Just about eight kilometers away from Riobamba, Ecuador is a small city by the name of Guano, I found this quite curious. My friend lives in this city, maybe I should say village, and I am trying to clarify the name. Guano I believe means excrement or dropping of animals. I first heard the word in some caves by the name of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico when I was about 16 years old. There were bats in the caves and they excrement was minded for fertilizer from the cave.
I am pretty sure this is the same word, however the Spanish language changes dramatically from country to the country, plus the language is very vague and is used any way they wish. Languages are not specific, as people would think, more they use a word to mean an abstract concept and the word needs to adapts, the person do not need to adapt. If everyone agrees the world means something, then the word means what he or she wishes.
The evolution of languages especially when coupled with another language is extremely interesting to me, as when you can speak their language, and then you start to understand how a culture thinks. When you can start to talk and think the same, you can empathize with them. Once you empathize with a culture, you probably should go home… hehehe
Languages are almost always mixed with the indigenous language of the area, I believe here the indigenous language is a variety of Quechua.
Cultures to me are not logical; they are more illogical, hard to say a person should understand a culture, more you should feel a culture and stay out of the story. Cultures do not make sense, what makes sense is how close they are too water and how they go about finding food. The rest of culture is sort of hogwash.
Example, why would a person wear a tie on the necks of men?
Nonetheless I am in a small village what I believe is named after the excrement of an animal. There has to be something profound in this or maybe something very mundane.
The village is lying next to a very high cliff, so the village is maybe in a valley and mountain peaks look down, I am not sure yet I understand the place. It is very quiet so far, and all I have seen is a few people in trucks hauling sheep wool to the woman across the street, I guess she is a broker of sense for the sheep wool that comes from the outlying villages.
The internet here may not exist, I may have to return the five mile or eight kilometers to Riobamba to publish this mess, who knows what is possible and I am sure there is a way eventually.WALKING TOUR
I am making a joke, there is no walking tour in Guano, and however there is always a walking tour wherever I travel. You stand up, walk out the door of your room and walk around the city, probably the best value in the world, and for sure more interesting than any tour I have ever paid for, I have discovered the best places wandering around with no destination in mind. I discover mostly tourist when I follow the guidebook, and they all look the same.
I am an exchange student from the U.S. now currently living in Ibarra, Ecuador right now and I just came back from a week long visit in Riobamba where i too came across this interestingly named town. I really enjoyed your thoughts on cultures and also that things cannot be rationalized. Did you get a chance to visit the musuem in Guano with the mummy?? Hope you enjoyed Ecuador.