Thursday, April 26, 2007

Making Plans

So since our time is almost up my friends and I are trying to think of the last trips we want to take. I really want to go to the oriente, I mean you have to go to the jungle while in Ecuador right! So this weekend we are planning to go to TENA. I´m super excited because we will get to go to Monkey Island, and you can all guess what that entails! I hope all the plans go through, it is looking good so far. I also think we are going to try and make one more trip to the beach before going back home:)
Tuesday was a great day of volunteering! We were able to take the kids outside since it was such a nice day and play games. And one of the sixth graders Janet made my friend Rachel and I these cute necklaces! They are all really great kids.
Nothing much happened yesterday. The usual school, and then I went to the plaza in order to work on a group project with some friends.
Today I am going to volunteer at the school, tutor Gabriel and then hopefully get lots of homework done so I won´t have so much to do during out trip this weekend!!

Take care!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Keeping busy

So Mom and Warren are gone now, but I´m trying to keep busy and think how soon I will get to see them again. School has been pretty chill this week so that is nice. I´m hanging out at my house right now getting ready to volunteer at the elementary school. There is a new English teacher I am working with now, his name is Mike. He actually lived in New York for most of his life but his parents are Ecuadorian. He is really nice and the kids seem to be adjusting to the change just fine! In other news, I am very excited because I was able to sign up for my TEFL course this summer. It is an online course which certifies me to teach English abraod! I am planning to go somewhere in South America so my Spanish can be of use! If all things go according to plan I will be heading back to South America next summer! I am so excited to have this available to me and I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity! So this summer I will be working hard on this course and also be volunteering in a bilingual class in order to complete my hours. But right now I am concentrating on enjoying every last day of this experience, it has been amazing! Well I´m off to volunteer, hope all is well with everyone!! Talk to you soon!

Mom and Warren in Quito!

(Written on Saturday in the hotel!)

This has been quite the exciting few days! Their plane arrived on time Wednesday at 8:30pm. I picked them up from the airport and we headed to the hotel. We are all staying together in the Hilton Colon which is a great hotel! I feel like I´m on vacation in Quito:) We dropped Warren off at the room becasue his shoulder was hurting him, he has a pinched nerve the poor guy! then Mom an dI went to a restaurant called Pobre Diable where we ate and were fortunate enough to hear Doc´Holiday and his jazz band who were down from the states. It was a great concert and the food was delicious!

The next Morning we had a great breakfast at the hotel and went off to tour the old city of Quito. We walked around the plaza de Independencia and visited the church Compania de Jesus. there was a mass going on so we were able to sit and liten and take in the atmosphere. From there we went to a church that was underconstruction so that was fun to see. We also were able to climb to the choir loft which was beautiful. There is also 2 corners of the functioning convent which was located across a courtyard where you can wisper to one corner and can be heard from the adjacent corner. It is said that it was used for confessions at one time. :)

From there we wne to La Basilica which is one of the highest standing churches in the area. We climbed many stairs:) and with the altitude it wasn´t easy! We climbed up the clock tower where half way up is a cute little restaurant which overlookds the ciyt. We ate humitas which is an Ecuadorian corn dish and scrumptious sandwiches. After we rested our wearly legs we started our descent.
Next on our agenda was to visit a vonvent where you can buy products made by the nuns there. the cool thing is that youa ren´t able to see the nuns so they have a revolving door where you put your money in and spin it. Then your product is sent out to you using the door. We didn´t buy anything but we saw it in action through other buyers:)
Then we grabbed a cab and went back to the hotel to pick up Warren before we went to dinner at a fun Ecuadorian restaurant where we sampled the cuisine. There was nice live music by an Ecuadorian guitarist. Then I introduced them to an Ecuadorian drink called Cnelazo in a part of town called La Mariscal. Then we had a nice walk back to the hotel and spent time there before bed.

The next day I had school so Mom and Warren took a cab out to the University to meet me after class. They were both impressed by the ride there with the mountainous backdrop, winding roads and Eucalyptus trees lining the roads. They were very impressed with the campus also, they though it was beautiful and they enjoyed seeing the elementary school down the road where I volunteer. the bus ride was quite the experience for them:) They got to see the kids swarm around and say hi, so they thought that was fun. Then back to Quito and to the market where we bought lots of goodies! It was very close to teh hotel and there were great deals! Mom was a great help with bargaining! She would always wnat to take them lower so I got good practice with my Spanish. For dinner we went to a resaurant called Colombus which was great and then home for the night!

