I have been to my school 4 days and today starting working with a few teachers. It is going to be a lot of fun when I am actually teaching and not thinking about the sweat that is rolling down my back, my legs, my face and god knows where else. Today I introduced myself and said all the usual things about my kids, grandkids, pets, etc and then I said , " Ecuador is very popular in my country, the US..my friends are very jealous that I got to come here." And you would just die if you could see the smiles that came across the students' little faces. That made them so proud. I felt that was the least I could do for the sweet things...sitting their sweating their guts out for 7 hours a day. At least I get a break once in a while and can sit for a few minutes in one of the air conditioned work rooms....where, honestly, not much work gets done.
Anyhow, some of the things here are ok, the family that owns my apt. is just wonderful. Their adult daughter, Adela, lives here too in the main house. Apparently, she is divorced and is a school psychologist. Very nice....34 I think. She speaks a lot of English but when she gets going with a story or is mad, its all Spanish and very fast. So, at least that is good exposure for me.
Most of the volunteers are very young and I really don't do anything with them since so much of it involves drinking late at night and into the early hours of the morning. I'm an early to bed, early to rise kinda person...always was.
But, I have met one volunteer in the health section, a nurse, Becky, who is 46 and also doesn't quite fit in with the younger vols . She was also evacuated after the terremoto so I met her in Quito when we were all living in the hostel. Knowing she was in Guayaquil, I called her after I got down here. She and I went to a park/street fair/zoo/benefit concert last sunday in a place called Parque Historico and it turned out to be real nice. She was funny, after we had been there a while, she said, " don't get used to this and think this is normal for Guayaquil...this is the nicest park I have been to in the whole city. " That does not bode well......
Anyway, we did have a nice walk around, some nice bus rides getting there and afterwards she showed me a little around the downtown where she lives. She moved out of her host home after 6 months and lives in a sort of high rise in a very dreary apt. but she loves it. She has a bike and rides around downtown on Sundays. There is a boardwalk, they call it a 'malecon" near her house which runs along the largest river that runs thru Guayaquil so she likes being near it for walking, etc.
I'll post some pictures below of the park/zoo place we went.
Sooooooo, thats about it. Pretty dull so far. Hot and dull...now that sounds great, right ? The best thing and the main reason I am not just packing my bags and leaving, is that parts of my family, not sure who will really show up, are planning to come down and go to the Galapagos Islands as a group. That is enough to keep me tolerating this torible weather until they come. Of all the things in the world to see, long before I knew about Peace Corps in Ecuador, I wanted to see the Galapagos..did not even know they belonged to Ecuador. So, fate..I guess. So, here are some photos from last Sunday at the park/zoo/street fair/ earthquake benefit.
|She got to the rope, and into a comfortable position and fell sound asleep. It was very cute. Don't know if you can see her eyes, but she really looks asleep.|
|Braile was provided at all the written signs..very progressive I thought.|
|All the walkways through the park are like this...very nice, clean etc. Pretty good for a developing country.|
|I know, I hate caged birds too. But, boy are they beautiful. Lot of good it does them in the zoo.|
|There were a lot of iguanas all over the park...ALL over the park. This one had a loose neck skin problem not unlike mine.|
|There are four iguanas in this picture..can you find them ?? They were everywhere.|