Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ISV and Broken Bus

By Machete

The gypsy train isn´t always fun. I wish it were. But unfortunately we have a lay over in Puerto Lopez. Some kind of gasket thing exploded on the bus, so the bus is laying in pieces on the dirt floor of some Puerto Lopez mechanic shop.

I woke up this morning hoping to save the world one playground at a time. First, I tried to hitchike back to Machalilla. But noone would pick me up. They just shook their hands back and forth rapidly when I stuck my thumb out. I guess that means no. Eventually the bus came.

When I got back to Machalilla, I headed straight for Javier´s beach cabana. Music was blaring like always and fresh ceviche was being served up. Javier smiled when he saw me.

"El bus no funciona en Puerto Lopez. Donde estan las chicas? Quiero ayudar." I asked.

He said something back in spanish, but I didn´t understand him. So he hailed a mototaxi and paid him and sent me up the hill where the International Student Volunteers stood staring at a fance that they were struggling to build. I lended a hand and we headed back for lunch.

Javier served me up some soup and I talked with the coeds. After lunch, I planned on helping some more. When we were walking back to the playground construction site, the dickheaded dutchman that was there leader told me I wasn´t able to help them build the fence. He wouldn´t let me volunteer my time and labor to help the local community. I told him that it was fucking ridiculous as the girls pleaded with him to let me stay.

The only reason that Rudy, the dickheaded dutchman, wouldn´t let me help is because it would delegitimize the entire scam of the International Student Volunteers. The fact that a person could just be there in Ecuador and volunteer his time for free without going through the organization and paying the 4500 dollars, totally debases the whole idea of voluntourism. It takes out the middle man that pays Rudy´s paycheck. Rudy, Fuck you. International Student Volunteers,the company, not the innocent people that fall for your trickery, Fuck You.

So after arguing with Rudy. I hopped on the bus back to Puerto Lopez. I stopped at the mechanic´s and I recieved this note from Alex:


First please turn the fucking phone on. Second we are totally screwed. We are on our way to Quito in search of the part. There is a good chance that we won´t be back for a few days...Fernando fucked us...there was nothing we could have done to prevent this headache.


So the Gypsy Train is immobile until we get the bus fixed. Fuck.


  1. Zach, i certainly hope the train is up & running again soon!! i am seriously enjoying reading the great adventures of you & your fellow gypsies as you navigate through South America. I have no doubt that you will have a great fucking time & remain filled with interesting stories even if you are immobile for a bit. You're an incredible writer & i am so glad you are blogging!

    xo erin

  2. Zach, it's Kim from ISV - I lived with Xavier along with Jen, Sam, and Jane - hey! I was just browsing through my journals from Ecuador and I remembered you guys and the awesome time we had. I thought I would see if you wrote about our shithead leader, Rudi. Thanks again for your help and for being one of the most interesting people I've ever met. I hope our paths cross again someday. Cheers!