Sorry guys, looks like I'm not posting too much these days. I keep forgetting and I'm not sure why. I'll try to be better about it.
Last weekend wasn't too exciting because I was at UTA all day Saturday making up class time and grading. But on Sunday I did go on a trip to Banos with some students. We ended up taking a chiva to the waterfalls and I hiked up Machay AGAIN. That is a hike. I liken it to about 30 flights of stairs at one time. But they had tons of fun and the waterfall is really pretty. It's always nice to see the Ecuas tired as well. Then after the waterfalls we went to the zoo in Banos. It's not so much a zoo as a monkey and bird area. There are lots of different kinds of monkeys and birds in small cages. It was actually pretty sad. But the zoo talked about how they were trying to rescue animals and save endangered animals. I don't know how well their doing because they had a puma in a 20ft x 20ft cage. And the zoo had a million stairs because it was located on a mountain (strange). So I hiked more stairs. All in all it was a fun day with some students but a terrible day for my foot. I really hope the doctor can fix my foot when I'm back in the states.
Then on Monday I gave more exams and graded non-stop for a while. On Tuesday I actually got to have class again and teach. It was fun and it felt like forever since I had taught. I came up with a cool listening exercise using a clip from the book "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" and the students created skits predicting what would happen at the end of the story. Hopefully they liked it. The problem was, at the end of my second class I got a letter saying classes were canceled for Thursday because we had a meeting. So I told my students no class Wednesday or Thursday. On Wednesday I had to do the oral tests for the expertise test that I was helping with. On Wednesday morning I found out I didn't have to go to the meeting and could have class on Thursday but I had already told my students we didn't have class and I wasn't going to see them to tell them otherwise. So basically I had to cancel class for nothing. It was so dumb. They really need to work on their communication at UTA. Maybe next year I'll try and help them with that...
So Wednesday I was helping with the oral tests and it was a neat experience. However, that teacher that I don't like was also there and he teaches most of them. And so he would grade them differently and with tons of bias. It was super unprofessional and I'll have to introduce them to the idea that the judges for a professional test should never have taught the students taking the test. You don't know the person who grades your SAT, do you?
On Friday it was a holiday to celebrate some famous battle in Quito, so I didn't have class again. I'm really running out of days to finish all of my units. I hope I'll be able to finish.
Cheryl, my friend from San Miguel, came to visit me Friday-Sunday. We did some touristy walking around Ambato and found really neat stores for jewelry and such. We also made some delicious dinners and baked chocolate chip cookies. But Ecua ovens don't have temperature scales so they burned. I still think they were good though.
On Sunday I went with Cheryl to get her hair dyed because she wanted to get it red. I had been thinking about getting my hair cut lately because it was starting to fall weirdly. So as I'm in the salon I start to feel comfortable with the place and the staff and it looks professional enough. I even find a picture of exactly what I want. I give it to the stylist and she starts cutting. I noticed that she was cutting my hair diagonally from back to front and I thought it's weird but I wasn't sure what she was doing. Then it became apparent she was not giving me the cut I wanted. When I stopped her and asked her why the back was shorter she said she thought I would look good with a longer front that comes to a point and then a really short back. I looked at her like she was nuts and said, but that's not the picture. She said she thought this would look better. Wow. That is all I have to say. So at that point I just asked her to cut it all as evenly as possible and I left. I only paid $10 and the hair is fixable so it wasn't horribly traumatic. But it is a pretty bad haircut. I can make it look fine if I straighten it but it almost looks like she cut it with dull scissors and a machete. It is longer on one side and still shorter in the back. I guess I learned my lesson about Ecua-hair cuts...
Next week I have an end of service conference in Quito which should be fun and bittersweet. It's the last time I'll see a lot of these people. But it also means less time I have to get through all of my units because I leave in 6 weeks. I have no idea how I'll finish it all. But I have to so the students will just have to study much harder because we will be moving very quickly.
On a side note, my friend showed me this website called Lan South America Pass where you buy one way flights in South America for really cheap prices. I'm thinking about taking next February to travel around South America since I'll have a pretty long break. And I'll be making more money next year so I should be able to afford the trip. I'll keep you posted as I make plans!