28 November 2010

A Very Exciting Moment in Time

Today was the Censo. This is quite different from the US. All over Ecuador, every citizen (and traveler) was confined to their own homes from 7am until 5:30. Police were in the streets to direct any unknowing citizens back to their houses. And Census-takers went to each house and asked each family a 6-8 page questionnaire that took about 20 minutes per family.

These were pretty detailed questions, for what I was expecting of the Census. In the US, we get living situation, marital status, age and ethnicity. This questionnaire featured the material the house was made of, the quality of the roof material, and number of light bulbs. It asked education level of each member, whether they were able to use the telephone, internet, and computer. It specified the number of rooms in each house and the language each individual speaks. It asked about health insurance, work, utility payments, and number of children.

This was all very exciting. We took our Censo with our neighbors for ease of answering questions (the first page on building materials, etc was the exact same as their house, anyways). The most exciting part of the day, however, was when the Census-taker (a young-looking university or high school student with a Ronaldo-haircut and earring) asked what languages I speak. And I was all "Inglés" and then my neighbor was like "Español tambien."


According to the Ecuadorian Government, I AM BILINGUAL!!!!!!!!!!