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Hilary: Internship in Cotacachi

November 4, 2011

I have been living in Cotacachi for about a week now and it has been wonderful.  My new family is welcoming, loving and a lot of fun.  I live with a family of five, six total counting me.  Mom-Marcia, Dad-Victor, Brother-Santiago 19, Sister-Jose 13, and Brother-Gabriel 11.  Marcia and I go everywhere together; work, home, the gym, and we even go out together!  So far the hardest adjustment has been getting used to turning on the water outside to use the bathroom, or just knowing that the water isn’t there at all. 

Cotacachi is a small little city north of Quito, it is super safe and very peaceful. It seems like everyone knows each other and everyone is very friendly and open.  This morning Victor and I went for a run, then to the Sunday market to buy fresh produce for the week, then Jose and I went to a soccer game to watch our team lose 4-1.  Soccer is really big in this area; I think there are 5 or 6 teams just within Cotacachi itself. The teams are made up of cousins and friends anywhere from 15 years old to about 40. 

My Spanish has improved a lot, my family tells me I’m speaking perfectly and that I am one of the best students they have had yet.  I feel confident in school and at home, the only person I am having trouble understanding is Victor (my father here) because he talks faster than anyone I have ever met!  Although I don’t have very much trouble with the language barrier I am having trouble with Kichwa.  Kichwa is the indigenous language of the area, and all of my students and half of my co-teachers are fluent in both Kichwa and Spanish.

I am having fun teaching English here, all of the students are eager to learn and very intelligent.  What concerns me is the quality of the English program here.  At the end of my internship I need to write a monographia about my experience here.  As a concerned educator I want to help develop the English program here and work with the teachers and materials they have to better prepare their students for university here in Ecuador.  I have a lot of work to do and about 3.5 weeks to do it!  Soooo here I go!

Not much else is going on, I’ll try to upload some pictures soon, I have to remember to take some first though!

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