Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I have always wondered about this and now it's been cleared up

GOOD Magazine told me What Happens When Non-recyclables End Up in the Blue Bin. So if you were wondering, now you can know too.

Tired, have a presentation tomorrow and a big-ass portfolio to put together for Friday. But after that I'm official. Trying to get office work so I don't have to just sit around for two weeks until my actual job starts. If they have nothing for me I'll pop in at the CMT and do what I can. Oh, I went to Cotocollao (where I lived last year) to see everybody and it was wonderful. I'll tell you more about it later but it involves slicing hot dogs. G'night.


Monday, September 21, 2009

I like making worksheets

But it takes a lot of work... and sheets.

All is well. I've visited La Marín a number of times--it's been great to see everyone but oddly enough, the laaaaast kid I expected to be excited to see me has been elated every time. She pleads with me to join her group asks me questions about my life ( care about my life?). So now I know the joys of visiting the center and getting a total ego boost from the same people who once brought me to my most humble levels. I have yet to visit the Cotocollao campus and I know I'm going to get a load of chiding from those folks (you've been here two and a half weeks and you haven't come to see us?!?!)

Still adjusting to a less-busy life, though my outside of class work does take a bit of time and effort.

Oh, a funny thing. I kept hearing the neighbors screaming at each other. Screaming, the kind of noise that people in the U.S. call in as domestic disturbances. I even talked to a classmate about it in an activity called "Tell me about your neighborhood." The woman's voice sounded so shrill and pissed-off, and she was the one getting most of the shouting in while the man would only get in a few phrases here and there.

This was happening in the mornings and evenings on a few separate days, so I assumed it had been going on for a while. I finally asked roommate Will about it and he said, "Does it sound like a woman who's about to kill somebody?" Yeah, it does kinda sound like that. "The neighbors have a parrot."

I have a friend who knows how Ecuadorians love their birds. Not really, I've just seen more than one pet bird being transported on long-distance bus rides. Anyway, the neighbors have a parrot, which is good because it means they aren't fighting, but bad because it means this is probably going to be a normal quirk of the neighborhood.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The view this morning

Nice. Today is QuitoFest (free music in a huge park) and the weather is perfect. Last night I met the new center volunteers (though I already knew three of them from LMU) and had a loud and loving reunion with the three volunteers from last year who are staying at the center again this year.

Meeting the new volunteers has confirmed that time has moved on, and though I loved being at the CMT I was almost too close to it to realize what was happening. By the time the year was up I had to pinch myself...wait, did that really just happen? Did I really do this? And now that I see the new volunteers one thing has become clear: that everything stood still for 11 months while I put aside the things that I thought made me Marian. I became an alternate version of myself, resembling me but removed from all those clues that would have previously reminded me, "oh yes, that is what Marian would do. She's still here." Now I feel almost as if I disappeared for a year only to find that time didn't wait for me to get back. Does that make sense? Don't worry, this is not an existential crisis. I'm just trying to share with you what goes on in my head as I prepare myself to participate in this new life.

And the new life looks like this. I live in an apartment with roommates and I cook dinner and do dishes, take the bus to and from work, I am alone sometimes, I go out to see friends and my bosses expect things of me (gasp!) just like any normal person. The truth is that this doesn't look much different from how my life has been in recent years. What's missing are my CMT kids. I don't want you to think I'm sad or that I regret not staying at the CMT. There were a lot of reasons not to stay there, but I miss my kids. I'm excited to try this new life as a teacher at a university, a certified this or that--I'm looking forward to it but it will not be the same. So I'll just have to get used to this and remain happy, thankful, engaged in the day to dayness of things.

Wow, that was a lot of thinking for a picture of the view from my apartment. Now it's time for another cup of coffee before I get ready for free music in the park. Much love,


Monday, September 7, 2009

Capítulo 2 begins's weird to be back. I have to re-familiarize myself with Quito, speaking Spanish, and being "different." It's also strange to be in this city but not be at the CMT. I keep hoping that I'll run into one of my kids on the street and we'll have this wonderful surprise reunion. But I'm neither living nor working near the two CMT locations, so I doubt my dream reunion will come true.

Today I attended my first TEFL/TESL class. The course lasts for 4 weeks and in that time I have a number of observation hours, teaching hours, lesson plans and other assignments to complete. Each day I'll be in class for 4 hours, so the rest of my time can be dedicated to the assignments and planning, but I'm still a little nervous. What if my lessons suck? What if I stumble over my words? What if I lose control of the classroom? I am not looking forward to walking into someone's classroom and teaching their students while being observed by the authorities.

To distract myself from my worries I unpacked all my stuff and arranged it in my room. And then I took pictures in order to give you a little tour, so here goes...

First, the view from the outside. You'll notice the coat rack outside my door with my stuff on it.

Once inside you don't have to go far to find the head of the bed...

...or the foot of the bed.

Here is the door to the bathroom along with the foot of the bed.

And here we have the closet/shelves.

Looking outside the room (from the bed) more clothes are hanging on the door to the kitchen. Tim Gunn would be proud because I really made it work.

There you have it. It's been great to see my friends and enjoy some good ceviche, and I'm sure my nerves about the TEFL course will loosen up once the ball gets rolling. More photos of the apartment to come, so stay tuned.

Oh and thank you for a wonderful 2 months at home. You guys are the best.

love, Marian