Hello wonderful friends and family! As many of you know, I have successfully made it to Ecuador and am rounding out the first week of orientation in Quito with WorldTeach. Here is a picture of Quito that I took during a bus tour of the city. Huge, huh? I thought I could run through a typical day (right now) in order to give you an idea of how my days have been spent so far. Sound good? Okay then, let’s begin. 🙂
6:30am: I wake up and get in the shower. In my house in Ecuador, as in many other places in the world, I have an electric showerhead in order to heat the water. Check out the picture. I know that electricity and water don’t sound like a great combination, but it works and apparently there haven’t been too many tragedies thus far. After showering, I get ready and head down to breakfast. As I walk downstairs, I see this beautiful view from my bedroom. It’s chilly out, so I need to bring a sweater or sweatshirt.
7:30am – I sit down for breakfast with my sweet host family, Susana, Gonzalo, and Maria Isabel. I also eat with another WorldTeach volunteer who came in February because she lives here too. Her name is Rachel and I like her very much. We drink delicious juice such as banana/orange, passion fruit or tree tomato. We also drink tea, eat bread and sometimes have cheese or an egg. Breakfast is a light meal here.
8:00am – I leave the house to take a 20 minute bus ride and walk for about 25 minutes to the orientation site. The group of 33 WorldTeach volunteers meet at Hotel Seis de Deciembre each day for our teaching sessions. We are taught by our three amazing field directors, Kate, Tara and Lee, as well as other visitors that come to speak with us. For example, we have had a nurse speak to us about health, a special agent from the Embassy talk to us about safety, and a previous WorldTeach volunteer speak to us about culture.
9:00am – We have two sessions in the morning. These have included conversations about safety, culture shock, lesson planning, teaching in the target language, and more.
12:00pm – We head to lunch in Quito. Usually we divide into groups of about 6 and find a place to eat. Most restaurants in Quito have a set lunch menu as an option. This means that you can order “El Almuerzo” and it will usually include soup, a main course, and dessert. The price has ranged from $2.50 – $5.00. In addition to the el almuerzo option, one can also order of the regular menu at the restaurant.
1:30pm – I go to the Spanish school for my one hour lesson. I am in a class with 5 other volunteers and we have so much fun as we make mistakes learning Spanish. We have a wonderful teacher and really enjoy the time.
3:00pm – We meet back at Hotel Seis de Deciembre for two more teaching sessions. These have included insurance discussions, learning about the WorldTeach emergency action plan, purchasing cell phones, creating objectives for lessons, concept checking, diagnostics, and discussing classroom management.
6:00pm/6:30pm – We finish our session and head home. I take one bus with two other volunteers and then another on my own. I have not yet done this on my own because my host mom has gone with me each time, but I plan to try it solo in the near future.
7:30pm/8:00pm – I arrive home and get settled and do my Spanish homework. I check email if I can and do a few other miscellaneous items.
8:00pm/8:30pm – Susana, Gonzalo, Maria Isabel and I eat dinner together. (Rachel comes home around 9:00pm.) Dinner can consist of delicious soup, bread, beans, or potatoes (so far). After dinner we have tea and sit at the table and talk. Oftentimes because my Spanish is weak, I start to tune out when they are having discussions. Eventually, I notice that they are all looking at me because they have asked me a question and usually I figure out what they are asking by having them repeat the question. Silly American.
10:00pm/10:30pm – I head upstairs to my bedroom and get my things ready for tomorrow, get ready for bed, and go to sleep.