The reality of what the next two years will be like, hit me hard when I had to wake up at 5 am to get to school on time. I am not much of a morning person and I was trying not to fall asleep on the hour long bus ride into town. The Peace Corps Volunteer I visited had already been to the training center a few times to co-teach or lead sessions for our Omnibus, so I had met her a few times beforehand. She is an incredibly kind, intelligent and fun person and I had a wonderful time spending a few days with her and the other volunteers I went on my trip with.
Her school, in downtown Quito, is located in a very fun area of town and has a lot going on. I traveled with two other trainees and we arrived at her school around 7:30 am (about a half hour after her school day had already begun). The day was spent observing many of the classes she co-taught, attending a weekly English meeting she has with her four English Teacher Counterparts and sitting in on her English club. Her classes ranged from an IB class of around 24 students who were quite advanced language learners to lower level classes of around 40 students that were sometimes hard to control and keep on task. Overall it was wonderful for me, to see what a day in the life of a Volunteer looks like, and it gave me more of an idea of what my life could be like in a few months. Something that is sometimes hard to imagine during training.
After school was even more fun. I went to drop my bags off at the hotel we would be staying at for a few days and took around a two hour nap. We then all met downtown to go get some dinner and go salsa dancing. There is this great Cuban restaurant in Quito that gives excellent free salsa lessons twice a week. It was so much fun. I will definitely be trying to go back before the end of training.
Thursday, after school, we had delicious seafood for lunch and then ventured into the downtown area to visit an Artesenal market. A few schoolchildren came up to us in the market and explained to us that they were there with their English class and their task was to interview an American. That was quite fun. I had to think of my favorite place in Ecuador I had visited. Only having visited 3 different places, I had to say Quito. I also bought a beautiful scarf made out of alpaca wool and a little shoulder bag to carry my books in for school.
Friday - we tried to go visit a crater called Pululahua - located right near the equator. Unfortunately, when we arrived it was so cloudy that we couldn't see a thing. Instead of trekking down into the foggy abyss, we decided instead to order a nice cup of coffee and cake in the café and relax a bit. That night we went out to a costume party for a birthday celebration.
Overall the trip was quite a success. It was great to be able to see an Ecuadorian classroom for the first time and I also really enjoyed getting to know Quito and some PCVs a bit more.
Over the past few weeks I've also -
Visited El Cinto with my host family:
I went to a Quito vs. Toluca Mexico soccer game with some other trainees:
I also, climbed Quilotoa with other PC trainees: