Saturday, September 29, 2012

About fluffing time!

Yes, yes, I know it has been ages since I have filled y'all in on my Ecua-life, and I apologize - it's just so darn busy that I find myself wanting sleep more than anything else [what else is new hahaha]! is good.  My new schedule is full with kiddos, but it keeps me on my toes and these kids [some more than others, but that's a usual thing] are just so amazing.

Now I am going to try and catch youz all up on my life - this should be interesting...

  • Working 1-on-1 with Cristofer is a challenge, but it's so worth it to see the smile on his face when he does well in class! I find that when he doesn't want to do what I have planned, he shuts himself down for about 10-15 minutes -- he won't look at me, he won't respond, he won't do anything. Then, like a switch, he will be with me, working on whatever it is, be it numbers or colors or whatnot.  It's just so crazy; I can't help myself feeling frustrated, but then I have to remind myself he is probably more frustrated than I am. He finally knows my name, so that's a real plus :)  But I am in the process of creating a number and letter book for him - association with things [animals, toys, food, etc.] have really been helping him recognize what things are [example: "I" como isla."]  Cristofer's amigo Armondo - who works with 2-year volunteer Juliana - is also a cutie-patootie. It's great for these two boys to be together, learning, because they can learn from each other too. They like to have competitions and then yell out "YO GANÉ!" (I WON!), but there is really no actual winner...they are just kinda wacky, but you cannot help but love them! 
Armondo reading to Cristofer - look at the concentration!

Armondo and me blowing bubbles at "recess" 
My main man Cristofer teaching Juliana, Dr. Elizabeth,
Lourdes & Bryan [from left to right] how to play "Go Fish!"
  • My girls English class is the same as before - some are chatty-Kathys and others are beyond reserved. **I want to apologize to all my teachers, from kindergarten to senior year at Loras for being such a social butterfly - I must have been exhausting!**  Thus far, we have learned colors, numbers 1-20, school supplies AND 7 verbs!  It's taken a while to get to where we are, but I am SO very proud of my girls! For funzies, one of my newer students, Angeles, knows the song "This little light of mine", so we ended up teaching it to our class and they all LOVED it! I made them laminated lyrics to memorize and hopefully we will be able to sing it at church or something.  In the past 2 weeks, we have invited the Beginners, Level 1 and Level 2 A girls to come watch AND participate in singing! We also ventured to Colleen's health class [which, by the way, has 37 students!!!!] and performed for them...and when I say WE performed, I mean I performed and my girls were huddled in a corner, mumbling the words - quite hilarious! 
My girls, from left to right: [back row] Diana, Mery, Stefany, Pierina,
[front row] Tatiana, Jessica, Samantha & Roxana 

  • My Girls Program is going well - we are still making beaded headbands...a MUCH more intricate and longer process than I had originally anticipated, but what can ya do!? They are turning out really well - but I have made a note that we must use more string, otherwise these headbands will be for babies only. Lord have mercy! I finished mine and it looks pretty darn cute if I do say so myself :) Hopefully by Christmas we will at least have a few made so these girls can receive some mula for all of their hard work - check them out and let me know if you are interested in purchasing from these wonderful chickadees 
Damaris, Maria Agusta and Mery working diligently to start
their "sintillos" 
Only $2.50 for these bad boys - and my girls are making some
with designs of flowers, stripes and all that cool jazz! 

  • My two classes of Level 2 Boys - man oh man! These boys are very smart - they started school a week later than the girls, yet they are now learning the same things [and a lot know WAY more English than I had originally thought].  My morning class is pretty good - I just have to remind myself that they are 8-11 year olds and are not really into being peppy about learning.  I definitely have so much more energy than they do, but I hope that with each class, they start to open up more.  My afternoon English class....they are a handful to say the least!  We start class at 5PM and that, to me is just una locura [a crazy thing/occurance]! These boys, as well as myself, are just pooped by that time, it's hard to expect them to pay attention/behave well. We had a really good class this past Thursday, but other than that, they have been wild animals. I definitely have my teacher look down pat due to this class: pursed lips, hand on hip, one eyebrow slightly arched - I feel like I am Ms. Trunchbull from Matilda, but it gets the job done. It's really hard, because I want to just sit down and laugh/cry because I am either so frustrated with them that I cannot do anything else, but obviously that cannot happen. I usually just turn around and while writing on the white board I will let out a giggle or two, because they are just so wild it's funny! Gosh - I probably am not the best one to teach pre-teen/teenage boys due to my personal lack of maturity, especially when I am in exhaustion-mode. Vamos a ver.... 
  • Two weeks ago was my month anniversary of being in Quito! We decided to take a little field trip to Pinchincha, a GINORMOUS mountain --- what a fun way to spend your anniversary, climbing/scraping up a side of a mountain, sweating and wanting to cry and fall over. But in all actuality it was an amazing experience! Yes, I was the last one in line while climbing and I had to make pit-stops every 20 seconds -- thank the Lord in Heaven that Colleen was there with me, supporting me and encouraging me to go on! -- but I made it pretty darn far.  Colleen, Robin, Esteban, Nelson and I ate lunch somewhere about an hour and a half south of the tippity-top and then headed back down to grab a much needed beer and a snack. The views going up and coming down the mountain side were just absolutely breathtaking and the clean air was a very welcome gift! Now, keep your hands, feet and objects inside the vehicle and enjoy the ride:
The Teleferico - the somewhat gondola that brought us up pretty
high so we could start our journey - some AMAZING views from up here! 

Having a photo-shoot with the mountainous
scenery in the background. 
Me and my new friends
How fluffing gorgeous is this?! Mountains surrounding my home.

Can you see the winding tan path throughout the green hills...?
Yeah, that's what we climbed.
It was like I could almost touch the heavens.
My girls, Colleen and Robin.
Wouldn't know what I would've done without them.
  • What else has happened since I have last dished the deets....?! It's so hard to remember - all my days mush together. But today Colleen, Robin, Becky, Irene and I ventured downstairs to the salon and treated ourselves to $5 pedicures and $3 manicures! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! I may just have to treat myself every month or so :) 
That's all I can think of for right now. Sorry for the novel, but my adventures need to be shared, so y'all will just have to deal! Much love and wish me luck this week - students will be taking their first English test with Señorita Olivia! 

XOXO y hasta pronto 

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on sticking with the mountain trail! Looks like it was worth it! Beautiful photos! Keep on keepin' on with that 5:00 class, grrrl. You can do it! Love you!