yesterday was a whirlwind of a day, that’s for sure. we woke early for breakfast at our hostel, then headed over to the language school to meet the staff there as well as our new family. the staff got a big kick out of chris being a he and not a she; they were all expecting two girls to arrive. evidently chris sounds rather feminine to them as well because our family keeps confusing our names. kind of funny. so yeah, after a few chuckles and a bit of relief when they realized we were “novios” and would be content staying in the same room, everything was fine. our host mom, rita, arrived shortly after we checked in and whisked us off to the casa. we live about a twenty minute walk from school…not too bad despite the big hill along the way. the household consists of rita, jaime (the dad), rita’s 103 year old grandma, and a 15 month old granddaughter who only hangs out there during the day. there are two sons (both married) who join the family everyday for lunch (this is typical for married men in ecuadorian culture), and last night at dinner we were joined by rita’s aunt and uncle. from what we have gathered so far, the house is generally aflutter with people. it’s nice and spacious though, so there’s plenty of room for all of us. the only complaints thus far have been that they don’t have the nfl sunday ticket (chris) and that the shower was horrifically cold this morning (also chris – i had a nice hot shower). other than that, they seem like wonderfully kind people, and it should be a nice place to rest for a few weeks.
yesterday afternoon we had our first classes from 3 until 7 in the afternoon. we both left school incredibly tired but pleased with the way the day went. four hours of class is a lot, but it will certainly do us some good, as all the classes are one on one. no dozing off at this school.
this morning we were scheduled to begin our volunteer work, so we went to meet miguel, our supervisor. he informed us that he has no work for us this week, so we must wait until next week if we want to help. both of us agreed that a few free mornings this week would be fine. the work sounds pretty interesting. from what we have gathered so far, we’ll be visiting towns around cuenca and assisting with various ecology projects. if nothing else, it will be interesting to see the agricutlural industry around here – it seems like it is quite extensive – and to visit some neighboring towns. we’ll see.
oh, an interesting tid bit we learned yesterday. there are elections in ecuador this sunday to approve or reject amendments to the constitution. because of the elections, it is illegal for anyone in the country to drink alcohol from friday at noon until monday at noon. the voter turn-out is also very nearly 100% because if you do not vote, you lose all kinds of privledges (including going to school, purchasing certain items, leaving the country, traveling within the country, etc). kind of crazy, but it should be interesting because the vote seems to be divided down the middle.
well, that’s about it from this neck of the woods. we’re currently working on weekend adventure plans, but in the meantime it’s school, school, school.
bye for now!
oh, and no pictures because i’m on a mac and for the life of me couldn’t figure out how to upload photos. maybe next time…