- Eggs and toast
- Soup with potatoes, rice, and veggies; mashed potatoes, rice, and broccoli
- Soup with potatoes, rice, and veggies; chicken, rice, and salad
- Soup with potatoes and eggs; rice, beans, salad
- At Pizza Hut: Personal pizza, french fries, cheese sauce, and a soda
Sunday, August 29, 2010
On Friday we finally got to learn more about our site placements and about our practice teaching. I will be teaching at a university near the school from 6-8 for the next few weeks. I will only be solo teaching on Thursday and Friday and the other members of my group will be teaching the other days. I like this way of practice teaching because it gives us all a chance to teach by ourselves but also gives us a lot of time to observe other people teach. My group has a Basic II class (which is basically Basic 1). We’re going to have them make a family tree and teach them simple verbs. I’m meeting with my group this afternoon to work out more of the details.
Then that afternoon Shari and I found out more about Ibarra. We are going to have our own classrooms and we teach in a really small building. The entire curriculum is up to us and so we have complete free reign. I’m so excited! I don’t like teaching to tests and I don’t think multiple choice tests show that someone knows English. We don’t know about our host families yet but hopefully that will come soon. We are going to start teaching on September 13th (2 days after we move to Ibarra, crazy!) and we will teach Monday-Thursday. Should be fun!
After that we attempted to get a manicure for $3. Except it was the most painful manicure I’ve ever had! The lady took 2 hours to do us both and she kept answering her cell phone and then not paying attention to the fact that she was digging into my skin. It was definitely a strange experience… but it was only $3. I chose purple nails because every girl in Quito wears purple eye shadow out to her ears. It’s an interesting sight to see.
Then we went to MegaMaxi, which is more like Concord Mills because it is so huge. Then I went back and got my stuff and headed over to Cheryl, Claire, and Shari’s place to spend the night so we could go to Mindo in the morning.
In the morning we woke up super early and caught a bus to Mindo. It was so cool to be outside of Quito and not around a million people and disgusting pollution. Mindo is actually the jumping off city for a bunch of adventure activities. Since we didn’t have too long to stay in Mindo we only did a few things. We took a cable car across a valley and then hiked for about 4 hours to a bunch of different waterfalls. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the big waterfall because we couldn’t find it and were running out of water and time and hadn’t eaten in 8 hours. Cheryl and I have plans to come back and find that waterfall though J. It was also a cool experience because Claire hates the outdoors and so we pushed her to do it. There were some tough parts to the hike so I’m proud of her.
Then we headed to a butterfly garden and got to see some amazing butterflies. After that we got lunch and looked at some street markets while waiting for our bus back to Quito. I would definitely recommend making Mindo a whole weekend trip because they have so much there. There’s ziplining, horseback riding, tubing, bird-watching, an orchid farm, tons of hiking, and a cool city to explore. It’s definitely worth going to!
Then we headed back and got some Chifa (Chinese food) and I came back to my house and passed out.
Pictures of Mindo are coming soon!
Coolest Ecua-thing I saw in Mindo:
While Cheryl, Claire and I were hiking up and down and all around a mountain on a pretty intense hike we saw an Ecua-family carrying their kids and doing the hike like it was no problem. There were streams to cross, logs to climb over, areas that were so steep you had to slide down, and then an Ecua-family making it look soooo easy. It was nuts! We also ran into some Germans who tried to do it in flip-flops. I think they regretted that decision. Oh, and no one in Ecuador wears flip-flops. I still wear mine almost everyday though.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
This week is starting to look up a bunch. Yesterday was a huge soccer match between Ecuador and Argentina. A bunch of vols and I (and some locals) went to an Indian restaurant to watch the game. It was so much fun! The locals were going crazy and everyone was screaming at the TV. We were also in the middle of the Mariscal and the whole square was insane. No matter where you went you couldn’t hear yourself think! At half time a bunch of us went to a club called Bungalow. Wednesday is ladies night in Quito and this place had no cover and free drinks from 8-10. It’s actually a hilarious idea. They only let girls in from 8-10, give them free drinks (liquor only, no beer), and then charge guys a ton of money to file in at 10. I met some guy who said he went to Columbia University and now half owns a company in London that works with oil refineries. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t telling the whole truth about his job… but hey, I got a free drink out of it. Then we went to another club where they only serve shots. I’ve never been good with those but I was convinced to take an “Ecuador shot.” It’s basically blue Curacao, grenadine, vodka, and banana liquor layered on top of each other to look like the Ecuadorian flag. Then came more salsa dancing and then bed.
