Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cascadas, Mariposas, and Mindo

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.

1 comment:

  1. Chifa = chinese food in ecuador? that makes so much sense. that's the name of the jose garces chinese/ecuadorian fusion restaurant in philly!

    hiking sounds amazing. i'm going to look at your photos now!