Week 5 Ecuador

Train tracks for days.

This week has been incredibly busy and tiring. It started by two full days with 7 hours of Spanish class a day. Then starting Wednesday we went to the biggest hospital in Quito called Eugenio Espejo. This week we are shadowing a hematologist who specializes in leukemia patients. It was alarming and also sad to see so many young people with leukemia. It is interesting that even though I know there are just as many cancer patients in the US I have never been so exposed to them. It is such a difficult medical field and I truly admire the doctors who go into oncology.

Otavalo is filled with little allies.

Friday we left early in the morning for Otavalo a small city north of Quito. We went to the Jambi Juasi clinic. A clinic dedicated to preserving traditional indigenous medicine. It provides a space for Yatchas or shaman to give the locals the traditional spiritual attention they need.

In the Yatcha's free time she makes friendship bracelets.

Elizabeth and I were looking forward to the Couye cleaning. A spiritual and physical examine that involves the Yatcha woman to shake a Guinea pig violently around all parts of th indegenous persons body. Then she rubs the Guinea pig all over their body. The Guinea pig dies from a brain hemorrhage from all of the shaking. After a few minutes the Yatcha opens the Guinea pig and reads it. Often times the diagnosis is correct. Whether the person receives the news of parasites or a tumor. We did not get the opportunity to see this cleaning. However we did get to see the egg cleansing. A spiritual cleansing done with one or two eggs, two special medium sized rocks, one large rock, and oil.

All the eggs go to the same place.

The three different stages involve rubbing and chanting these things separately for a few minutes all over the body. The egg once completed is broken into a container and then observed. The the same procedure with the stones follow. We got to see this done to 3 small children ranging between 9 months and 18 months old. We also got to observe it done to an older man.

Little girl with the final part of the cleansing.
Oil on the head for blessing.

Elizabeth and I went on a huge walk in a quest to find La Cascada Peguche. It involved walking about 6 miles in total on the railroad out of Otavalo. We missed our turn and had to back track a lot but it was worth it in the end. So beautiful and also very rewarding.

La cascada Peguche

Through this week I have learned a lot about acceptance and difference. The ability to negotiate with myself on how to connect and establish relationships. I have found that religiously accepting others, If not all of them some portion of them allows me to feel seen. I have learned a lot about other political perspectives some of which I agree with and others I do not. I am excited for this next week.

Waterfall selfie.
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