Today, Saturday we ventured out to a new market which was conveniently located across the street! We saw it from our window in te morning and had to check it out! Right next to the market many local artists had set up their paintings along the side walk so we had a look. I fell in love with a piece by a man called Orellana, it is of the Oriente and the Andies. Mom an dWarren got it for me for my birthday present! What a great memory of Ecuador!! A cool thing about the hotel we stayed at was that there was a band called REBELDE staying there. They are a band from Mexico. So there were lots of groupies outside the hotel waiting for them to come out. We felt like rockstars anytime we left the hotel because we went through a big line of fans! I think they were disappointed to see it was only us however:) Mom and I went up the teleferiqo before dinner so she could overlook teh whole city. You ride up the side of the mountain in a cable car. I´m not sure Mom knew exactly what she was getting into however! A couple of times the car stopped and we both just about had heart attacks!:) It was tons of fun though and she says the view was worth it! For dinner we went to the top of another hotel which had a great view of the lights of the city. The food was delicious!!

That about raps things up, righ tnow we are just enjoying eachothers company in teh hotel and getting ready for bed. Their plane leaves at 830 tomorrow morning so we will be gettingup bright and early! I have loved having them here and will be sad to see them leave. I just have to keep telling myself that there is only one month left and then I will get to see everybody!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

If this doesn´t work I´m moving on:)

Hello Hello! Happy Monday! I just got back from a weekend excursion to Otavalo. Like all our adventures, it was an adventure! We drove there in a school bus, not the ones like in the US, it looks different, more like a van painted yellow. They call them Escolar. So basically I felt like I was in middle school again:) And it was a tight squeeze, I swear those seats were made for smaller rear ends then mine:) We arrived and right off the bat went on a small hike through a forest to a waterfall, beautiful, no jumping off this time though! We climbed to the top where there was this small tunnel cave type thing. It was a great time, and then we hiked up even higher and enjoyed the scenery. Saturday we spent much of our time at the famous Otavalo Market. It was crazy! People everywhere and so many things I wanted to buy! I tried to control myself:) I did however buy a poncho so now I can really look Ecuadorian! Our guide this weekend was a teacher from my University here in Ecuador. He is a total blast, always kidding around. We went to a restaurant for lunch and then headed to his house for the night. We spent the night talking and playing cards. We played Mafia about a zillion times! To all of you who know the name, it gets pretty intense! But lots of fun. We also played a game of volleyball outside but there were all these wires hanging so it made it semi difficult, only for those taller than the rest:) This country was not made for people of my height!! The game was absolutely hilarious, I was definitely not the MVP however:) The next morning we set out around the village to different families homes. They all hand make these wonderful leather, wood and silver crafts. I got some earrings made of Coconut. We then set out to a beautiful lake where we were able to take a boat tour around. They also had a market there so I bought a hat, one of the ones with the funny ear flaps! Now I really fit in!! We had to head home to quito after that but I was pretty tired. I got home and studied for my test that I have today and went to sleep before 10! So I am feeling very refreshed! This is good because I have another 6 hour bus ride tonight that starts at 11pm. We are leaving for the beach tonight and I couldn´t be anymore excited!! I come back Friday night. This time we are going to Canoa, I have heard amazing things about it so I really can´t wait! When I get back there are only 6 days till Heather comes!! Man this month is flying by! I´ve got to catch the bus to school but I hope you enjoy your week and can´t wait to hear from you!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Monday, March 5, 2007


Friday, March 2, 2007


Well my test is done with and its Friday! What could be better! This week was a great one:) I was able to teach English to the fourth graders by myself yesterday because the teacher had an appointment. That was kind of scary, but I loved it at the same time. It’s fun because they correct me in my Spanish and I correct them in their English. Its win win! I also had my first salsa lesson this week on Wednesday! I am so excited about it! I´m having my third lesson today. Last night I learned step 5! Get excited!!! And then it was my friend’s birthday so I got to practice that same night in a live situation. Its pretty embarrassing but still so much fun! I go with my friend Adam because he really wants to learn too. We have individual lessons and then get the last 15 minutes to try the stuff together. I´m going to try and get Heather to take lessons while she is down here, its just such a good time!
Last night my friend Lindsay’s family came into town, her mom aunt and brother. I was really excited to meet them. I am also secretly jealous that her family is here, I can´t wait for everyone to visit me! They all want to go out dancing tonight so that should be a good timeJ:) I leave for a town called Otavalo tomorrow, I can´t wait because there is supposed to be great markets to shop in! I´ll tell you all about it when I get back. I also leave for the beach on Monday night! I feel so fortunate to be able to do that. We have a vacation day on Wednesday and I never have class Tuesday or Thursday because I volunteer so we are going to stay until Friday night! My back is two different colors right now because of my bad pealing so hopefully I´ll even out a little and not look so ridiculous! Well I´m off to dance lessons so I must go but I miss you all and hope to hear from you soon!!!