For once I was literally the center of the world! This weekend we made the extremely long but worth it trip to Mitad del Mundo which is the spot of the equator where the markings are 0,0,0. It was so much fun. I had the opportunity to stand on two hemispheres and balance and egg on the head of a nail. It was insane! Because of the gravitational pull it was possible and you could actually fell the yolk moving into balance. So much fun!
We were also able to go to the zoo! It was crazy the different kinds of animals they have there. Especially the section of white tail deer?!? Like what!!? Deer! We were amazed that they had them at the zoo but then again, there is not any here so I guess it is an animal they need there. My favorite was the jaguar! Yes I said jaguar! It was so cool to see one no was amazed. It was a very nice zoo in the middle of no where i might add… It was a great experience. Even if there were spitting alpacas. 😂.
My children work with a new letter each week as well as a word. This wee the letter was A and the word was have. To go along with the letter the students made animals out of clay which I made a “farm” to house them in. One student was very determined to make the animals have a real home so the farm was a must. They also worked with inventive spelling (which they are very good at) to write words that start with A; as well as illustrate. This was done on, what better, an alligator.
It was also thanksgiving week which was very depressing. I missed my family so much and was sad that I was missing my families meals and our traditions. To my surprise however Colegio Menor had a spectacular lunch planned for thanksgiving day and it made things less sad. It was great and there was even broccoli salad which my mother always makes. It was a great time to sit down with our teachers and just get to know one another.
Our host mother also prepared an amazing thanksgiving meal for us. We had the most spectacular opportunity to learn how to make tamales with her! Complete with the huge green leaves used to wrap them up in. It was awesome! I loved learning from her. She is a wonderful cook and the tamales were an awesome dish for thanksgiving. Along with tamales we had sweet potato cake. Which was very different than what we are use to. Sweet potatoes here are purple for one which was very different but our host mother made them into a cake and topped it with a corn flake walnut mixture. It was actually really great and a new dish to try and recreate back home!
We also had the opportunity this week to tour the entire campus which was amazing. Being in kinder hinders the special classes that you get to see because at this age they are not able to do the amount of things that the upper grades are doing.
When touring we found out that the upper grades are supplied with many instruments and are able to check them out if needed and later will choose whether they want to pursue arts or music to specialize in later in their schooling. Which is awesome. We also got to check out a music lab which was complete with a studio and everything the kids need to write and produce music. What an opportunity! It was great. It really opened us up to what the big picture of the school was and how they work so hard with the related arts.
This weekend we hiked the second tallest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi. Needless to say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life! 😳 At first, I was excited about the trip and was all for the hike up. However upon exiting the vehicle, my lungs thought otherwise. It was freezing and the oxygen level was not up to par for my body. However, I did not let that stop me! Taking it step by step; allowing old ladies and children to pass, I managed to make it to the refuge which was at 16,000 feet above sea level. What!!!? I never thought that I would be able to 1. Hike a volcano and 2. Make it to 16,000 feet! What an accomplishment. I now can die happy :). It was the most beautiful site and the snow made me think of home and all the cold weather that’s been passing through. What a great adventure.
This is the view that we had on the way down. It was a stopping point for people like me who needed a break.
Pumped that we made it to the refuge!
The view of Cotopaxi from the bottom.
Today at school I introduced to my teacher this clip chart. I decided to make this chart because the behavior in the room is an issue. It’s not terrible, but the students seem to have no boundaries and they are not respectful of the teacher at times. They will call out while the teacher is talking or myself, and they are not able to keep their hands to theirselves. I thought the clip chart policy would be familiar to the teacher but the kindergarten classes do not have a set discipline policy in place apparently. This was a surprise to me and is what drove me to create the clip chart.
We were only able to use it for half a day today and I did notice positive effects of it and the parents that came in at the end of the day had many questions and loved the idea of the students having a visual representation of how they were doing that day. Hopefully the students will be able to catch on to the concepts quickly so that the chart is more effective for them.
Wish me luck! 🙂
Tomorrow is our house mother (Eliana) birthday! She is by far the sweetest person ever. She speaks no English yet is able to put up with us and play charades daily even if it’s just to get some milk. She feeds us way too much but I can really complain about that 😊 I’m already sad about leaving her…
Three of her friends were over to celebrate and brought the best cake! They were so inviting and hilarious. We had the greatest night with them. So thankful for our great placement and our opportunity.
This weekend was full of adventure. At Colegio Menor (our school) we found another student teacher! She is from Massachusetts. Her teachers aid took us out to get the real Ecuadorean experience. And let me tell you, Quito is an amazing place to be! Along with walking all over, squeezing 5 people in a taxi and trying an Ecuadorean favorite: empanada 🙂 we were able to have some of the most wonderful views known to man. I’ll let you enjoy those as well :).
Views from Colegio Menor! ❤️