So my sister has finally arrived and I am very much enjoying the comfort and company. We have not yet taken any big trips but have plans to go to Otavalo, one of the world's largest artisan markets, this weekend with some friends and in two weeks we are off to the jungle to celebrate summer solstice with another Peace Corps Volunteer from Portland, so we are just starting our action pack trip. Along with the arrival of Melissa there has been of course many questions asked (what is your name? how long will you stay? are you and Alicia twins?...what??), double takes from the locals boys, and random house visits to get that closer look into the weird world of two gringa twins. Ha ha. One being the P.E. teacher /friend of my neighbor who stood at our window in complete silence for 20 minutes after our 2 minute conversation was long over. Another one being one night I arrived home late to find Melissa reading with a crab running around the room without her even knowing, yes a real crab, and we are at least 4 hours from salt water!! How??? We are still stumped about that guest. Our only theory being someone didn't cook their dinner long enough. Oops! Near and far they come running to hang out with the O'Dell sisters. Most recently, I was baking a Chocolate Chip Quinoa cookie bar (yum yum!!) for our friend's birthday when a 9 in black rat jump out of the back of the oven and practically ran up Melissa leg. We both started hysterically screaming which no one heard because of my neighbor blaring "Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits". Oh Ecuador. The beast ran and hid in my fake fireplace and was only found thanks to my landlord and his intermediate and extended family that came over to my one bedroom apartment to help us. Yes, it took 14 people to find and dispose of this beast. So after one week of fun and an array of house visitors I guess I can say Melissa didn't know how popular she would be in Mindo.
In other news I went to lunch with Senator Chris Dodd last Friday in Quito. We had some of the best food I've eaten in the past 11 months. The Senator was traveling all around South America and being a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer himself was really excited to share about his experience. He was so friendly and down-to-earth plus, an Obama supporter so of course I was a fan of the Dodders!! And Obama got the nomination so maybe there is hope for American after all!!!
Much love to you all always.