Monday, September 21, 2009

Week Two - more settling in...







Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were really do nothing days, I guess everyone needs the occasional few! Well I spent half of the day on the bus Monday then visited a bit in the evening. Otherwise, got some reading on the beach done, fully set up my room and kitchen, did some brainstorming for my job (but that’s somewhat difficult since I still don’t know how many students or what level to expect but at least I have a good idea of what topics will be the best to cover), watched a movie…. Ok fine I really did nothing! Thursday I made 2 lasagnas in the morning, always a challenge! Later I took the one as promised last year out to the family in Puerto Rico. Got in a really nice visit with all of them. Las chicas (me, Mary, Liz and Noemy) sat around getting manicures (Mary’s talent!!) while the lasagna was cooking and sharing pictures. Later, a volunteer who’s living with them got back from work (Kate – a real nice girl from the states who is their first volunteer in 5 months and who ran into Chad in Quito, who had told me she was coming but she had her phone stolen and so couldn’t contact me, quelle coincidence!) So anyway, I now have a friend for the next 2 weeks… The lasagna was not bad considering, mmmmm, cheese! And then Liz made us REAL hot chocolate!!! From pure cocoa paste that her aunt in Esmeraldas had harvested or something. Grated into boiling water with cinnamon and thrown in a blender with milk, que rico!!! I was in heaven and she gave me a bottle of the chocolate/cinnamon mix so I can make my own for breakfast…. It’s crazy that while so much raw cocoa comes from here it’s so hard to find chocolate and never good chocolate, plus it’s expensive. Because they just ship the raw stuff straight from the source to factories in China and then over to the company in the States or Europe to package and a tiny bit ends up back down here full of preservatives…
Thursday evening we kind of started classes here at the hostel, mostly just meeting the first 4 students and deciding what they want to learn and how, what they already know… It’s going to be a challenge teaching people of all ages and levels. However, I now have at least 6 students and a whiteboard!
Friday I started tutoring another guy too, who works with Palo Santo (rare indigenous wood that smells amazing! They only work with wood that is already dead, naturally (is there a word for that??) and make candles, incense, soap and such with the oil that extracted with this intense machine. It’s owned by an Italian man that moved here 10 years ago and has a really nice house on the hill, so I got a delicious pasta lunch. Friday evening class was cancelled as 2 of my students were preparing their Chilean party, it was Chile’s national day so I was invited and Kate got come along. It was really nice, we sat around and chatted, there was delicious Chilean food done over an open BBQ and several people I already knew, all the elite of Puerto Lopez I`d say, I`m pretty sure there wasn't anyone there originally from here…
Saturday was a day of relaxing, I walked all the way to the other end of the beach and that took me nearly all morning and my feet were rubbed raw, ouch! Also got a bit of sunburn through the clouds… oops. Saturday evening Gladys (Galo's mom the hostel owner) invited Kate and I to dinner and to watch the football game (the 2 teams from Quito), I really need to learn a thing or two about soccer since the rest of the world is crazy about it. Later Kate and I walked along and the Mal├ęcon and chatted to some friends but there wasn`t much happening. So we came back here and had a sleepover with a movie.
Sunday I helped Kate out, we were supposed to talk to tourists at a hostel and tell them about the tours and such but there weren`t any tourists so we just played pool and read. Went for lunch with the tour operator at a nice restaurant, picked up stuff for smores and headed out to Puerto Rico. And... I think I`ll leave the rest of yesterday to the next post since this is getting a bit long.

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