So: life. I am at home! It is a small (3 rooms: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) apartment that shares a wall with a Baha'i family who also teach at the school. They've been very good neighbors so far, helping us light our stove and hot water heater (with a match!) and dropping off mail and just being friendly in general. Their names are Jose Luis, Jaconda, and they have two children, Kendy and Dogma. Also, some relatives live there too...I'm not exactly sure who...but they're all very nice! Behind our kitchen, we have a little backyard which is full of chickens and children, who belong to the 3 or so houses which share our backyard.
The house has a few quirks, but we live with them. Some of the quirks we couldn't live with, so we fixed them:
Some unfixed quirks include slugs in the bathroom (we've only found a few, but we have no idea where they're coming from), a door without a unlockable latch (we have a padlock but can't actually latch the door without having to break in...don't worry, we're in a very safe neighborhood), and the interesting dilemma of having one working electrical outlet in the kitchen, and no internet in the kitchen, and only semi reliable in the bedroom (better near the ceiling, so we spend an absurd amount of time standing on top of the beds waving our computers around like we're looking for cell reception...yeah, we're cool). We also have no refrigerator (or cabinets, for that matter...but no problems with pests yet...) and so we've been very good about eating leftovers. The weather here is fairly chilly in the mornings and evenings (especially when your shower is randomly semi-lukewarm, another quirk) and because its shady inside, nothing gets warm and spoiled from sitting in the house. And because the weather here is pretty much the same, all year, we probably won't have to get a fridge. The odd food we throw out will be much cheaper than the 300$ expense of a mini fridge here. And we haven't bought meat yet (it looks decidedly unappealing to buy a chicken with feet and neck and head still attached) but we'll get protein from veggies and the once a week eating out (tonight is Chinese! They have a surprising number of Chinese restaurants here...its odd to hear someone speaking Spanish with a Chinese accent!).
So that's our apartment. My favorite thing about it is the bold colors: our bedroom is bright blue, our bathroom this skype-blue, porta-potty color, our kitchen three shades of yellow. We have a miniature kitchen table, bright red, and primary-yellow chairs. My second favorite thing is the thick blankets that keep me warm at night!
Now, school life:
I have a lot lot lot of classes. I am teaching English to las clases de prebasica, segundo de basica, tercero de basica, sexto de basica, octavo de basica, y colegio (preschool, 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, and high school) I also teach the preschoolers computers, and I learned today that instead of co-teaching the most advanced english high school class with Maryam, I'm teaching a beginning class (that means giving 50% instruction in Spanish!) of 15, by myself. And I write lesson plans for preschool and high school. So yeah, they keep me busy here.
I think that I am the most surprised of anyone at this, but I am starting to like kids. Yes, it is disgusting when after teaching preschool I discover a booger on my jeans (actually happened. Grossssss!) and yes, it is frustrating when the 6o de basica won't focus on writing and whine whenever we make them write out the date but on the other hand, its so so rewarding when the little 1st graders finally finally stay in their seat and complete the assignment! And its so touching when I miss two days because I went to Quito (ehgf. That's a story in itself. but one for a later day, we video diaried that one) and I come back and three come up and ask where I was, and if I'll still come to class. And for those amigas of mine that love looking at cute children: we have a ton. Here's a few photos:
|Danae, a 2o de basica student|
|Mattias and Charis, two of my prebasica students at lunch|