AFS group

AFS group
Morten, Ericka, Kennet, Anouk, me, Tone, Kristina, and Kristoffer

My Guayaquilanian AFS groupie :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Here we go with another update!! I know it has been a while since I have done it:/

So, what is new with me you ask? Oh, not much... just working, working, working!! But I love my work so it is all good. A couple weekends ago I had another Campamento but this time it was with all the little children, not the adolescents. We all squeezed into one bus - which I am telling you was quite the interesting experience - where we sang songs and had competitions to see which side of the bus was the loudest:) Once we got to the camp we were split into groups again and I was in the group "aguilas" which means eagles. It was a lot of fun, but really really hectic. I had the most free-spirited group, those little stinkers! But apart from them wandering off it was really great. We made little mini plays, cooked lots of delicious, greasy food, and played animal jungle games. We also told stories and the little kids were able to swim in the river.

Two weeks ago I taught another girl named Cindy. She is 15 years old and still doesn't know how to read. On Wednesday I read her a story on "the importance of controlling your emotions". Afterwards we talked a little bit about it and why it is important. It was a little difficult with my spanish, but I think that she got the message:) Then we just talked a little bit about whatever - things like what do you like to do? What type of dancing do you like? She showed me a couple dance moves, so maybe soon I will get that down:) With Karla, we went over the alphabet again. This time she wasn't so distracted thankfully! That crazy girl!!

A couple Saturdays ago I got to hang out with the other two volunteers from my work. They are Anna and Gemma from England and they are hear working on their own art project with the kids. It was quite nice! Haha, I love talking to them. Especially when they ask me questions like, "What do you fancy for lunch?" :) Sometimes I will immitate their accents, and Anna seems to get a kick out of it! That night I went dancing with Yessenia because it was her birthday. It was a lot of fun:) I finally figured out that I like dancing to Merengue (spelling?) It is the more up beat music. I still feel like a complete gringa when I dance, but all her friends were helping me out.

Last week I officially started what is called "Educacion Global". It is an education program through AFS. There are seven different themes that we have to learn, and then we will write up papers on each one, comparing the theme between Ecuador and our own homes (USA). For example, this week was on living conditions. We took a drive to see poor homes, rich homes, and the middle class. We learned about the wide gap between the rich and the poor here. We also learned that they have a garbage system where they just dump the garbage in random places and mix it up with dirt and stones to make petrol? If I understood what they were saying, I think that is what they were talking about. These dumps were literally right up next to the poor people's homes. It's pretty sad, and can't be all that healthy! We also saw rice fields and banana trees - we got to see how the people work that live on those farms. It was interesting stuff.

I also went to the city Guasmo during the educacion trip. We took a canoe out on the river, and we ate some cacao fruit, passion fruit, and these tiny little hot chili peppers right off of the plants that they grew on! mmm, they were delicious. The cacao plant is interesting. It is red, long and skinny. You break it open and there are these round white sticky balls inside. You suck on them until the white goop is all gone, and then you throw the seed away. I guess they dry the seeds and then afterwards crush them into chocolate powder! Pretty sweet, eh? The pepper was soo hot!! All our mouths were going numb just from taking a little bite:) We also went to a street market where they were selling these delicious sweets (haha, my favorite thing!)

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