September 23, 2009

Office Space

I thought I would come to Ecuador and avoid, at least one more year, of working in an office. Wrong.

Damian House is in a real struggle right now to stay open. Money is really tight. And they just laid off most of their staff, so there is a lot of freedom to bring my ideas to the table. I am currently writing up a newsletter, going into Guayaquil and working with a printer to finalize the product. It is really exciting because I have the opportunity to write their story. All that descriptive writing in college is paying off. Right now, me and Laura are writing the story of how Damien House started- we are interviewing those who were there from the start. We are describing the transformation that took place at the abandoned hospital wing. We hope to finish soon and I will post that story AS SOON as it is ready. After the newsletter, I have a lot more ideas for office work like re-doing the website (which is so key), and creating a blog for the foundation. Though I am jammed packed with office work, I feel that it is going to pay off for my organization.

As far as Semillas- It couldnt be better. I am at the point where the mob of kids, has become a group of children with names and personalities (for better or worse). I have a feel for who they are and my role in their lives. I am at the point where any anxiety about not being able to speak Spanish is gone- I have come to accept that there will always be words I can´t understand- why worry about the shit that you cannot control? I must admit, it does make me wake up a little but earlier in the mornings to go over verb tenses and vocab.

I am starting to get into a rythym here, which is really nice. I have come to expect garbage fires, little children wrapping themselves around my feet and expecting a free ride (step by step), getting turned around on a walk home at night because there are 15 dogs in a street barking at me. I have come to expect women to breast feed in public- whether it is the lady who I am buying fruit from, sitting next to me on the bus (this morning), or on the motorcycle next to my bus (yes father driving, baby in between, mother in back, breast feeding). Actually the last one did surprise me, but for the most part, I have learned to expect the unexpected. I really never knew what that phrase meant until this experience.


Gisele said...

Hi Dan,
Yeah! Your comment button is back!!
Sounds like you are really busy and invested in your project for Damien House!! Sometimes, the things you don't enjoy doing (working in an office)are more enjoyable when you have such an important goal to work on. I am so proud of you and can't begin to imagine all the new experiences you are encountering! Thanks for helping me take a peek into this country and the people who live there! Love you lots!!! Mom

Anonymous said...


Your stories are funny and eye opening. I so enjoy reading them.


Yvette said...

Hi Dan,
I finally caught up with your Blog and find your experiences
exciting ; your writing with such detail is most interesting; and your spirit of giving to others is so noble and most commendable. You actually sound happy, Dan! Guess you've discovered that life's not really about financial wealth - a lesson so many of us need to learn! Good for you!
By now you must be a master at "circumlocution"- you know, when you can't say numerator, you say "the number above the line that indicates...." Of course, there's more of a challenge with "the lowest common denominator"!! Maybe a series of examples may be needed on that one???
I can well understand why people there, old and young, enjoy your presence. Your smile, your positive spirit and your acceptance of them as they are, must all work for you. Once again, good for you, Dan!
Best of luck with the Damien House and everything else you have going on. A little siesta is not a bad thing once in a while- helps you problem solve, I feel.
May you continue to be enriched by all those rewarding experiences and keep writing.
Love you, Aunt Yvette