Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ecuador May 5-6, 2008

Ecuador 3 May 5-6, 2008

The past couple of days have been very busy for me in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Yesterday, May 5 was my first day in school. I am taking four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon. I arrive at the school at 8 am, leave at noon and return at 1:30 pm and stay until 5:30 pm. It is about two miles one way to school through the entire width of the city.

All of the schools I have attended have been mini United Nations. There is a young lady staying in my house. Her name is Julie and she is from Toronto originally but now lives in Vancouver where she attends graduate school. She spent a couple of months last year travelling in Peru and Chile. Her Spanish is not too good but she is trying hard. She is in the process of completing her thesis also. Her major is environmental engineering. Both of her parents are engineers.

Everyone here hates George Bush. Who I will vote for is one of the most favorite questions. I am watching CNN International. It is out of London but they simulcast regular CNN so I can watch the North Carolina and Indiana returns.

My morning instructor is a young woman Yadira Ordonez who is married to a liquor store clerk. They have four boys. She is very patient and gentle. She takes her time when I can’t grasp something.

My afternoon instructor is a young law school student Edwin. He is very intelligent but does not have any patience. That gets a tad stressful at times.

The school building is wooden and probably over 100 years old. It is very well preserved and well maintained. It reminds me of many museums I have been in at times.

My host family lives high on a hill above the city with great views. That is the good news. The bad news is that I have to climb that hill twice a day. I turned 66 last Saturday and it is getting to be more difficult each day. I still do 6 to 9 miles a day on the treadmill at home but it is relatively flat. This is much different. It takes me about 20 minutes to make the trip one way.

There are at least eight large catholic churches here and I walk by all of them. Each has their own elementary and high school. All of the students wear uniforms. They look great. Some schools wear blazers and others wear t shirts. This is my third month long Spanish School and is far superior to the others. I would highly recommend it to anyone. The city is very progressive with few if any slums. The people are super nice to everyone. There are hundreds of stores where you can buy just about anything. I have been looking for an internet store but have not found one that stays open after 5 pm. I am on the verge of not eating lunch and doing my Internet stuff then.

I will try to get back to once a day so these are not so long. g

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