I’ll be home for Christmas

In one week I’ll be home; home meaning Texas and where my family lives (well most of it). I’m of course incredibly and indescribably excited about going home after being in Ecuador for 23 months. I’m very much enjoying my time here in Ecuador but the thought of going home where people ‘get’ me, eating good food, giving my dog kisses, spending time with family and friends and just doing American things are what’s getting me excited. I’m also happy to be able to spend Christmas at home rather than here sans family. Also, it just doesn’t feel like Christmastime in hot coastal Ecuador. I’ve been incredibly busy these past couple of months which has been a relief actually. It’s a relief from having nothing really productive to do. So when I go home it really will feel like a vacation!

I recently went to the women’s weekly meeting to catch up on their current events and give them some of my current information. They talked about covering all of their costs for the house they’re renting out which is quite a bit a month. The members of the group are paying for everything out of their own pocket. They do make some money but their fledgling business isn’t turning a profit yet. After discussing in full about how they’re worried about making rent payments they turned to the topic of having a ‘cena’ or fancy dinner when I come back from the States. We’ll have it on December 28th with the women and their husbands. They said they would all chip in to buy a turkey and will prepare Ecuadorian side dishes. Turkey here is expensive! They said we’ll all dress up really nice so it’s going to be quite the event. Well, there they were talking about having a dinner when I get back from the States to celebrate friendship right after worrying about being able to make rent on their house. The next morning I emailed my parents giving them the background story and asked if they would like to help me pay for the turkey. My amazing, caring and generous parents donated money to buy a turkey and the trimmings. This Wednesday I’m going to surprise the ladies when I see them for the last time before I head to Texas. I hate to sound cliché but all of this giving and sharing is warming my heart. Thanks Mom and Dad!

This last week my Natural Science class went out in the community to pick up trash. It’s the penultimate class I’ll have on taking care of the local environment and the kids have been great! I made somewhat of a game out of picking up the trash by dividing them up into teams with team captains. They had to collect as much trash as possible. Everyone was declared a winner. During our outing the kids ransacked… or de-ransacked a house that had tons of trash in their front yard. I had to call them away unsure if they were picking up things that weren’t trash and also I’m sure that family was quite embarrassed to have an entire class picking up trash from their front yard. Oh well. Also this past week I took my high school natural science class out ‘into the field’ to collect leaves, seeds and fruits so they can study them. High school kids are just not my forte. I just don’t know how to handle kids that age. Regardless I think I’m getting through to at least 8 out of 35 students.

Cosas dignas de mención:

Thanksgiving was a success!

I had to cook breakfast and lunch one day because my host mom had exams at the doctor’s office. My host dad cannot make food for himself so I have to do it. I enjoy cooking and helping out when I’m home so I gladly said I would help. My host dad literally with tears in his eyes said “You’re leaving soon. What a shame, we won’t have you around to help anymore.” It’s mildly touching yet mildly irritating.

I pulled out my travel bags to start packing and out came a cute little mouse. Fortunately all I found in my bags were little turds.

Winter has almost arrived where I live. It’s hot as blazes but still waiting for the rain to come.

Hot sun all day= 2 minutes of hot water in the shower

The recycled art class I give in the really rural area of my community is going well. By far they are the smartest and learned the fastest. I see something really good coming of this. Less trash and a business opportunity for them.

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