So, we went on our tech trip in the Cotopaxi Region. I guess I’m getting lazy so I’ll copy/paste my TEFL report thingy in another post for the “let’s be smart and brainstorm about cultural educational differences/similarities” time.
What else do I remember from the tech trip? It was great to be with a small group of TEFLeros (9 of us) in a hotel for a week. I did get to know people better. At the center we’re separated into group language most of the time or just tired or in larger groups and it’s harder for me to connect (but I’m not a hermit either, no worries) . It was also good to get to know PC staff on a more personal basis, as the people who came with us have cool views of the world or life experiences. What else? We ate like fat Americans: it was pretty wonderful to eat pizza (Latacunga for some reason has zillions of pizzerias – I think it’s because they produce a lot of cheese – but then France is not famous for its pizza… so….don’t get it.) or Mexican food every single day, to have normal pressure and hot water in the shower, not to be silently observed by host mum as I ate my breakfast every day (she’s wonderful but I just don’t like to talk at breakfast and I think she feels bad letting me having breakfast by myself… communication/cultural thingy to be solved here….), to play the ultimest coolest game ever : aka, if you speak English (I guess if you read this you do? Or you’ve been pretending all along?), go here NOW and buy “cards against humanity”, the most hilarious unpolitically correct game on earth.
? Que Mas? I did put into words what annoys me about the Ecuadorian food I’ve been eating in general: it annoys me to gain weight eating food I don’t particularly enjoy (talking about the yucca/plantain – got out of this one now- rice-potatoes diet). It’s not that it’s bad. It’s just boring and pretty blend, as a whole (there are a few exceptions though like this delicious gangrejos soup made with tomatoes and oignons and peanuts blended with water, to which we add the flesh of the crabs: it does take me longer than everyone else in the family to work on those crabs but so worth it!). But I’m getting there, talking to the host fam, poco a poco…. I guess I need to try the coastal food… Coconut sauces and fish….
It was also a big wow to visit potential sites. I finally realized “urban centers” will feel like “hamlets” to me because of my Chinese urban center experience. And I’m saying this while remembering that I did feel Lanzhou was a small town experience because it didn’t have the cultural/international possibilities the other cities I’ve lived in have (bleh, I’m a city gal in case you wondered)…. For example this one market town that looked like a village coming out of a Sergio Leone movie… I guess if I end up there I’ll better integrate like a master chef…. However as we drove up this snaky shitty road for a couple of hours, surrounded by volcanoes and llamas and green mountains, up to this tiny site at about 5,000m of altitude, I felt I would enjoy the radically opposite experience from my China site. I guess what would be tough would be a tiny city with nothing to do that is NOT surrounded by natural beauty / cool outdoors? LZ felt like a small city polluted with no cool outdoors, yet I managed rather well. But I’d rather have a difference experience here. But one part of me says “if you end up in a tiny town you’ll be in a smaller school so that will be cool.” The other part says “bigger city would be neat” So the ultimate strike would be “smaller school in bigger city”? So I guess I’ll find good things in all situations. Anyway. Site announcement is next Thursday. Let’s wait and see.
I finally acquire a reggaeton cd. And a sierra local hat. So the whole tech trip was worth it for these haha. Here’s a little photo of our touristy time at the Quilatoa volcano. Ecuador is pretty incredibly beautiful. Just have to get out of the training center to see!
On a random note: going to the shopping mall the other day, I could here Adele playing in the Mall while on my way there a helado truck was playing “the time of my life” (straight from Flashdance). Weird. At times I feel like Ecuador is not really incredibly surprisingly culturally new (Adele? In a MALL?), but then there’s an helado truck that brings a silly smile on my face.
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