Today we went to an awesome Gauyasamin (sp?) museum. It was up on this hill that looked out over the whole city. Amazing! Inside we had a tour in Spanish that talked about his paintings. This artist is really incredible and if you haven’t heard of him you should definitely look him up. The museum was completely dedicated to him and everything he stood for. His big influences were Picasso and Dali, but he focused more on social issues in South America. If you ever come to Quito, I highly recommend seeing this museum. You can also go to his house, which is right above the museum, and see where he is buried.
After that I had my Spanish class and then I learned some basic grammar rules and how to teach them. Teaching English is going to be tough! I am also going to find out more about Ibarra and my placement there tomorrow. I’m so excited to hear more about it!
Then I came home and the whole fam was there and we had a nice dinner together. I actually understood most of the conversation but I still couldn’t contribute much to it. My brain just doesn’t form sentences that fast yet.
Oh! And this weekend I’m headed to Mindo (the cloud forest)!
- · They put popcorn in their soup. Sounds sketchy but it is so good!
- · Don’t drink strawberry juice or eat strawberries here. They can’t be washed well enough and so there is a fungus you can get that has a reaction a bit like tripping on shrooms. Some poor guys in our group had a very interesting afternoon the other day…
- · It never rains in Quito. I have been here a week and a half and it rained for about 30 seconds one day. I had no idea it was so dry!
- · The supermarkets here are called Supermaxi and Megamaxi. Basically walmart but with a much cooler name. I’m headed to Megamaxi tomorrow because it has a Payless attached to it. Yes, a Payless J
- · Songs that didn’t make it big in America are huge here. I can’t think of any examples right now, but it’s hilarious listening to music in a club or on the bus.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
- No one cares about pollution here. The mountains are covered in a smoggy haze all the time. It's still pretty, but gross.
- Time doesn't really matter here and everyone is on Ecua-time.
- It is impossible to find change. Everyone needs quarters for the bus and so no one wants to give you quarters. They also hate breaking $20s.
- They use like 10 blankets at night because it gets so cold and they don't have heating.
- Asi es la vida. They aren't very empathetic here because everyone just has the attitude of "that's life." It's pretty interesting actually.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
- Juice, juice, and more juice! Every kind of juice you can imagine and nothing from concentrate!
- Ecuas always talk about the weather. It is either caliente or chachay (Quichua).
- Ecuas have lots of Quichua words. Quichua is different then Quechua btw.
- Food is cheap but almost everything else is expensive. I can get a super huge $2 lunch and then buy body wash for $6.
- Ecuas are loud! Everything is amplified and crazy. It's awesome!
- Hot water does not actually mean hot water. It means 10 seconds of hot water. We're all learning the "suds up while it's cold and rinse while it's hot" dance.
- Ecuas love to love. Everyone kisses everyone hello. Even if it is a group of 20 people saying a quick hello to 20 people, everyone must kiss on the cheek. The night I went to La Ronda I think I kissed 20 cheeks and I didn't know any of them. It's a really cool sight to see. Everyone is just so happy and friendly.
- Cell phones last on average 3 months. They are always stolen.
- Speaking of robbers, they are very nice here. You can bargain with them to let you keep enough money to take the bus home, or to keep the watch your grandpa gave you, etc...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
- Being in a new culture
- All of the eco-touristy things I'll do
- The food
- My WorldTeach soon-to-be friends
- Teaching again
- Going to Peru
- Learning Spanish
- Living with a host family
- Trying new things
- My pets
- Being able to talk to my friends and family whenever I want
- Electronics and wireless Internet
- My car
- Being able to get food from any culture I want (Italian, Thai, Chinese, etc)
- My bed
- Being home for the holidays
- Having a job that pays
- Changing seasons