Here are the thoughts of Joanna nee Lake as she spends time in Ecuador, and beyond... Disciple, Fairtrade Freak, Psychologist in the making. Now part of the Blundell Jones clan.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

and now I'm back (in Remar)

so yes, i'm back in Remar... Mon I went in but left at 12, tuesday i went in and left at 3... the troubles tend only to be in the afternoon now - when i left on thursday just after 3, i literally had to walk right through a load of students branishing sticks and stones (they looked soooo young!!!), they managed to stop a bus, i'm not sure what their intention was, just being generally disorderly i think!! needless to say when i came across them, my heart skipped a beat, but they weren't interested in me and i just walked right on by - one guy actually had let his stone slip and was scrablling around near my feet trying to pick it up in the chaos as i passed!! Lost souls really, it all seemed abit pointless what they were doing! Told Bev about it yesterday and she was very upset to have missed it!!! She's left Remar, through no fault of her own and is looking for a placement elsewhere with a new mentor... which is a real shame, i was really looking forward to working with her!! but we'll still see each other and will have a laugh when we do!

so this week in Remar... to be honest Mon was rubbish!!! I felt rubbish!!! Communicating felt so hard, i didn't seem to understand much - i was in helping in the kitchen... the work itself was fine - washing up, sweeping, cleaning, throwing out rotten veg (they get it all donated, so the good comes with the bad - some of it was really mingin!!! furry! and squishy!! urghhh!! hee hee...), got to know the names of some of the slighter older girls but communicating was hard!!... then from tues to fri i've pretty much been singlehandedly overseeing the card-making.... Maria came on tuesday and started it off with me and Bev - the girls really took to it, they picked it up really quickly and were really enthusiastic about it...I've taken some photos and when i've worked out how to get them on a disc (and getting the gutts to speak it all in spanish in a photo store), and then onto this blog, you'll be able to see the first morning!! 6 girls were with us on tues, though yesterday i just had 4. We finally managed to complete the order that people made at the 'church lunch' i went to last saturday, so hopefully the customers will be pleased with their purchases on sunday... they're not perfect but they're really good!

It's really good working with the older girls (adolesents... they actually live in La casa de Madres - Mums house), though i miss working with the littler ones! Find it quite frustrating though with my language, i can tell them what to do (just!) but having conversations, and trying to understand theirs is alot harder!!! And keeping them motivated and upbeat, encouraging them, is hard too, though by far the worst thing is telling them they've done it wrong! I probably sound really harsh with my limited spanish!!

Thursday afternoon was completely mental!!! I had the older girls just about to start on a new card, and Titiana wanted me to teach some of the younger girls to make cards too - it started off just about ok.. until more of the older kids came and wanted to learn, and i needed to go and get my id card (for which i ended up having to wait for and hour and a quarter!!!) - since i have only one mouth, 2 eyes and 2 hands - it was impossible to give the attention needed to all (the younger girls specially needed more encouragement and supervision!) - needless to say i felt fair exhausted when i left!!!

I think my main role here in a sense is pastoral, for example, the other day one of the older girls i'm workin with was looking really upset, so i just sat down beside her on the grass and asked what was up - although i couldn't understand all that she said, i could give her a hug, and could just be there, which she appreciated. This is where the language is so frustrating!!! Do you remember i hoped that i would be able to work alongside a psychologist? well there is one here.... but i've realised that i couldn't actually do anything because i don't understand what the kids are saying - this week there was a girl from the university who is a psych student, Esteban (the headmaster of the school) introduced her to the girls whilst we were making cards, and one said i need to talk to a psychologist... so the girl said she could talk with her - to be honest i was jealous!!! - i want to be able to do that - but i lack in language, and in training! but i know i'm here for a reason, so i'll just do what i can!!

other stuff - spent mon afternoon making christmas cookies with Paquita, which was good fun! they're having a family cantata (christmas singsong) and the cookies are presents for everyone there (yesterday paquita and armando were packaging them up in little baskets with sweeties with coloured tissue paper and cellophane, 30 in all) - unfortunately i can't go coz i've got one of my concerts!! sniff sniff! but there's another one a little later with their friends that i can go to! thinking of the pastry theme, Bev, Dave (another strider, he's been here a year already and is now based in ambato- 3hrs south of quito.. i think) and i went for a coffee after our team meeting, i had the most delicious chocolate cookie, it just melted in my mouth...umm, umm, umm, um, um!!! and a delic hot choc, slightly fudgy!!! yummy!!! had some terrific thunderstorms this week, got woken up at 4,30am the other day with a realy bad one! but generally they're in the afternoons! the other day i got caught out, we'd had several days of really great weather, no rain, so i didn't take my brolly!! luckily i don't live too far from the trole stop (like 2mins) but i got soaked!!! when it rains, it REALLY rains!!! well it's about time i get to replying to some emails!! hope you find my news interesting, don't forgot to let me know yours!!! oo this week think i'm singing a song in the school christmas 'show'... hmmm... gonna try and sing 'come and go with me' in spanish acapella!!! hmmm.... :)
oodles of love until next time! xxx


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