Sunday, May 24, 2009

Act II: Tingo is closed

See the previous post to get the jist on what Tingo is all about. We arrived at the pool (about 45 min from our downtown center) only to be told that they stop letting people in an hour before we got there. We were all devastated for about a minute, wondering what we should do and how to not completely disappoint our girls, until I asked the security guards if there were any other pools nearby. Turns out there was one just around the corner and if we hurried we might get in before it closed also. Good thing I asked.

Now this was not the same as the actual "Tingo" pools, which appeared to be more like a swim park with some water slides and picnic areas, etc. This was just a pool that a family had built on their property and charged a small fee to use. It was enclosed, had showers and bathrooms, a hot spring directing water into the pool, and there was only one little family of four occupying the place. It worked perfectly for us.

The girls were a little nervous about getting in and some were downright afraid, so I went against my promise to myself and got in the water. I know I said I wouldn't but it looked clean and my girls really needed some encouragement. Even the most bad-ass girls had that look of thrilling kid-fear (see Tatiana below) that gets them to try out the thing they want to avoid most. And to be honest it felt good to be looked to for support, especially by the ones who on any normal day seem the least willing to show you that they care about having you around.


Anyways, we had a great time--they were so much fun to play around with and we even got to teach them a little about swimming, though most of them never got it down. And I had no need to worry about renting swimsuits because somehow the girls came up with swimming outfits for each other. They are so resourceful.

It was a great paseo and I'm really glad I went into the water. I can't say for sure what I would have done if we'd gone to the more popular "Tingo" pools, but something tells me the girls would have convinced me to get in anyway.

Much love,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tingo, primera parte

A little background info: in all my English classes I have a reward system whereby the students as a group can earn stars in different "target areas" and then earn a reward once all the star spaces have been filled. The reward is usually a paseo (you've seen it before--ice-skating, bowling) or some kind of class party.

Well my girls English class downtown decided that we must go to the public pools. I thought they'd choose something a little more glamorous, but the Tingo public pools beat all of my suggestions. I hear it's the dirtiest, most crowded of all public pools in Quito, but the girls wouldn't even consider another pool. I mean, everyone I mention this to says "why would you take them there? They never clean it." Apparently if you don't come with a swimsuit you have to rent one (!!) and everyone has to rent a swimming cap. Of course my girls don't have swimsuits, so I'm now going to voluntarily subject them to the rented suit.

There's no way I'm getting in the water, absolutely no way. And I know my girls are going to beg me to get in, but I'll just have to break their hearts because there are some compromises I don't think I can make. And I'm not a prude or anything, but all my Ecua friends tell me that if I get in the water I can't hang out with them anymore. Jeez!

Anyways, today is the big day, so check back later for Tingo, part deux.

Nervously yours,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bolos? Boliches? Nobody agrees...

But anyway you look at it, it's all BOWLING, even if you're not sure how to say it. It was wild, I had a great time. Ice cream afterward (of course) because we like being responsible for 20 children on a sugar high. Totally worth it, especially for my student Norma, who is very shy and was unable to join us on our earlier ice-skating paseo. She didn't say much--she rarely does--but she was smiling the whole time.

Though no one bowled over a 30, keeping track of scores was very important.


Some decided to take a rest.

That's Norma on the left, what a great day.

Love, Marian

Saturday, May 2, 2009

This is worth watching

Found this at GOOD Magazine and wanted to share it.