Peek Into My Life: Now And Then
I am sitting back in the familiar pastel blue room that I share with my thirteen year old brother. It is one of those nights where I am frustrated at everything. That at 19 years old I cannot drive a car and cannot freely leave the house after being able to bus anywhere in Ecuador, as if I could be using my time better with my students instead of in bed watching youtube and frustrated that it feels as if my life in Ecuador is far away metaphorically and physically.
It’s important to be grateful, to be patient, accept and acknowledge this time period for myself. I keep imagining the scene of myself showing up at the black gate of my house in Ibarra and waiting to surprise my family. I can see their faces. I can picture walking into the gates of Teodoro Gomez De La Torre, and saying “Buenos Dias” to the guy at gate as I did for 6 months every morning. I can see myself walk into Luz’s classroom and see my students and them screaming my name. I miss it all.
It's funny because while I was putting this blog together and looking through my photos in order to help myself cope, I saw these screenshots:
I remember craving milk tea so intensely and since there were only two milk tea shops 2 hours away from me in the capital Quito (yes, I went to Quito one day to search for them. They were both closed), my only other option was to make some myself.
I never said I was homesick. I did not think I was since I never said it out loud. Instead of talking about missing my family or home, I talked about how much I wanted pho. There were two "Vietnamese" restaurant called Banh Mi and Anh Ho's in Quito. Check my next blog for that story hehe.
What’s that super cheesy quote again?
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
It’s true. Naturally, I wanted what I could not have and now I am doing the same with my life in Ecuador. It feels stuck in the past right now and I do not want to burry it in the past. I want it to put it down here for myself and other's to read.
The schedule I am sharing below can only capture some parts of my day. I am aiming at a typical weekday in January when I had my apprenticeship, a routine and familiarity with my community. This schedule changes drastically throughout my time and naturally, the more familiar I was with my community, the more I was involved.
My alarm goes off. My first alarm. *Hits Snooze*
Second alarm goes off. *Hits Snooze*
Giulianna my host sister is up.
I hear the blender.
My host mom Maribel is preparing breakfast.
Breakfast was usually bread with juice.
I am up and getting dressed.
I tried my best to look professional although that sure did get difficult when I had five shirts, four pair of pants and one jacket. #outfitrepeater
Carpooling with my host family to school or taking the bus.
On days I joined my host family in the car, I am dropped off at the stop light and run out the car in the middle of street to the sidewalk.
I proceed to walk three blocks before arriving to Teodoro Gomez De La Torre, a public school AKA my apprenticeship.
I know what you're thinking, what in the world is this grey wall I am showing you. This was my bus stop. I walked here everyday to hop on the bus to take me to where I needed to go in Ibarra. "Bus stop"… more like frantically waving your arms and making eye contact with the bus driver in order for them to stop the bus to let you on.
I took this on my first day at Teodoro Gomez and was absolutely blown away. The mountains are insane.
I arrive at the gates and quickly greet the man at the gate.
I rush to the English office to say hello and either walk to class with Luz, Yomida, Lucy or go straight to Fernando's classroom.
I assisted four English teachers not including the afternoon teachers, Alicia and Monica who were teacher's for the first two months during my time there. In the beginning, I taught 4th and 5th graders, but by January switched to strictly high school students, majority Sophomores.
This was taken on my birthday in the English office with the teacher's I was telling you about plus Sarita a Peace Corps volunteer who I also worked alongside.
I sit down at the teacher’s chair as Luz makes the students stand up. Students greet us with “Good Morning Teacher” and only then are allowed to sit down.
Kids greet me in between classes and the younger children shout “Good Morning Teacher!” (even at 1:00pm)
Younger children tackle me and shower me with hugs
It seems as if there is some sort of program/event every month from actual holidays like Christmas to programs such as Dance of the Innocence where the best dance couple standing wins a prize. I love watching the programs and getting to learn about pieces of the culture in Ecuador that way.
Grading and drinking coffee with some sort of bread in the English office.
We enjoy our break time here.
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Repeating what I did with the first class alongside the teacher I am assisting that day.
Taking the bus home.
Running into students.
Awkwardly waving with students making eye contact with me.