Pirated CDs

Pirated CDs, Anyone?It’s true, as this Reuters story reports, that pirated CDs are widely available here in Ecuador. The most important line: “But it’s tough to crack down on piracy with police spread thin in the fight against violent crime and little concerned by the losses of the multimillion-dollar music industry in a nation where […]

Unrest in La Paz

Unrest in La PazBloody protests shook Bolivia’s capital last week. Critics are calling for President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada’s resignation. And, as the Washington Post‘s Marcela Sanchez writes, “the country that in recent years had become Washington’s virtual standard-bearer in the war against drugs and the crusade for market-oriented reforms” is now in very serious […]

I’m Now Training at Altitude

If you could see me now, you’d know I’m stifling a grin. The idea of me doing any sort of serious cardiovascular fitness training is, well, ridiculous. But still, after a two-month hiatus, I’ve started running again. And I’m here to tell you that running at 8,000 feet is a LOT different than running at […]

It Wasn’t Drug Traffickers or ETs. It was Chimborazo

It Wasn’t Drug Traffickers or ETs. It was Chimborazo.An Ecuadorian commercial airliner that went missing in 1976 may have been found. Some speculated that the plane, which was headed from Quito to Cuenca, might have been intercepted by drug traffickers or extraterrestrials. But it now seems that the doomed flight may have crashed into the […]

Misc. stuff

Strange Bedfellows?Interestingly, George Bush and Lucio Guitierrez, the leftist, newly-elected Ecuadorian president, appear to be buddies. In the Bush Administration’s new budget plan, Ecuador would get $15 million in military assistance, which is 15 times more than the year before. The Page is Now Powered by Google. Sort Of.Google has just purchased Pyra Labs, a […]

“Who Could You Take in a Fight?”

“Who Could You Take in a Fight?”The Onion A.V. Club asks celebrities who they could take in a fight. Funny stuff. And amazingly, they even asked Mark Borchardt, who starred in the hilarious and morose documentary “American Movie”. His answer fits him to a tee. My favorite responses are those of Chuck “Fight Club” Palahniuk […]

Protests and Tear Gas, and “El Hijo de la Novia”

Protests and Tear GasThis afternoon, I witnessed a sizeable protest in downtown Cuenca. Teachers and students alike–from both high schools and elementary schools–took to the streets to protest cuts in education funding. Some students got quite vociferous, so police tear gassed them; they dispersed quickly. Later on, a few blocks away, I saw two motorcycle […]

Deportivo Cuenca

Deportivo CuencaI recently attended my first Ecuadorian professional soccer match. It was amazing. Cuenca’s team, Deportivo Cuenca, faced an Estonian club squad in a pre-season warm-up exhibition. Cuenca, a small, speedy, skillful side, won 3-0. The sold-out crowd of 18,000 was electric: their cheers and songs were perfectly choreographed, and they ignited flares when Cuenca […]

It’s good to be working

It’s Good to Be WorkingI got my first CEDEI English teaching assignments: two one-on-one tutorials. One is Monday through Friday from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m., and the other is Monday through Friday from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. Yesterday was my first day. One student is at the 103 (beginning) level, and the other is at […]