This past week, things finally started to come together. I started the week with job training, a new home, and Spanish school! I was so excited to finally do what I came to Ecuador to do.
First, I will start with job training. Training consisted of learning the methodology that Inlingua uses. I was lucky that I recently finished the TEFL course, which is very similar to how Inlingua does things. The school that I work for does mainly business English, where we teach classes at the companies instead of them coming to the office. An Australian and I were in training for 2 hours a day for 4 days- not too bad. To make things better, the office has an amazing location where you can look out the window and see green mountains. For the last day of training, we each taught a “lesson” to each other and to our instructor. I got pretty good feedback, which really helped my confidence since I haven’t ever taught before.
Once I was done with training for the day, I usually had a 1 1/2 hour break before Spanish class started. Because everyday is sunny and 70 degrees, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and walk about 45 minutes to my Spanish school. I have class for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. In only 1 week, I feel that I have really learned a lot- that is until a local says something to me and then I realize that I really don’t know anything. However, like learning anything else, it takes time. One day during the week, I was learning commands and it didn’t take long for my teacher to learn that I LOVE my commands. That shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone that has ever met me before. Something I really like about my school, is that they have activities just about every night of the week. Wednesday nights consist of either a cooking class or a cocktail class. This week, it was a cooking class where we made ceviche. I have never had this before, but I really enjoyed it. We made it with popcorn and banana chips. I’m not sure why popcorn was included, but who doesn’t like popcorn, right?
About 20-25 people went to the cooking class, so I was able to meet many new friends. There were people from all over the world, and a lot of Europeans. Some of the students are only in Quito for a few weeks, and others are like me and will be staying for a while. There is such a big mixture of people at the school, which I really enjoy. And Wednesday is Ladies Night at the bars, so we had to take advantage of the 2 for 1 drink specials! Then, on Thursday, some of us went on a night sight-seeing tour of Quito. The tour consisted of 5 stops around the city that showed how beautiful Quito really is. I was able to spend some more time with my new friends while exploring more of the city that is becoming my new home.
The tour ended at a small “market” in a park, where we could get food. Jorge, our tour guide, bought a special food for us to try. I had a feeling that this would be something that I had probably never eaten before, and most importantly, didn’t want to eat…ever. And I was right- the mystery food was grilled cow intestine! The taste wasn’t so bad, but apparently intestine is very very very chewy. Luckily, the market had other vendors serving more common foods like kabobs. Now, that is my kind of food!
To end the week, one of the guys at the school had a party at his apartment. I am so lucky that the school is filled with such amazing and friendly people. I’m sad that some of my new friends are leaving in the next few days, but they have truly been a blessing in my life during this short time.
Another exciting part of the week. was that I was able to move into my home!! It felt so nice to finally unpack after living out of a suitcase for almost an entire month. I had forgotten which clothes I even brought to Ecuador because I only wore the clothes that were the top 2 layers in my suitcase. And of course, I was beyond thrilled to finally have hot water again. The first shower I took, is what I imagine Heaven to be like. It was perfect- and yes I realize that is a little dramatic, but take cold showers for a week then take a hot one and you will know exactly what I mean.
On Saturday, our group of expats went to the park again for a futbol game. Since 8 of us showed up, we played 4 vs 4 and then we must have looked good because some locals asked to join our group. Obviously, they were better than all of us, but we had a great time. It was nice to finally play a sport that I am somewhat good at. It has been a while since I played soccer, but my “skills” started to come back after a little bit.
To end the week, I went on a hike with one of my roommates and some friends to see more waterfalls. I’m in awe of how much nature surrounds the city and how close I am to forests and waterfalls. Getting to the hiking spot was a bit of a trek. We had to take the ecovia (trolley/bus) to the bus station, then take the bus to another town. Once we got to the town, we got a ride from some random guy in a pick-up truck up to the beginning of the trail. Pretty sure the guy was just driving down the road and had no idea he would be taking a bunch of people 25 minutes to the trail. Since this is Ecuador, we picked up a few people along this drive. I just can’t get over how friendly everyone is in this country. Along the hike we were able to see multiple waterfalls including this giant one.
This week was exactly what I needed after my previous week. I feel that I am starting to get settled and feel as though Quito is my new home!
Until next week…