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Showing posts from August, 2015

Almost Halfway Through the CELTA Course!

Not tomorrow but the next day will be our halfway point.  I feel like I was born here, these people are my family, and this is where I live forever.  I can't believe it's only been just over 2 weeks.  It's really weird. The workload is exactly what everyone says.  If you're thinking about doing this, don't take it lightly. We are in classes 6 1/2 hours a day (2 hours is either teaching or observing).  Then we work through our 3 hour break on lesson plans and assignments.  We work all weekend and try to take 1-2 hour breaks by walking into town.  Each lesson takes about 6 hours to prepare; assignments take about 12 hours.  We have 2 lessons to teach per week and one assignment given to work on over the weekend. Here is a picture of one of our fellow students prepared for the mosquitos on a mini break Saturday night.  Too bad the nylon white knee socks didn't show up too well. Sexxxxy There was a second trip to the Jungle Laundromat this week.  I got a p

One Week of CELTA Down

I can't believe we've only been here a week.  It feels like I've known these people forever and that I've lived here for 10 years.  It's so weird! Our first Friday night we all decided to go out and have some drinks in town.  We started on Cocktail Alley, a row of little carts that serve drinks for about $3-4. The beginning of the night:  Cocktail Alley Clearly, the end of the night  Needless to say, not a lot got done on Saturday.  So I decided to take my laundry to get washed and dried.  A place just a block down the dirt road was recommended.  We have since named this "The Jungle Laundromat". Down this path, turn right, pass a cat and a chicken The guy who owns the place I guess, is super happy to see customers.  He carefully weighs everything on an old fashioned scale and charges you by the kilo.  Mine was $2.40 for a small bag.  They put perfume on your clothes at the end.  It's very strong but actually smells really

Senorita in Montanita

Thanks, Keely, for the post title!  I have arrived at Casa Cacique in Montanita, the site of my 5 week course for teaching English that I began today.  The program is put on by International House and the course will result in a CELTA certification, which is the most widely recognized and respected certification to teach English as a foreign language.  You would never know by this gate that you've arrived: This program is a residential program, meaning that students each have their own cabana, with a bathroom, as well as three prepared meals a day. When I got here Sunday evening, I was allowed to choose whichever cabana I wanted since most of the group were still on the shuttle bus from Guayaquil.  I asked Adolfo, the groundsman, for the quieter side and he pointed to the cabanas on the right.  So I walked into the cabana that was straight ahead of me, put my stuff down, and decided to stay without second-guessing my choice like I always do. My cabana is the one on the

What a Difference a Day Makes!

OMG, today I woke up feeling SO MUCH BETTER!!!  I had a great night's sleep.  It was nice and cool, I even used the little blanket.  Didn't even need a fan which I was so worried about.  Of course this is due to the fog, or the garua, as they call it here.  The climate is exactly the same as a foggy day in San Diego, about 72 degrees and a little humid. After getting up, I padded over to the continental breakfast area.  There was a place setting all ready just for me, with a coffee cup, a bread basket, a little covered bowl of cantaloupe, and little covered containers of butter and jam.  The lady had been waiting for me.  She immediately went to work in the kitchen and brought out scrambled eggs with tomatoes and some kind of square, firm cheese that doesn't melt but had a good texture.  I felt so special! Then I walked down the beach into town, which was a much shorter and safer walk than the highway.  Along the beach, there were about 20 little cabanas in a row that s

Alone in Olon

Yesterday after dragging around 70+ pounds of luggage through an airport, then onto and off of a bus, then dragging said luggage down a highway where I was at first unable to find the little dirt path leading to the hotel, I was a little cranky.  Add to this the fact that the whole entire day I felt like I was ready to puke and my body still ached from the altitude sickness or food poisoning I got in Quito. Needless to say, I was not in a happy place when I finally got to Oloncito, or "Little Olon" around 4:00 pm. I paid $60 for 2 nights at the Barlovento Hosteria, checked the room for cockroaches (happily finding none), and tried to take a nap. After about an hour and unable to sleep, I walked down the highway into town looking for a restaurant.  Couldn't find even one!  I looked up and down every single street and...nothing except for the shacks on the beach, which I was leary of.   I must mention that the town itself is very small, about 5 square bloc

Quito in 36 Hours

I'm not sure if it was the buildup, then the letdown, or if I'm comparing this to living in Mexico 15 years ago, but I can't seem to get into the groove here.  I'm not particularly having fun and I can't put my finger on why. A big reason for this is that I got either altitude sickness or food poisoning on my only day in Quito, and lastnight I was up sick most of the night.  This surprised me because when I went to Cusco, Peru, where the elevation is 11,000 feet, I didn't get sick.  Quito is 9,300.  I took Diamox both times.  So what the... Anyway, so my hotel in Quito was called the Hotel Villa Nancy.  It was about $27.  Here is a pic: The Nancy was in the Guapolo district of Quito, high on a hill above downtown, far away from anything.  Except the coffee shop next door, called Miele.  They served a nice breakfast but I was surprised that the price was almost the same as the U.S. But the funny thing was the mini-bar, which cracked me up. So on