Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Answered Prayers

So, Wilson got a job working as a surgical assistant!!!! It all just kind of happened out of nowhere. He went to a couple of hospitals on a Tuesday to see if he could get some work, and one of them told him to come on Thursday and they'd try him out. It was only going to be a two week unpaid clinical for them to see if they could find a position for him. But, on that first day, he met an orthopedic surgeon who immediately took a liking to Wilson. So, the next day, Dr. Naula hired Wilson. And, he's also introducing Wilson to all kinds of big surgeons here who have all told Wilson that they are more than happy to help him when he starts med school.

Now, Wilson feels much happier and excited as he gets to be in surgery again as well as meet some great surgeons. And, we're in a much better place financially. We're even starting to think that a car might be in our future!!!! (The surgeon even offered to basically cosign on a loan since we don't really have any credit here.) Praise Jesus!

And, although this has been great professionally, it's also been nice socially. One Friday night the surgeon took us out to dinner with his wife and last weekend he invited us to his house for a party. His wife is Canadian, so it's nice that we can talk. The party was lots of fun, and everyone was really nice with us. I'm learning to hold my own when it comes to socializing in Spanish. And, even when I don't understand, I just smile a lot and nod my head and no one knows the difference. Ha! :o)

My First Photo Shoot

So, it's a shame I had to come all the way down here for someone to appreciate my true beauty as a pale redhead! The school has photographers come in periodically and do photo shoots for all the PR stuff (school website, brochures, billboards, etc.), and typical of Ecuador, they like to have the "lighter" people in the pictures. So, they asked me, my friend Willa from Holland, and 2 of the younger American guys to be in the photo shoot. They brought in people to do our hair and makeup and everything!!! (They even made the guys wear makeup. Ha!)

Ironically, the photo was of the 4 of us in front of flags from different countries even though we were not really a diverse group. In fact, only about 5% of the school is even made up of gringos at all! (Though 95% of the publicity photos are of gringos!)

But, oh well. I enjoyed it anyway. The makeup was definitely too much for me as I'm not really into large amounts of eyeliner, but I had a blast! I even made Wilson take me out for dinner afterward. Ha!

Jackson's Festival

So, Michael Jackson is certainly well-loved here in Ecuador--to the point of obsession actually. And so, I wasn't even that shocked when the theme for the school carnival was "Jackson's Festival." Every year Colegio Americano has what they call their Kermesse. Basically, it's what we would consider a big fall carnival (though "fall" doesn't actually exist here). Everyone acted like it was a big deal, but I had no idea until I arrived how big a deal it really is! There were all kinds of games and foods and entertainment! They turned the auditorium into a discoteca and put a huge stage out on the basketball court. They had bingo with prizes like two tickets to the Galapagos or even a new car. (Unfortunately, we did not win!) Wilson and I really did have a nice time there. Of course, the only problem was that it was sooo hot and the sun was so strong that we didn't really stay too long. But, we stayed long enough for me to have a delicious snow cone and some cotton candy! :o)

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Love the Fair!!!

So, I was feeling a little bummed because I was going to miss the Perry Fair, but as it turns out, there is a fair here during October as well! It's in a small town outside of Guayaquil only 10 minutes from where we live. So, we went last night and had a great time! I just love going to fairs, and the one here did not disappoint! Here are some of the highlights:

1. Carnies: My brother Bryan and I had laughed earlier about what carnies here must be like. I mean, if the fair workers in the States are that sketchy, how much worse must they be in a 3rd world country? But, it was quite the opposite! The carnies were pretty decent and clean cut here. Wilson took his photo with one of them as proof. :o)

2. Food: I had 2 things of cotton candy and the Ecuatorian version of funnel cake! Delicious! :o) They didn't have as much variety of meats on a stick like you'd see in Perry, but they still had plenty. (Of course, most of those vendors are found any day of the week on the streets!)

3. Vendors: They had all kinds of neat stuff for sale--from jewelry to clothing to furniture! They had all kinds of cute artistic decorations for children's rooms that were just precious! I bought a dress for my new neice and two pair of shoes for me! (The shoes were 2 for $9!) :o)

4. People: Although going to the fair in the States brings out some of the strangest and weirdest looking people, the fair here had some of the prettiest people I've seen since moving here. Mainly because most of the vendors and advertisers had women with fake everything walking around to get attention for the businesses. But trust me--you will not see those women on the streets of Guayaquil! I have no idea where they came from! Again, Wilson so graciously volunteered to have his photo made with them. Ha!

We are the Toros, the Mighty, Mighty Toros!

The cheerleaders had a big competition this past weekend and won! And, by winning, they earned a bid to go to the Worlds Competition in Orlando in April! How cool! They actually didn't do their best, but they were hands down the winners. They have a lot of talent. What they really lack is just the clean precision that most American teams have. Hopefully, the coach will let me work with the girls once a week on that so that they'll be ready to compete in the States. It's actually been pretty hard to get the girls motivated because they don't have much competition down here. It's hard to want more than mediocrity if you don't really need it. But, I think that now they have something more exciting to work toward!

And, on a humorous note, there is actually no age limit for the international open division. It's just 14 and up. We have several girls in their 20's on the team and even one 25 year old. The coach told me that I was welcome to cheer with the girls if I wanted. Ha! Although there is a small part of me that would love to compete again, just to see if I could, I would not be caught dead wearing a short little cheerleading skirt or that crazy blue eye shadow! Ha!

So, if the girls can raise the money, we'll be coming to Orlando in April! Yay!

(By the way, these photos are from a performance they did at the baseball game. I couldn't take my camera to the competition because I had to ride several buses that day and didn't want it to get stolen. Bummer!)