Sunday, March 27, 2011

Family Quirks

I realized I haven't told you much about my new family in Ambato. So here is a post about them along with their quirks:

  • Mom: My host mom is Teresa and she is about 65 years old. She has 4 children (2 still live with her, but I'll talk about them later). Every morning she wakes up at 5:30 and walks for an hour and a half. She is diabetic and never eats sugar or processed flour. She eats tons of fruits and veggies and the house is always stocked with that (I like this part). She eats a breakfast of fruit and yogurt when she gets back from her walk. In the afternoon she makes lunch and only eats meat and veggies. She doesn't eat dinner. Her dinner consists of 5 cups of tea from 5pm-8pm. It is a very special tea to help her stomach. She talks on the phone ALL THE TIME. She talks to each kid at least once a day, and all her grandkids at least once a day. She is super sweet but it's impossible to have a conversation with her because she always gets a phone call. But, it is a blessing because she gets them during lunch too. I eat lunch with her everyday and she is a terrible cook. She overcooks everything, even the rice (which is hard to believe an ecuadorian can do). Today she made ceviche. Now, I don't really like ceviche but usually I can choke it down. She made ceviche that was warm and tasted like a bowl full of ketchup with lemon and onions. So the blessing is that when she gets a phone call I can pretend to eat my food but actually just give it to the dog. It's a good system Inder (the dog) and I have going on.
  • Daughter: One daughter, Pilar, lives with us in the house. She works a ton and has a very serious boyfriend who lives in Quito. The boyfriend comes down every weekend and stays at the house with us. They are really cute and I like the daughter. But the boyfriend is 35 and she is 33. She desperately wants him to propose but he won't. So she is stuck living at home. It's kinda sad.
  • Son: Raul is in his 40s and has a wife and 2 kids in Quito. However, during the week, he still lives in Ambato with us. His job is traveling and he basically travels all over the central highlands. I have absolutely no idea why he chooses to live with his mother during the week when he has a family in Quito. I asked him once and he said he could live in Quito but he just likes spending the weeks here. Creepy. That and he keeps trying to pretend like we have secrets. He told me that he and his wife bought an expensive house in Quito and that I can't tell his mom. Sorry buddy, but your mom already told me about that and she is pissed at you for spending all that money. You can't keep secrets like that from mothers.
  • Son: One son lives in London. He is married and has 1 or 2 kids. I chatted with him over skype for a few minutes one day. He is cool and his English is perfect. But his mom is annoyed with him because he hasn't taught his kids Spanish. So the only people he ever speaks Spanish to are his family in Ecuador and my host mom feels like she can't communicate with her grand kids. It's actually a little sad if you think about it. He could have easily taught them Spanish when they were young. She and her daughter go and visit him once every 2 years. I have no idea how they afford it.
  • Son: Another son lives in Esmeraldes with his wife and 2 kids. However, that area of Ecuador is really unsafe. But he has to stay because he doesn't want to leave his job. So he is deciding whether or not to send his kids to school in Quito or Ambato because he wants them to feel safe. He thinks they are the only white kids in the whole province.
  • Dog: Inder is Raul's dog but lives here with us because he doesn't want her to move to Quito. She is so sad because she has to stay outside all the time. No one takes care of her and she has a ton of fleas and I'm pretty sure she is getting a cancerous tumor on her leg. I wish I didn't have to drag her out of the house every time I go in. It's very sad. I don't know why Raul can't take his dog to Quito with him. Teresa totally doesn't want him here.
So that's my family. They are all super nice but it's very interesting learning all their quirks. Let's just say I love having my own apartment behind the house so I can cook and get away from the drama.

Wish me luck! This week I'm having my meeting with Sara to talk about extending at Tecnica. I'm also seriously considering changing how I run my classes. The books are so dumb. So I'm trying to think how I can teach my way while still teaching what they "have to" learn. We'll see. And I'm not sure I'll ever let me kids democratically vote on something again. They voted to watch Saw 7 as our movie on Friday. GROSS!

I'm also incredibly sad about March Madness. What a weird tournament it is turning out to be. But I'm rooting for Butler or UCONN now.

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