Even the 10 hour nightmarish bus ride overnight from Quito didn't damper my enthusiasm for coming home. It was really quite exciting, not the least becuase I would get to see everyone, but especially Scotty and Hannah. I also had a new apartment to get settled into and effectively two more weeks off work. Happy Days!
Got settled pretty quickly in the new place and chilled for a couple of weeks. It was fun just hanging out at home and reading with the odd pit of unpacking when I could be bothered. The new apartment is great. Its just 8 minutes walk from school, uphill mind you, so its reasonably close to the centre of town. We have the top floor of a house; and our Dueña lives on the ground floor with her dog, the lovely Luna - only joking at this point as its a white fluffy thing but at least it doesn't yap. We have loads of space, loads of light and its got a little bit of furniture so its great. Its quite a prosperous neighbourhood so its a little disconcerting when you put your rubbish out to then have people descend on it to sort through it and take what they want out of it. You also see a fair bit of livestock - Scotty saw some woman with a horse - and we are surrounded by cockerels which makes for lively mornings and sometimes at very odd times of the day.
Coming home unfortunately meant saying goodbye to a lot of friends as people are starting to move on. So it was goodbye to our lovely Han, Liz, Chris and Alena and Alicia. Having said that it did mean quite a few parties, late nights dancing and farewell bashes to say goodbye to everyone. Happy days indeed! Mind you how exactly we ended up in a gay club god only knows. I blame it on the bucket load of cocktails we managed to consume which meant that someone was so rough she barely made it out of bed the next day - not me I hasten to add!
Work was tough but interesting as I had back-to-back Intermediate, Intensive classes. I came across things I had certainly never heard of but am now an expert on really useful things like Relative Clauses - answers on a postcard. I also did Conversation Club which was great fun as the people I had were really interesting and funny. We also had Robbi's visit and Corpus Christi.
I'm still not sure what Corpus Christi is but those Catholics surely know how to party. 7 days of non-stop fireworks and as many sweets and cakes as you want. Bloody marvelous. According to Wikepedia no fesitvals are celebrated for Corpus Christi a fact which seems to have been lost on your average Cuencanan. We had Globos covering the whole sky every night and Castillo's which are these huge towers with fireworks on them which shoot everywhere including into the crowd which adds to the whole experience believe you me! The week culminated with the Vaca Locos - papier mache cows - which people strapped onto their backs and danced in amongst the crowd whilst fireworks shot out from the cow. It was huge fun if a little precarious at times.
Just when you thought it was all finally over we had a celebration for Cajas the national park that is closest to Cuenca. Again Castillo's and Globos but we also had a band which played on despite literally being showered by the Castillo - and they never missed a beat. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase and the band played on! We also had not the Vaca Locos but two papier mache people. It really had to be seen to be believed but unfortunatley the video clips won't upload.
The only damper on the whole two months was the return of yet more parasites. Its seems the little critters just can't get enough of me. Good for the weight loss but pretty grim at times, particularly the test I have to take but I will spare you the details....