Friday, November 27, 2009

Feliz Dia de Pavo!

I was not expecting Thanksgiving to be that big of a deal because obviously they don't celebrate it here. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the little bit of celebration we had at my school.

First, they had a flag football game for the American teachers vs. the American Consulate. I was supposed to play, but since I never made it to a practice and the sun was at its strongest, I decided to just sit it out in the shade! :o) They also had a soccer game between the Ecuadorian teachers and the Ecuadorians who work at the Consulate. Lots of fun for the teachers and students alike. (And, of course, we won!)

Secondly, the students went home at 12:30, and the school had a luncheon for the teachers at 1. The picky eater in me didn't really like the food, but I certainly liked the idea of it. Ha! The auditorium was decorated so nice, and the strawberry cheesecake was quite tasty!

But, the best part of the day for me was the skit performed by some of the elementary students at the school. They had such elaborate costumes as they reenacted the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and the Indians. They also sang songs after the skit. Soooo cute!!!!

So, at the end of the day, I certainly had much to thank God for. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Four Years Strong...

Well, Wilson and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary on November 19. Sometimes it seems like such a long time, but most of the time it seems to have just flown right by! I can't really go places without Wilson, so I just made him a homemade card with some scrapbook paper I had here at the apartment. But, he was wonderful! He bought me TWO Hallmark cards and even wrote personal messages in both! (For those of you who know me, you know how big a deal that is to me!!!) :o) He also brought me this huge flower arrangement of roses and 2 beautiful sunflowers in the middle. It's great because flowers are so incredibly cheap here, so I get to feel extra special at a 1/4 of the cost! Ha! :o)

Then, we went to eat at my favorite restaurant. (It's the only place where I'll actually clean my plate here!) Afterward, we went down to the Malecon, which is the kind of river walk part of Guayaquil. We went for a boat ride along the river at night, and it was so lovely! The weather was perfect, the music was fun, and the company was wonderful! I couldn't have asked for a better date!
Obviously, such a big move like this has been difficult on both of us and on our relationship at times, but it helps to know that in good times and bad, we're in it together. Wilson is a WONDERFUL husband and has certainly earned the love and respect I have for him!

Lights Out!

Because of lack of rain here in Ecuador, the hydro-electric power plant is low on water. So...the government started just cutting power in various areas here in the city each day. In the beginning the times were not very consistent. However, now most people know that their power will go out at certain times each day--for example, from 8-10am and from 4-6pm. We're pretty lucky in that our house doesn't get affected by this. We're not exactly sure why, but we aren't complaining (especially because many people here also don't have water when the power goes out.).

One of the first days they started cutting power, one of Wilson's friends was scheduled to do a surgery. The hospital had talked to the power company and was told that the power would not be cut during the times of the surgery. (Unfortunately, not all the hospitals or smaller clinics have generators.) So, they started the surgery, had the guy under anesthesia, and then, oops, the power went out. They had to wake him back up and tell him to come back the next day!!! Thank goodness they hadn't already started cutting!!!!

It also makes traffic a mess. Since power goes out in most places from 4-6pm, the traffic is at its heaviest when all the lights go out. Really good planning, huh? And, sometimes there are policeman directing traffic, and sometimes there are not. Oh my!

From what we've heard, they might even continue this until March!!!! So crazy!!!

Noche de Gala

So, Colegio Americano has a huge talent show each year for the students. I had no idea it was such a big deal when I first heard about it, but I certainly learned later that the Noche de Gala was THE event of the year. (My first hint should have been that the students were allowed to miss class 2-3 days a week for about a month or two to practice.)

Anyway, the event was incredible. It was held at a local theatre, and it lasted 4 hours!!!!! One of the numbers was a full version play of Midsummer Night's Dream. There were hip hop routines, traditional Indian dances, Whitney Houston songs, violin Disney medlies, and band after band after band. (I really think that at least half of the students at my school are in a band.) And the cheerleaders even did their routine (on the stage floor--no mats!)

I was really quite impressed. My only complaint was that teachers were required to stay backstage and chaperone the students. I really wanted to watch though, so I snuck up to the balcony and watched as much as I could. The principal yelled at everyone the following day though for not being good chaperones. Oh well. :o) I'm glad I could tell my students I saw them perform.