Things are never as they appear are they? This past 5 days has been so interesting. I'm slowly trying to learn about culture, people and just living life here in Ecuador.
I've learned that Lojanos are all about appearances. I don't know if I told you this before but in Ecuador it is culturally unacceptable to be barefoot. I don't know if that's a problem for you, but it is for me. I hate wearing shoes. On a positive note, I can wear sandals. Does that make sense? It didn't to me either until I found out why.
The indigenous people are too poor to wear shoes, so if you're not wearing shoes you are looked down upon because you are saying you are too poor to wear shoes. Interesting isn't it?
This is just one of things that you learn the hard way... another is how similar two words with completely different meanings can sound.
I knew from the moment I decided to come here that I would end up making a fool out of myself with my spanish... and here is story #1.
Yesterday, one of the guys in the shop asked me what I did before I came to Ecuador, so in spanish I explained to him that I was a youth minister and a barista.
Those both sound like normal jobs right? One of the women in the kitchen (Gloria, who I absolutely LOVE, in the picture to the right) got SO excited. She was jumping around and waving her hands. I could not figure out what was going on. She kept saying, "barista barista!" and waving her arms, smiling and jumping.
It wasn't until later that another missionary and I looked up some words in the dictionary and realized that what she was really saying was "malabarista" which is... a juggler.
She thought I was in the circus and I was a juggler. She was pretty disappointed to find out that I just made coffee... but we did have a good laugh and I'm sure there will be many more to come.