Ecuador Village Updates!

Well-VERSED in Maria Aurora

(to be read in rhyme…)

Welcome back to Maria Aurora

Here’s our newest batch of news for ya.

It’s been a while since we’ve written,

and since that time, with our families and village we’ve become smitten.

We’ve been laughing and swimming and teaching each day,

in afternoon classes we made paper-mache.

There’s a nice river, a twenty-minute walk no more.

It’s the perfect place to splash around when you’re “con calor.”

On Saturday morning we dressed in our best,

And headed down the hill to Moras.

We went to the market, and there we found

fruits and veggies and cow heads abound.

We spent time with our fams and shopped for produce,

eating tortillas de yucca and tropical fruit juice.

On Sunday we boarded the bus and paid

fifty cents to go to Quinsaloma to see the parade.

It lasted three hours and was a pretty big deal,

then Amelia and Ben got to ride on a ferris wheel!

Rani’s birthday we had on Monday just past,

the kids all came running, and we said “Forget English class!

Let’s go hunt for treasure and fun,

at the end, a piñata for Rani and everyone!”

Her family was sweet and had many birthday plans;

from cake to balloons, they’re pretty big fans.

Along came Jenny and the girls from Catazacon.

we cut the cake, and it was a party full-blown.

We blindfolded Rani and spun her around,

then she whacked the piñata till it fell to the ground.

It was a hard nut to crack, but it finally broke,

and down it came with one final croak.

There were cards and presents and hugs all around,

Rani laughed and cried at the family she’s found.

The festivities lasted until nine or ten –

there were three cakes consumed and also some gelatin.

Other than that there’s not much to say;

we’re astounded by how fast the time’s going away.

It’ll be hard to leave, and we’ll probably cry.

The worst will be wishing our families goodbye.

Although we’re content in the lives we’re living,

we’d never forget to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

So that’s all there is, there is no more,

At least this blog wasn’t a bore.


Soakin’ it Up in Catazacon! (written by Elena on Wednesday, 11/23/11)

Hannah and I have had an incredibly full and wonderful past few days! Early Monday morning Hannah’s host sister Betty gave birth, and just a few hours later Hannah went with some members of her family to visit the newborn. Hannah arrived back in Catazacon just in time to come with Jenny and me to Maria Aurora to celebrate Rani’s 18th birthday (which was a blast). We decided pretty early into our teaching internship that we were going to spend our last week of classes playing and doing fun activities with our students, and so far we’ve done a pretty good job. On Monday I sang “Old McDonald” and other animal songs with the students, practiced the numbers by jumping rope, and stuck a bunch of “estickers” all over the kids. On Tuesday we read stories (most memorably “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” – which was apparently so captivating that the workers who were building a house for the new teacher gathered around outside our window to listen in as well), drew, did more jump roping, and continued to cover our students with stickers. Today during class, we had the children make turkeys by tracing their hands, then cutting out additional pieces of construction paper for feathers, corn, sun, clouds, and who knows what else. We then gave our students a brief explanation of Thanksgiving (Dia de Accion de Gracias).

On a bit of a different note, today we had our last afternoon class, which marked the end of one of our independent projects. Also today the construction company finally brought the slide, seesaws, swings, and monkey bars for our playground! The whole community is just as excited as we are about the arrival of these games. Today, when I passed by the school on my walk back from a river excursion with Hannah, there must have been about 10 children playing on the playground, having a ball as five or six parents watched in delight.

Aside from our teaching and independent projects, Hannah and I have also been thoroughly enjoying and taking full advantage of our now extremely limited time with our families and with eachother here In Catazacon. On Tuesday, my host mother and I spent a good portion of the afternoon cutting Figo’s (one of our dogs) hair and picking off his fleas (while Valentina sang convoluted Christmas carols about donkeys carrying tuna, rice, and Figo to Bethlehem).

Today Hannah and I took an interesting ride to Quinsaloma (nearby city/town) in a mandarin truck, which at the end of the ride ended with me jumping out of the truck and landing in the dust right in front of a group of children, which sent everybody (including me, of course) into hysterical laughter! In Quinsaloma we ran some errands and were able to buy some of the necessary ingredients for our Thanksgiving dinner. We spent the remainder of our afternoon and evening swimming and playing in the river with one of our students and his family, succeeding in picking star fruit by putting Hannah on my shoulders, teaching our evening class, and as always, spending time with our wonderful families.

Much love to all at home!

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