Friday, September 21, 2012

Mid-service, medical, and Riobamba. Oh my!

Before mid-service happened, Katie left to the states for 3 weeks and I only had Ben to hangout with.  Well, there were the new 108s, but Ben was the only one I really knew and enjoyed having him around. Anyway, I can say without a doubt that Ben has become one of my best guy friends here in Ecuador. He is an amazing individual, a great friend, and a really funny guy.   While Katie was gone we had many adventures together with the 108s (they are a pretty awesome group).  We went to  Arellinas and spent a weekend with Maria, Renee, Alex, and Ash. Ash and I "accidentally" drank tap water (I got Arenillas amoebas!) and had a fun time dancing to Ecua-music. I had my face painted and danced outside without shoes. Then we had a GREAT time at the Jambali Island party. Spent a whole weekend by the sea. We partied, we danced, we swam, and we stayed in tents on the beach. We had a fantastic time.

Funny how the universe works. I have had some rough months and it seemed it wouldn't get any better. But I finally started to push through my negativity. I joined the local Crossfit and started to run every morning (lost almost 20 pds so far!).  I put together a 2 day workshop for my Machala librarians (40 librarians attended). Before mid-service I did story time with the Casa de Cultura.  We had 25 seven year olds from a primary school. We had so much fun, painted our faces, read a fun story in Spanish and made masks. We also had our pictures taken for a newspaper article! After this even we spent 2 hours working with the University English students with their teacher (a world teach girl from the states). We really enjoyed it :)

It has been a fantastic two months! I hope it continues to be this surprising and amazing!

Here are some fotos from Jambeli:

here are some fotos from the Machala workshop, story-time, and University workshop:

Library Workshop

Story time

University workshop


So we just finished having our mid-service and medical last week. Mid-service went pretty well. We had a couple of interesting sessions and as always safety&security training/overview. No drama, no breakdowns, and no whining.  It was overall a good experience and we got to hangout with friends we haven't seen in almost a year. I also got to visit my Tumbaco host family and spend a day with them.

The medical portion of it went relatively fast. The dentist was okay, got no cavities. yay me! I did have to get a blood test done for my thyroid.  It took 5 tries to get blood from me. Last resort was to stick the needle in my hand, which worked better. And I do have amoebas from Arenillas, haha. I have to take 2 pills a day for three days to get rid of these little buggers.

After our medical we ended up going to Riobamba and spending the evening at Lori's place. We got to go around town and check out the markets. It is so different from our site on the coast. There are a lot of indigenous groups that live in or near Riobamba. I got to shop around for gifts for a couple of friends, pretty neat stuff :)

I also got to experience the Mercado La Merced where they sell the famous hornado (roasted pig with corn). It was pretty awesome. There is room full of Hornado vendors trying to sell you their pork by shouting and hissing at you (this is their way of getting your attention). I loved it, it was so delicious!

These are some pictures from the Mercado (Pictures are not taken by me)

We also got to see this volcano - Tungurahua, which has been burping and spewing lava for the past 2 months.  It wasn't erupting while we where there :(

And now we (katie and I) are back in Machala. We have re-evaluated our jobs. We will be focusing on working with our English coordinator and working with 3 schools instead of working with one. Next we will be working with the university students, training them on methodology and classroom management. Lastly, we will be working on a Literacy program with the libraries (which i am very excited about!).

Anyway, good news I will be coming home in October to visit. wooo! Can't wait!  ^_^

I leave you with a Lana del Rey song. She is becoming one of my favorite new artists. This song is amazing.