me come in and noticed my obvious pain. She held me close and ran her fingers through my hair as she said, desahogarlo, meaning let it all out. I sobbed for a long while.

I began to tell her about my story, about how much it hurt to have "friends" constantly not call me back or answer my texts. Much worse, to make plans to meet with me and never show... And never apologize, or even mention that they did not come! I find that about 70% of the times a friend sets a date and time to hang out, they do not show.

I have explained this issue to many, and they all agree that it is a societal problem in Manta. I am glad to know it is not about Rose, but about the social atmosphere people choose to create. But this does not diminish my issue.

One of my love languages is quality time. If someone bails on me, I feel unvalued. If they bail on me, how must this reflect on our friendship? And how must I feel when SO many of my "friends" bail on me? It hurts me deeply.

I said that I do not want superficial friends. I want people in my life who truly care about me. Who are interested in me. Who love me. And I especially want women in my life, whom are difficult to come by when men seem to have a more "vested" interest in getting to know me.

I told Maira just how thankful I am to know her and her boyfriend Juan Carlos. They care for me. Maira wants my success. She spends time with me. We help each other out. And she will have no idea how profoundly this has affected me.

I spoke of all of this to Maira.

And then she told me her story - She has lived here all her life, and hardly has any girlfriends at all. She said she has two good friends, but one of them hardly calls back, and the other is usually too busy to spend time with her. Her best friend is Juan Carlos. Juan Carlos is a man of integrity, a joker, and extremely intelligent. I love that I can always learn from this walking encyclopedia. She is blessed to have him.

But she needs women in her life! She is craving this companionship. She told me that she is so grateful I am in her life. That she has someone who cares about her, and someone to be in the apartment and keep her company.

My heart hurts for her. She is in a much worse position than I. This is her community. She has invested her life here. And she is left with empty hands. I am leaving in less than two months, and will not be home for good chunks of this while I travel. What does her future hold?

But in my case, I have SO many of you asking my return date (late October) and telling me you want to see me again. Yesterday a friend told me that I'd better mention my flight number and time I arrive in the airport so he could accompany my family...

Back home I feel wanted. Loved. Cared for. Desired.
I cannot express how profoundly this affects me. How thankful I am for you. How much I need to have this in my life.

I am now ready to come home. It is time. I want to be in a loving community, not a cold community. I will be writing "profiles" of my stellar friends in Manta - It is not that they do not exist, it is that there are so few, and the conditions of the friendships are not traditional. But don't think that I am all alone :)

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Know that I love you although we have not seen each other for eight months.
Please pray that I feel your love. That I feel desired as a human, and of value to our world community.

My heart is heavy, but after just writing about you I feel a bit better. My tears are drying although my nose is still running :)

I love you so much.

- Miss Rose


August 17, 2009

(((((( NOT FOR GRANDMA TO READ!!! ))))))))))

Maira's uncle died three days ago. And her cousin, a taxi driver, was murdered yesterday as thieves stole his car. So Maira and I are going through a difficult time... together. Last night I prayed with her. For her peace. For her family. For God to give grace. These quiet moments were precious.

Today our girlfriend and neighbor Erika gave us pedicures with sugar and plenty of massage. While Maira was receiving hers, piano music played and I gave her a shoulder rub. Her transformation after allowing us to serve her was remarkable.

I am grateful for Maira.


Today was my last day teaching English at Wall Street.

I have been blessed to spend almost every evening for the last seven months with this institution. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to join this community of dedicated students and happy staff. It truly has been my favorite job ever. All of my students want to study. And they usually are quite educated and have a great deal to teach me.

One of my best blessings in Manta is my coworker Ruth. She is this short, bubbly, silly, chubby, loving, laughing Belgium girl with a flemish accent. She hired me giggling, helped me teach grammar that I'd not studdied since the seventh grade, aided me when I needed to sort something out with our boss... And, best yet, was my friend. She listened to what was happening in my life and gave her helpful opinion. She checked in with me when I needed a bit of accountability. And was always present and smiling when I arrived at work. What a blessing!

At the beginning of almost every class, I ask my students what is happening in their lives. And if they say nothing positive, I directly ask "What is one thing good that is happening in your life?" With certainty this changes their mood and the tone of our next hour of class together. I LOVE that I have liberty at Wall Street to guide discussions, to give opinions, and, most of all, show that I care for my students.

One student, Luis, is the chief of quality control for a tuna company. This company provides for international companies including Bumble Bee. He has told me interesting stories about his job, and I have gratefully learned that the standards of hygene are quite high. (whew!)

Another, Pautricio, is a police officer. He works with car accidents with fatalities, and presents the situation to the judge when it must be legally decided whom is at fault. Pautricio has helped me understand much about the police system here - More about Wall Street, Manta, Crime, and Police soon...

I have a few younger female students who tell me about their boyfriends. We talk about what it means for a man to show a woman respect. Sometimes I am told that my students were beat by their parents. We talk about love, and about the affects of parental abuse. Some tell me about school, and I encourage them in their study habits. Some, (Bolivar!) talk of faith, and we discuss Spanish Christian musicians, or the country of Israel, or how to share our faith with others. And we always talk about our families, our days at work or school, and what we did last weekend.

