There is a festival in town this week, so there are banners hung between buildings and a few streets were closed to cars yesterday for a parade (I think; I didn´t see it myself). I think the reason for the celebration is the anniversary this Saturday of the foundation of Puyo on May 12, 1899. The coincidence of this event and my birthday seems like a good omen.
(Yes, I will use superstition to lighten my mood; especially at a time like this.)
Research updates: I went to visit a few of the people I know here this morning. They are willing to talk with me and help me learn Kichwa, so now I just have to get down to work. I have forgotten too much of the language and need to be prepared to be more talkative than I naturally am if I am going to get any research done.
My sociableness (and therefore my potential for effective research) has been affected by my interactions in the past few days: after training myself not to make eye contact with men and not to hear their whistles, hisses and whispers I have become even more withdrawn than usual as a result. In contrast I have been mostly ignored by women. I want to get out of the antisocial mood this defensiveness has put me in so that I can make more friends and reach out to the women who might be able to help me. I will have to work on initiating contact with those I want to know as well as continuing to reject contact with others.
Anyone else in the field feeling frustrated by gender issues? It´s not as if I didn´t see this coming but it´s a hassle, and difficult right now for me to decide how to view the situation in terms of ¨cultural values¨ or other things we were supposed to have learned in the field studies prep course...