My Life So Far!

Conner Evans - Ecuador


November 20, 2013

Hey Everyone!

So it’s been a little while since I last blogged. I apologize about that! While in Quito, I decided that I wanted to apply to college again and it took up quite a bit of my time during my first few weeks here in Pedro Vicente Maldonado. But now that’s over and I have been pushing myself to blog more!

To date, I’ve been in Ecuador for a little over two and a half months and in my town of Pedro Vicente Maldonado for nearly two months. After a few changes with my jobs, getting over culture shock, and connecting more with my family I truly feel like I am getting into the grind of things here. My host family (comprising of my host mom, host dad, 12 year old host brother, 6 year old host sister, and tons of animals) has been so welcoming, and while the
language barrier still causes major headaches for the both of us, I feel like I have made great strides in building relationships with them.

For my apprenticeships, I am working at a finca (ranch) called Suamox and at a small school teaching children aged 7-12 English and computer classes. Suamox is awesome because they are focused on conservation and bringing back the land they own to its original state as a rainforest. I’ve been able to get involved and learn about local conservation efforts and the challenges specific to Ecuador. I’ve also been working on creating a mapping system for the 60-acre ranch, which is fun because I am able to get artistic. Suamox makes and sells ice cream too so I’m hoping to get involved in that one of these days!

I began working at the school a few weeks ago. The first day I started teaching I thought I was just going to look at the school and meet the other teachers, but when I arrived they put me in the classroom and just told me to start teaching. It was definitely a crazy first day, but since then I’ve really gotten to know the kids and enjoyed my time at the school.

To give you a sense of what my days look like, here’s my weekly schedule:

 

Map for the region I reference bellow (Maldonado = Pedro Vicente Maldonado)

Mondays and Thursdays:

7:45am – Wake up and eat breakfast (consisting of bread, yogurt, and tea)

8:30am – Take a bus to Suamox (the buses can be quite unpredictable, but usually show every 20-30 minutes)

9am-2pm – Work at Suamox (20 minute bus ride from my town of Pedro Vicente Maldonado)

2pm – Take a bus to Puerto Quito for Spanish class (20 minute bus ride from Suamox)

3pm-5pm – Spanish class with other Fellows

5pm-6pm – Hang out in Puerto Quito

6pm – Take a bus back to Pedro Vicente Maldonado (40 minutes from Puerto Quito)

7:30pm – Dinner with my host family at the shop they own in the town (consisting of rice, plantains, potatoes, and sometimes chicken or fish)

8:30pm – Return to the house right outside Pedro Vicente Maldonado

9pm-10pm – Hang out with my host family (play dominos, talk, etc.)

Tuesday and Wednesday:

6:30am – Wake up and eat breakfast

7am – Take a bus to the school (20 minutes from Pedro)

7:30am-1pm – Teach English (Tuesday) and computer (Wednesday) classes at the school

1pm- Take a bus back to Pedro Vicente Maldonado (20 minutes from the school)

1:30pm – Lunch with my host family (consisting of rice, plantains, eggs, and beans)

2pm-7pm – Free time (either go for a run, read, write, Skype friends and family, hang out with other Fellows,  teach my host brother English, etc.)

7:30pm – Dinner with my host family

8:30pm – Return to the house

9pm-10pm – Hang out with my host family

Friday:

7:45am – Wake up and eat breakfast

8:30am – Take a bus to Suamox

9am-2pm – Work at Suamox

2pm – Take a bus back to Pedro Vicente Maldonado

3pm-7pm – Free time

7:30pm – Dinner

8:30pm – Return to the house

9pm-10pm – Hang out with my host family

On Saturdays and Sundays my family usually works (my host mom owns a clothing shop in town and my host dad works at a water treatment facility) so I have a ton of free time. Every Sunday my neighborhood plays soccer on the “cancha” (field) and that has been super fun to get more involved in my community. I have also taken a few day trips with my regional cohort and I really want to spend more time exploring!

I hope this gives you all a little bit better insight into what happens on a daily basis here in Ecuador!

¡Chao!

Conner

Conner Evans