Bernardo is in a whole other class. He saves my brain. Unfortunately we have not worked together a great deal. I always enjoy our discussions as he is so knowledgeable about the... whole world. Today we were talking about the ethnic minority group at the end of the silk route in China. I've already forgotten the name of this group, but I do recall learning of their opression and suffering. Thank God to have Bernardo to discuss politics and other world happenings. If not for him and another friend Juan Carlos, my brain might just rot!

Today was my last day.
My final student was Cesar. He is a 24-year-old doctor at the public hospital in Manta. He is mild mannered and has a smile in his eyes. Over the last seven months he has shared his heart regarding his (now former) girlfriend. Their relationship was not healthy. I hurt for him when he shared of their experience together. I encouraged him in his value. And we discussed what it meant to have a healthy relationship, and to stand up for our values. Today I asked him about his decision to end the relationship, and he was at peace. And clearly happy! I am so glad to see his growth as a person. I will shortly gift him one of my favorite books, Love and Respect. (But in Spanish.) I'll tell you more about this book later.... I have already gifted over 20 copies of it in Ecuador!

Back to Cesar - When class is over, I said that I will miss all of my friends here at Wall Street. He said he will likewise miss me and my antics - a lot. And I cried.

God is good.

August 14, 2009

Why I resigned...

I resigned for a few reasons.

I will return to the US in less than two months. At Wall Street I was working five days a week, every evening, earning between $8 - $12 per day. And then the secretary would mess my schedule up, or I would be sent home, and have even less hours and income.

I love my job, but the tiny income and erratic schedule was frankly not worth my time.

I would like to visit Cuenca, Salinas, Baños, Mindo, Parque de Machililla, and inside the park Agua Blanca and Los Frailes before leaving Ecuador.

I am thankfully flying to Quito on Tuesday to travel for a few days with my good friend Pablo. I have no idea where we will travel to... But given that he has written a few photography books on Ecuador, I am certain that we will have a beautiful view and a trip full of smiles. It is a blessing to see him again. I have few good friends in Ecuador. It is encouraging to know I will again talk politics, spirituality, travel, love, etc with a friend who cares about me.
Note: Read my December blogs to learn more about my time with Pablo - He is a National Geograhic phototographer. I was able to spend time at his family's finca and enjoy an elegant photo shoot there, and also spent Christmas with the entire family. What a blessing!

On finances: I was earning less than $200 per month at Wall Street. My average daily costs living in Manta are almost equal to what I spend when traveling. Recall that I usually stay with CouchSurfers when I travel, therefore having no lodging expense. I figure... Why have my day scheduled around a few hours of work when I can be experiencing the beauty of Ecuador? It is improbable that I will return. Why not make the most of what I have? I may spend $200 more for two months of traveling... So what??? Good grief! Get on the bus!

I felt so good walking out of my former job this afternoon. I carried myself with dignity. I served the students well. I did not simply teach, I cared. I am so thankful to have this opportunity.
And now I am thrilled to begin a new chapter - To go to the beach at 2pm, and stay there until sunset!!! The worst part about working at Wall Street is missing the sunsets. Wahooooo for new freedom!

God has blessed me richly.

Please pray for my safe travels, for excellent adventures and discoveries, and for my emotional strength. I am greatly looking forward to seeing you -

August 12, 2009

Travelers and Salsa Dancing in Manta

It’s amusing to note that for the last six months I have dissuaded travelers to spend time in Manta. I’ve told them about the city, and then suggested superior beach towns. There are two good things about Manta: Great people (the very few you are able to become friends with), and proximity to some cecent beaches. I am so grateful for my friends, and so grateful to have the capacity to walk to the beach every day, but… Not having funky coffee houses to visit with friends is stifling. The city literally lacks culture of all forms. The music in the clubs is reggeton, the latin version of our grinding with hiphop music. Yuck. There is NOT ONE salsa club!!! Imagine – a city in Ecuador with no salsa club! This was one of the selling points of moving to Ecuador. Sigh. At least I am able to dance in the houses of my friends in Manta. My friends in Manta are the best! (Without them... I don't know where I'd be!)

- miss rose

So I've got Geographic Tongue

I'm missing a bunch of my Papillae, or the tiny white hairs, on my tongue.

Super weird. About 6o% of my tongue is nekked. :)
It has been this way for about one year.

I Googled the symptoms, and this is what I learned:
It's no medical problem. It heals spontaneously, I can still taste, and my tongue wiggles just the same. I simply lose my sense of touch. Sometimes that means I bite my tongue because I cannot feel it between my teeth. And the edges between the nekked part and the normal part are red and hurt. I'd post a pic, but when people see my tongue they generally recoil. (Google image "geographic tongue picture" to be fully enlightened.)

My tongue actually does hurt. When the patches of papillae are falling out, the edges to the healthy tongue are bright red and taste like metal. FUN quirk about life. Right.

I find it most silly that I have Geographic Tongue... Perhaps if I'd stayed in the States it would have never happened!


August 4, 2009

Grateful. Good news.

I know I've never told the back story, but hang with me...

I currently have a work visa through a private high school where I was a Profesora de Ingles.

I no longer work there, and they were to cancel my visa. On the day that this was to happen, I called their lawyer and asked that they consider allowing me to stay for the remaining 10 weeks of my trip under their visa - instead of causing me to spend $230 to transfer my visa into a 12-9 tourist visa.

And I just learned that they've ok-ed my request. PRAISE GOD!
Finances are tight.
God cares.

And I have a nice tan.
More soon -