Thursday, July 03, 2008

Oleeee!

Today we met up with our third team mate who has been in Ecuador for a bit working on our same project. Her name is Jean and she's a sloanie! We had a super productive day of meeting with the local medical school and working out a scholarship for the indigenous students that may want to study medicine further. Later at night we were able to meet a shaman from the community who is pretty well educated.
We asked him questions for about 2 hours, his views on Western medicine melding with traditional shaman work were something we really wanted to know. He basically has complete faith in his healing capabilities and will only use Western medicine as a supplement to his knowledge. He told us tales of curing cancer, AIDs, and TB with his unique abilities. It is truly something that is almost unbelievable and we had to wonder how much it was luck, faith, or just belief that a sickness was cured. He was very curious about our own backgrounds (our team is all asian!) and how we have delt with melding asian medicinen with american techniques.

We interviewed with the shaman late into the night and caught a quick dinner only to be in the midst of a hugely important soccer game! We watched as Ecuador beat Brazil for the first time in history in the Copa Libertadores. Thousands of people were in the square we were eating in and Ecuadorians were jumping and screaming, singing, chanting during the whole game! I've never seen such excitement over soccer. We happily hung out with the rioters as they drunkenly cheered in the streets. Flags and shirts were waving everywhere, and by the end of the night I knew some chants. The celebrations lasted long into the night. :)

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