Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week 4 – routine sets in…

So Saturday actually turned into a do nothing day. Which was perfectly fine with me. We ate lunch at the market (my kind of first time actually). You get the set plate and it`s 2$ there though I have seen signs for ones that are $1.25. (US of course) So the almuerzo (lunch) always comes with soup, nice hearty soup, this one had huge chunks of yuca, fish, plantain and corn (cob and all) floating in it, so delicious! Followed but a plate of rice topped with a filet of fish (you had a choice of meat), lentils and a bit of cabbage in lime juice. I know it doesn`t sound like much, but it so fresh and huge servings. Either the soup or the main plate would be enough for a meal. Next time perhaps I`ll see if I can take the main plate with me for dinner instead, a dollar per meal that I don`t have to prepare or clean up = sweet deal!
Kate and I made dinner for everyone Saturday, ran around buying everything and made pan de yuca, roasted veggies and then smores for dessert. Yummers.
Sunday was a rise and shine day : We whipped up some sandwiches and hopped on our bikes off to Agua Blanca (Indigenous archaeological site, tiny village and sulphur springs). Really nice ride actually and the bike I have to use here is awesome, I need to use it more often but have somehow managed to keep very busy this week. I went with Kate, Katharina and Galo. Christian (other guy who lives here) and Brendan (random dude from the States who’s been hanging out here) joined us up there with motorbike (cheaters!). We walked to the laguna (sulphur pool that absolutely reeks but since it’s supposed to be healing people will quite willing jump in and wallow in the mud, sometimes plastering themselves with it and then letting it dry, ahhh exfoliating!) and then ate our lunch and briefly checked out the museum before hopping back on the bikes. We figured it was nearly a 30k round-trip. The rest of the day was kind of a write-off. Ran into Alex again after he ditched us Saturday and bailed him out since he had forgotten his debit card in Quito, silly ass. We hung out a bit along the Malecon and tucked it in early.
Monday I tutored, then tutored again, then hung out with Kate and planned evening class, taught evening class, ate and grabbed a taxi out to Las Tunas for a fogata en la playa (finally! We haven’t been able to have one yet and I miss our bi-nightly campfires from last year!) Introduced the boys to smores, a hit once they caught on the idea that you eat the cookies, chocolate and marshmallow all together….. and I tried fire-roasted plantain with cheese, delicious! Kate and I walked back to Puerto Rico early as Tuesday morning I went with her to teach classes.
I’m happy I’m not teaching with the schools again although I would’ve liked to have done up a curriculum for them (and still might with some volunteers that come through another program) but adults are so much better. Not exactly easier, they have higher expectations for me and ask more difficult questions. I can’t just play games with them all the time and so much of the material is kid-focused so it’s hard to find interesting activities that aren’t too baby. But anyway, helping Kate out was fun, kids are the same wherever and there is nothing greater than their unconditional love. We played Jeopardy at the second school and those kids actually got it.
Wednesday… another normal day of tutoring. Met another American girl, Sara, who is volunteering at a school here in Puerto Lopez but is leaving in less than 2 weeks.=( Her family happens to own the new karaoke place and everyone seemed to just end up there that evening. But I left early, after Europe I’m used to people smoking near you and at least here they only smoke at night, but I still can’t handle it in a closed area. Plus I don’t know any of the songs.
Yesterday, I tutored, walked along the beach with Katharina (all the way to other end! And only got a tiny sunburn!) Planned stuff for the evening and talked to Sara for awhile. Taught class, after one of my students brought the jewellery he makes, gorgeous stuff out of silver, wire and stones. He uses old silverware (forks and spoons) and bends them into the nicest bracelets, so original! I even got a small bracelet as advance payment for my tutoring. Also ran into an older couple from Québec in the street who have been travelling South America for two and half years in a Volkswagen camper van, crazy!! Such interesting people, I hope I can do that when I retire… Every time their visa is about to run out they just go to another country. Next week they are heading to Colombia to find a boat to Panama and then slowly making their way back up, hoping to be home by March, over 3 years on the road!
Today, I’m teaching almost all day… I feel like I’m really working (when my students actually show up) and I can’t wait for the weekend!!
[Written yesterday (friday) morning]

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