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Showing posts from September, 2015

One Week Down Teaching English in Loja

I have officially completed one full week teaching English at in Loja, Ecuador.  It's been interesting, and I can't say I'm thrilled at this point.  The way things are done here is so different than at home, it's hard to go with the flow. I was offered the job by the school's "international recruiter" which was interesting.  There was really no interview, just a conversation about Loja.  I was told I started Monday so I started thinking of a lesson to introduce myself and have students introduce themselves.  My questions about who and when I would be teaching remained unanswered until Monday at 3:00 when I was supposed to meet with one of the managers.  She was out that day.  So I was eventually filled in, told that I'd be teaching teens.  If anyone knows me, this was my biggest nightmare scenario. So I started Tuesday night, from 3-6, one hour each to 3 Teen classes at the same level which is supposed to be Early Intermediate since they've

Lovely Loja

Loja is absolutely gorgeous! It's even prettier than Cuenca, surrounded by green mountains.  There are always big puffy cloud when the sun is out, or it becomes cloudy and drizzly and it's not quite as pretty then. I've been able to find things here -- laundromat, hair salons, post office, market,... My hotel is great -- Hotel Paris, and it's about $16 a night.  It's a huge room, they clean it daily, it's in a great location, and it's fairly quiet.  I think there are only 2 of us on the 5th floor. Even 5 floors up in a city, there is a rooster that starts at 4:15.  I can barely hear him but it's enough to wake me up. Sunday is Market Day.  I walked to one park and bought a lot of things from indigenous women selling jewelry and stuff.  The other market is mostly a vegetable and fruit market but I got a few other things there.  I can't wait to get my apartment and go to the market to buy fresh produce to take home! The town sq

Arriving in Cuenca

I took a bus from Puerto Lopez to Guayaquil (4 hours), dragged my 70 lbs worth of bags all over the place, had a tantrum, and finally figured out where to buy a ticket to Cuenca and where to board at the Guayaquil bus station.  I timed it just right and got on the next bus within 15 minutes.  That busride was another 4 hours.  Once we started climbing, we went through Cajas National Park which is absolutely gorgeous!  Lakes and tall mountains all around, the bus zigged and zagged up to Cuenca. My hostel, the Posada Gran Columbia, was easily enough found with the help of a taxi.  My first room was adorable, with a skylight.  I thought -- cool!  Until morning.  The bright light woke me up at 6:00 and I still couldn't see outside. Check out the bottomless drawer in the dresser: So being a pain in the ass, I asked for a room with a window.  I waited around the next morning 20 minute, then another 20 minute, then another 20 minutes and got my windows. Not bad

Remembering our Last Night in Montanita

Yusuf, Nicola - our wonderful trainer, Sarah, Steven, and Misha Graeme, Natalie, Delia, and Annie our Awesome Trainer As I waved through the taxi window to Steven, Natalie, Nicola and Andrea, who were standing outside Casa Cacique, I almost started to cry.  Being with the same 12 people (well, 11) for 5 weeks, eating every single meal, going out at night, supporting each other through lessons and input sessions and planning sessions, was a life changing experience.  Even when we fought over the printer and copier, resource books, tape and staplers, we were all on the same page. The last night, they threw a big party for us.  The students were invited which was really cool, to talk to them one on one outside of class.  There were gigantic speakers, a disco ball on the ground by the pool, bottles of rum and mixers, and food. Misha, Yusuf, Stephanie, and Natalie We started out ever so calmly, teachers on one side, students on the other, eating and having a few d