This 3rd week was by far the toughest and most interesting week so far during my journey of moving to Ecuador. The week started with Carnival. I honestly have no clue what the reason is for this holiday, but it is awesome and we really need something like this in the US. The holiday is officially 4 days long (Saturday-Tuesday), although most people celebrate it for a week, and the entire country shuts down for those 4 days. Basically, the holiday consists of parades, people shooting water guns, throwing water balloons, eggs, flour at eachother, and playing with silly string. So pretty much this is a giant food fight and it is the only time where no one is off limits- including the elderly. Unfortunately, Quito isn’t one of the main cities for this celebration so I wasn’t able to get the full effect but here is a typical picture of Carnival.
Pretty much nothing got accomplished Monday or Tuesday of this week. So finally on Wednesday, I was on a mission to find an apartment. During this experience, I knew there would be some tough days where I would question everything about this new dream of mine and Wednesday was one of those days. I got a message from the girl that I was going to live with saying that she found an apartment that she loved and was going to take, but of course the owners absolutely would not allow dogs. So now, I was back to square one in the apartment search since I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea of having Dakota with me. I also received an email from one of the schools that offered me a job and the pesky visa situation came back up. So by the end of Wednesday, I no longer had a job offer and didn’t have a roommate anymore. On top of that, I moved into a room at the Pastor’s church offices, which of course didn’t have hot water. Pretty much this day was awful.
Luckily, I woke up on Thursday with hope- due to all of the prayers I have received from y’all so thank you!! I decided that I needed a mani/pedi because of the stress of the previous day, so I headed over to an area of town where I saw tons of salons. I decided to walk around on my own and stopped into a coffee shop to have a cappuccino since it was rainy. While I was in the coffee shop, I overheard some girls speaking English talking about teaching English. Obviously, I interrupted them and asked where they worked, which happened to be right around the corner. I decided to make that school my next stop. I walked in and met the guy in charge of hiring and after an interview was offered a job on the spot. However, I wouldn’t be able to start until June-grrr. I thought, can’t hurt to keep the offer for now and maybe do private lessons until June?
On Friday, I walked around another part of town some more and was able to look at a few apartments that had rooms available and didn’t mind dogs. I found one that I liked but it was a little further away from where I want to live. I’m still contacting places to see if there are any other options before I settle on that apartment.
Since I haven’t really had the chance to meet anyone, I posted a message in an Expats facebook group asking if there was anything going on over the weekend. Tons of people responded inviting me to things including an sporting expat meet up at Parque La Carolina Saturday morning. This seemed perfect for me, and there ended up being about 6 of us that showed up- this is a new group that was just started so it hasn’t grown too much yet. We decided to join some locals in a basketball game. If you know me at all, you know that I am absolutely horrendous at basketball. I didn’t contribute much to the team, except moral support and commentary, but luckily no one was good and people just wanted to have fun.
After being at the park for a few hours, we decided to get some lunch. Then, one of the guys invited me to a BBQ (really a cook-out) at his boss’ house. I thought it would be weird since I don’t work there but he said “oh no problem, there will be people you can meet.” I should mention that this job is at a language school, and as soon as I showed up and said I was looking for a job teaching English, the guy hired me right then and there! The people that I met were so much fun and super nice, and spoke English! Never would have thought when I woke up on Saturday morning, that I would end the day with new friends and a job, that starts on Tuesday-hopefully.
Just thinking about this past week is exhausting and having the support of everyone back home has helped more than you can ever imagine.
Who knows what this next week has in store for me, but I hope it just keeps getting better. And I finally start Spanish School, so I will finally be able to somewhat communicate with people here!