Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Please send any questions to me (email@example.com) or post them via comment right here on the blog BY MONDAY (como mid-morning). Questions can include anything and everything ranging from:
- how badly she wants to adopt Justin Bieber
- what it's like to teach women's exercise 4 times a week
- how exactly she has a choreographed dance memorized for every song
- how often she watches She's the Man in her bed
- what she's doing in this picture below
As per request, here are a couple of pictures from Mike and Chet's voyage up Cotopaxi from a few weekends back. They were so so close, making it just past the ridge you can see in the picture down below, but unfortunately they started late and had to turn around due to time constraints. Still, we are so proud of them and all of us stared in awe and how incredibly beautiful the view of Cotopaxi was from Quito that day.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Intros: Part 1
Jenni Adams from Denver, Colorado is our resident pastry chef (She and Stef made all three of Jen's beautiful birthday cakes on Tuesday). She is a 3rd year pre-med student at Clark University in Massachusetts. Jenni has a lot more than sweets on her plate as she is participating in Adult English, Agriculture, Women's Exercise and running library programs over the next few weeks!
Sonia Savani and Drew Kittrell both just finished their first year of medical school at Southern Alabama University. They'll be working on health-related projects such as preventative health center research and shadowing our MPI family doctor, Lance, once a week. Sonia is also involved in Children's English, San Juan English, teen center, and falling asleep anywhere and everywhere (even in Pobre Diablo) Drew is teaching San Juan English, Adult English B and can be found reading in hammocks or being one of the most entertaining new catch phrase players.
Claire Mueller, one our eight-weekers, hails from Nebraska and is going into her Sophomore year at Pomona University in California. She is a fantastic cuarenta player and is prominently involved in the teen center and is helping with library projects like painting chalkboard paint for the kids to draw on instead of gluing coloring pages to the wall - a new pastime they embarked upon last week under our noses.
Jen Weidman (yes, we are related and no just because she is a foot taller than I am doesn't mean she's older than me) just finished her Freshman year at Cornell University. She's studying Environmental Engineering and will use her skills to help plan agriculture projects and build planting boxes and other things for the library. She is also participating in San Juan English and Women's exercise and will be with us for all eight weeks as well.
Get excited to meet the second half of the group next week and hear all about their 3-day weekend trip to Baños!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Chet resting atop Pasachoa
"I have a ton of t-shirts. This may not be the most interesting revelation to our readers, but it is something that I’ve had on my mind for the past few days. Sonia and I switched rooms Wednesday to get the PD living arrangements squared away for summer. As I had to take all my current possessions from my old room into the office before finally moving into Sonia’s old room (Erik and Chet’s 'Fort' now) I had ample opportunity to look at exactly what is in my wardrobe.
I have 8 button-down long-sleeve shirts. One each is from Mark and Seth. I have 1 Rumiñahui soccer jersey that I play in on weekends. I have 4 jerseys from other teams (Ecuador, Argentina, LDU Quito, and a YMCA one that is good for hiking). I have a “kick it with Pi-Phi” tank top that I don’t believe I’ve worn since orientation. I have four undershirts and 3 collared polo shirts on top of that (again, two of those collared shirts are from Mark and Seth). All in all, I have 34 shirts here in Ecuador with me.
That is a ton of cotton (or polyester, as the case may be with some). And I have even more shirts sitting in my closet at home. Sure, some of these shirts have very different uses. I can only play soccer in my Rumiñahui jersey, because it is the team uniform. Some of the t-shirts are so ratty I don’t like to wear them outside the house. I try to wear a button down shirt when I’m teaching and wear either a collared shirt or an MPI shirt when I am in the library. But I wear my shirts more than once before washing and do laundry every 7-10 days, so I really have way more than I need.
I’ve learned a lot in my time here in Ecuador with Manna, but something I’m only now starting to pick up on is how to do more with less. Manna already does a pretty good job doing more with less. Of our three children’s English classes, only 2 have boards. But we had enough demand for children’s English that the English profes felt the need to offer a full third class. We have gone from having every PD in the library every afternoon to only having three there to allow us to run more programs and plan for more classes. I hope I can get a clearer picture of how to do more with less in my remaining 76 days. I don’t want to come back with this skill just to be thriftier; I don’t just want to mop my kitchen floor with a little less cleaning solution to save money in the long run. I’m interested in conserving resources because, from what I’ve seen, if you pass your extras along to someone else some really incredible results can spring from relatively small gifts. The art class, which has around 15 kids ages 5-10 coming to the library each week, has had to buy almost nothing because out biggest needs (construction paper and markers) are always being donated. Our English classes couldn’t function without the dry erase markers that get sent down a box or two at a time with volunteers. Some of the clothes I wear most often I got out of the adoption corner.
So thank you donors, and not just my donors, for everything you have made possible this year so far, both in the PD’s lives and the lives in the communities we work with. When I leave Ecuador at the end of July, I want to leave 21 shirts behind. I might even leave more if I can. If another PD doesn’t feel the need to augment their wardrobe from the adoption corner like I did, they will be passed along to Ecuadorians in need. But more than just thanking you for what you’ve already done, I want to encourage you to keep passing along little extras: small monetary gifts, in-kind donations, and even clothing to us (or an organization closer to home) to continue producing incredible results.Song of the blog: 'Bigger than my body' by John Mayer
Thursday, May 13, 2010
- training women to help lead women's exercise class (following up the fantastic workshop that Haley held last Saturday)
- running a summer English program in San Juan
- painting a local school, Aliñambi
- running a summer reading club and literacy classes in the library
- conducting micro-finance surveys
- organizing and promoting hands-on charlas about sustainable agriculture
- attending teen center field-trips and helping increase teen center attendance
- shadowing and lesson planning for our English, art, cooking, and exercise classes
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
The kids' paseo for April was to el parque la Carolina's dinosaur museum with about 15 kids in-tow. Since the museum itself is only open on weekends, when I went to investigate a few weeks ago I wasn't allowed to see the facilities. As it turns out, the museum is really more of a badly-staged Jurassic Park set; the presentation included a 25-minute tour moving from scene to scene, each featuring a different moving dinosaur or Mega-beast that scared the pants off of pretty much every kid we were with. Although it wasn't quite as educational as I had hoped, the kids enjoyed the theatrics and running around Quito's largest urban park. I think in the future I will search for venues outside of Quito, as transport sucks up most our time, and I really want to start embarking on nature hikes in the valley.
Our favorite twins enjoy a post-tour 'thrill' ride
Iori (in my sweatshirt post-puddle mishap) and Paola in the park
The whole group at the museum entrance
until next time,