Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And....we're back!

Wow, I've neglected this blog for far too long! It's been quite a busy month and a half, filled with visits from the in-laws, rubbernecking with politicians, stomach viruses, and dissertation related paranoia.

We met Steve's parents when their flight arriv
ed in Guayaquil on November 1. We came right back out to Dos Mangas to celebrate Dia de los Santos. I wish I had a photograph of the crowds in the bus station who were traveling for the holiday. It was an absolute madhouse, with people stacked back to back. I think I really impressed Dad/Gene by the way I was able to get us right up to the ticket counter.

We spent a lovely day on the 2nd walking through Dos Mangas and stopping at friends houses and getting food foisted upon us. To celebrate
the day of the dead, families prepare tons of foods, particularly the favorites of those who have passed, and lay it all out on a table. Then, while the family goes off to visit the grave site, the dead come and "eat" their food. Then the family comes back and people start circulating from house to house, eating up all the goodies. We got to try a few new delicacies that day! We also wandered down to the futbol field (soccer, for most of you) and watched a pretty good game in which Dos Mangas tied 4-4 with the near-by town of Olon.

One of the tables, all laid out.

That was pretty much the end of our adventures while Steve's parents were visiting. Mom/Norma picked up a bug while they were in Miami and then passed it on to Dad and eventually Baby Girl and me (though I definitely got a mild version of it). Mom and Dad spent a lot of time resting and bonding with their granddaughter. It was so great to see how much she loves her Oma and Opa. We even got to celebrate her 2nd birthday together, albeit a few days early.

Yes, that's right folks, my Baby Girl is now
2 years old! I may have to start referring to her as Big Girl, but BG will still work. The tantrums have also started, but so has all the extra fun!

On the 14th, Dos Mangas inaugurated a new Interpretation Center for the tourists who come for the hikes to the waterfall, etc. I put together a little display about the archaeological project and they hung that up there too. The Center was sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, and the Minister of Tourism herself, Veronica Sion, came for the inauguration. She didn't know that there was any archaeology in the area, and was really excited about integrating it into the other tourism offerings. To the community's benefit she pledge her support for building a museum to house and display the artifacts once the excavations are over. It was really cool to meet her, get to talk a little bit, be mentioned in a speech by a big-wig, get interview
ed a few times, and get lecture requests. We'll see what all comes with it, and I'm still looking for her speech on You Tube, but it was a really exciting day!

Me and Veronica Sion at the inauguration.

About a week after BG got over her illness (which required breathing treatments and antibiotics) she started vomiting, to the point where she'd even puke up sips of water. I also came down with perpetual nausea (I think I would have felt better if I'd just puked) and Steve had to deal with all kinds of digestive issues. Back to the doctor for more meds, and now everyone's better again, though BG is still puking on bus rides, which may mean she suffers from motion sickness (and let me tell you, a freaked out toddler puking on a bus is no fun at all, particularly when you can't get her to aim in the bag and she'd sitting on your lap).

Work at the site is drawing rapidly to a close, and I'm really not feeling confident about what I've been able to excavate. The much-desired house is still elusive, and I don't see us being able to find and excavation one completely in the next week. All I need is one (two would be better), just one, to be able to compare it to other sites! Instead of a house we've found two more burials this week. How many dead people are there?!?!!? I suppose I'll just keep plugging along, and hopefully it will all work out.

Things to look forward to: a Christmas visit by Steve's cousin Kathy and her husband David, and a trip to Cuenca for the Christmas Eve parade. And, mostly likely in time for my birthday, the long awaited visit by my parents!

And, I promise I'll update more frequently!

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