Friday, March 4, 2011

Me Toca Escribir

Me toca escribir... aka its about time for me to write again. My life has been a whirl wind these past couple of weeks, but I am loving it! I feel like I am finally being productive here and really getting integrated into my community.

A couple of weeks ago a Rotary Club from Alabama came into Portoviejo to give out wheel chairs. Somehow we got connected with them and helped them build the chairs and then served as translators on the day that they gave them out. It was really weird but nice to interact with a group of Americans. A lot of them were really sweet business men that reminded me of my dad and didn’t try to creepily hit on me at all!!!!! It was so refreshing, but definitely made me miss my family. The translating was interesting... I had to translate the opening speech and 4 different television interviews. Talk about intimidating! The guy I was translating for apparently wanted to come across eloquent and kept talking about how they were crossing borders, joining nations, and all of these intense ideas. In English it sounded great, but he would have come off a lot better in my Spanish if he had kept it simple... what a mess. They kept asking me to translate for more people so I guess I did good enough, but it certainly made me realize that translating is a completely different skill than speaking Spanish. I got the chance to interact with a lot of special needs kids from the community through that project and in total we gave out over 70 wheel chairs!!!! It was awesome and now we are in contact with the Rotary Club here for when more groups come :)

We (Krista and I) also finally started up our free Advanced English class from English Teachers from Portoviejo. We advertised by putting up flyers around the University, Hospital, and random other places and we also put an ad in the local newspaper. The first day over 70 teachers came to the class!!!!!!! We were overwhelmed but very excited. We have class every Thursday and just finished our 3rd week. Every week we discuss a new idiom, answer any questions they have, and lead a discussion/activity. The activities are very different from my normal classes and are a lot more like activities that I did during volunteer retreats in college (KW... I am thinking our retreat business could go international). For example, last week they had to prioritize different items they would need if they were stranded in the ocean. Then at the end of class we relate it back to them and come up with ideas how they could change this activity to a lower level or to focus on different grammar points. I REALLY look forward to this class every week!

My other classes are going really well... we just had “Portoviejo Fashion Week” in my Beginner 2 class and it was hilarious! Creativity was a big part of the grade so we had some intense modeling going on haha

One of the groups after presenting a look from each season!

My foot has completely heeled (finally) so I have started playing soccer twice a week again. I also started a baileterapia class... yes, dance therapy. It is an aerobics dance class and it is a blast! One of the English teacher’s sisters runs the class and he is letting us go for free as a trade off for our free English class... ballin!

My host mom is living in the United States for 2 months so everything at home is a little different, but luckily I still get to hang out with my little brothers and my host dad and I are getting closer. I am so busy that I am not home as much, which my little brother has certainly noticed. I took him to the movies and to his swimming class last week so I think we are okay now. My host mom returns in about a month and she will be bringing back a new baby! I can’t wait but I am really interested to see how the dynamic around here will change.

On Sunday I leave for a week long trip. It is Carnaval in Ecuador/all of South America which apparently is a big party all over the country where people throw water, flour, and everything they can find. I am going with a bunch of friends to Canoa (Jennifer... I will tell everyone you say hi) and then I am going with a couple other volunteers to the north coast.. Mompiche. It is supposed to be beautiful but it is an 8 hr bus ride so we are taking advantage of this full week off to go. I can’t wait to tell you all how it goes!!!