Yes, I've been in Ecuador for a month now. The first week was spent looking for an apartment
with school personnel to assist with negotiations and moving. My apartment is in the hills
above the city proper; it has one bedroom, a fireplace in the living room, and complete
kitchen. There's also a big terrace with a nice view, which is where I like to spend time if
the sun is out. For me, it's quite chilly here, and as there is no central heating, I am
usually bundled up even indoors. Actually, there's little difference between indoor and
outdoor temps! The last few days have been mostly sunny, and I sat out on the terrace this
weekend grading papers.
Classes started two weeks ago. Mine are very small, 13 or 14 students per. They are very
friendly and polite, and I'm enjoying them so far. The school is huge but well-run, and we
don't have the miserable education policies of the Bush administration to deal with. I teach
ninth-grade English. The students are quite bright, but their English grammar isn't as good
as I had imagined it would be, so I definitely have my work cut out for me this year.
I'd forgotten what a well-run school was like. There are several layers of administration so
that I'm never quite sure who to report to, but every administrator has been more than helpful
and welcoming. Since all teacher tasks are done on the computer, they spend a LOT of time
trying to teach me how to do all this stuff. I have a brand-new, giant-screen Mac that is the
envy of all, though I find it quite annoying. I was hoping for an old PC.
The school sends a bus to pick us up; I have to walk about two blocks downhill to meet it, and
of course two blocks UPHILL to go home. At an elevation of nearly 2400m, I'm getting some
really good exercise in very thin air. There is a huge park very nearby where I go on
weekends to hike and do some birding and sketching. It took a few days to become reacquainted
with altitude, but I can chug up hills pretty well now without gasping. Unfortunately, my
free time has been spent grading the students' summer projects and their diagnostic tests, so
haven't become reacquainted with Quito yet. That will be this coming weekend; I've decided
I'm just going to play tourist.
> Thanks Maggie,
> Since there is a .ec behind your e-mail address - does that mean you
> in Equator now ? If so, let us know what it's like in Quito. What's
> it like at 9000
> ft altitude on the equator. What are your students like, etc. etc. ?