People have very interesting names here. I have the lucky opportunity of being at a school, and so I conozco lots of very different names. Like Fran, my prebasica student who climbs the walls. And Jharyf, who us 6 and likes to play air guitar. And Rafael, who we call Rafa, who sometimes hides under his desk when he doesn't want to do work, but when we are actually doing work under our desk*, insists on writing above his desk like a normal person. And Mauiuxi, whose name I still think I'm pronouncing wrong (when I ask her, "Did I say that right?" she just kind of rolls her eyes and nods halfheartedly.)
There's Svami, and Lady (actually a few Ladys--Ladies?--) and Yarina and Giro and Nandy and Nyeli and, of course, the 4 people I know named José Luís. There's Edgar and Edwin and even (this is my favorite) someone named Darwin.
They have more conventional names too. Pablo is popular. Leslie, Lidia, Juan, Shirley, Carlos, Sara...And so I wonder. Am I just not aware of the more inventive names in the US? Its a melting pot, right? and yet in almost every class I had at school, there were two of one names, "Tyler C and Tyler H" or "Katie F. and Katie L." Is it only celebrities that can name their children something different? Or is this something special in Ecuador...something that adds to the individuality of each student.
Everyone has 4 names here. Two "First names" (and some people call you by one, some people call you by the other) and two last names, one from your mother's side and one apellido from your fathers'. And so there are very few coincidences that two people are named "John Smith". (Although I have two students in Colegio named Karen Something Yacelga Terán and Karen Something Something Yacelga...talk about confusing when you're giving them grades)
This is something I love about Ecuador. That, and that they add "ito" to your name when you're familiar. So Pablo is Pablito and Sara is Sarita and Maryam is Maryamcita. Sadly, Valerie doesn't transfer to an "ita" ending as well, but they try, and its cute.
In other news: I LOVE PERSIAN FOOD. And watching Toy Story 3 in Spanish with my neighbors, and having them fall asleep on my shoulders. And I don't love taking away lollypops from my prebasica students after they have green apple slobber with mixed saliva from every student in the class covering the desk, my hands, and their school clothes, throwing it away, and then having them pick it up out of the trash and continue to eat it. But its a good experience to tell me to put all future food items on a high shelf before sneaking it off to throw it away. And, I love the happiness I feel when my youngest prebasica student says "May I go to the bathroom please?" (although it comes out like "MaI Got Bafroo Peas?") and then the next class, I get asked "Can we play the Baño game?" (they ask me, "May I Go to the Bathroom Please" and then they go tag a sign with a toilet on it or hi-5 Maryam who's holding the "Bathroom" and race back)
So I'm happy. Happy to know people with all these names, happy to have worn a tank top today, happy that my neighbor Kevin is playing Christmas Carols on his recorder...over...and over....and over...Happy that I finally bought a jump drive and a pair of much-needed scissors, and happy to have long distance family and friends who I love!
Happy December 11th!
*We were learning about how Michelangelo painted the roof of the Sistine Chapel on his back, and so were practicing by coloring papers taped to the underside of the desk.