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.

Friday, November 05, 2004

I've arrived!!

well i've arrived! I've been here for 5 days now, haven't done much so as to allow my body to acclaimatise to the altitude, i've only had a wee bit of dizziness. Since i've had to rest and not do too much, I only managed to get to the internet yesterday but that access was very slow and i couldn't get onto this but i've found somewhere today at a centro comercial (big american style shopping mall). ooo enough waffling about the boring stuff!

so far ecuador has been fab (today been up to 27oC, lowest 9oC) but to be honest i've felt quite timid and shy and lacking in confidence, but i'm gradually gaining that as i have a go! yesterday i went to my project for the first time and met up with Beverley (the other Strider). I went to help Maria Augusta (my mentor) with a bible class for the second/third graders (there's a school on site) and generally to see what goes on...

Remar is actually a set of houses around Quito, and there is also one is Guayaguil and some place else. There are five houses in Quito: the one i'm at for young girls, one for boys, one for rehab of alcoholics and drug addicts, one for young mums, and another for older girls. The bible class was great fun, they learnt about Joseph, we sung some songs (including a spanish version of Allelu allelu allelu allelujah praise ye the lord!! with the ups and downs! comedy!) The children are very friendly, and very affectionate, i'd hardly been there 20 mins and girls were hugging me and leaning on me! I´m now known as 'tia joanna' (auntie).

The home is run by Titiana and Diego a Colombian couple, i've only met Titiana, she's just amazing and i really look forward to working with her! Remar is a bustling hive of activity, the young mums are there working in 2 rooms making stuff to sell, theres a kindergarten, and a school, which means kids are everywhere! (about 80 in the school, which is mixture of children from the homes and the local area. The younger children go to school in the morning, and the older kids go out to school in the afternoon). So, i was shown around the complex (there's a nice sized area for the kids to play in! with trees and things, i'll try to get some photos at some point!), was introduced to lots of people whose names i can't remember, then i ended up in the second grader class helping them sew round the outline of a dinosaur on a piece of paper! Very comedy considering i didn't know the exact spanish but i got by and even managed to tell off some kids for being naughty! I think i'm going to be teaching that class some english, though i'm not quite sure of the details!!

So how is my communication, I bet your wondering! well, it's going ok. I can understand alot (though i think i give off an aura of understanding more than i do coz i follow body language etc!) but can't remember or reproduce it easily - it takes me ages (slight exaggeration) to put together what i want to say, but i know this will come with time. my mentor thinks i probably don't need lessons, so i'm going see how my first week goes at Remar and then reassess the situation which is quite exciting... my major problem is just having the confidence to speak, and to get it wrong!! (which i frequently do!!!) I will begin properly at Remar on Monday, working 9-5 mon-thurs, with half day fridays. I don't know exactly yet what I'll be doing but something and probably a little of everything!!!

so things are feeling good now. It's been soooo good to be able to go out and do stuff today with Beverly coz i have been abit anxious to go on my own.... 'everyone' stares at me which is abit unnerving but i guess i'll get used to it (?)... oo i forgot to tell you where i'm staying... i'm staying with the sister of my mentor and her husband, Paquita and Armando, and they're really really lovely!!! I live on the third floor in a building very near a 'trolle' stop (it's about a 15 minute trolle, a.k.a tram, ride from Remar)
oo there's soo much more i could say but this is quite long enough for now!! hope this all makes sense!!, i'm sure you'll get used to my writing style!!! :)


Blogger Emmie said...

Querida Jo, Que te vaya bien!! xxx

6:49 AM


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