Hello everyone at home!
We, Christiane and Linde, have now arrived in Guayaquil. Everything was wonderful: the flight, the stay in Quito (3 days of trips and preparation for the placement) and then last Tuesday the flight to Guayaquil, where we are based. Our group also includes Laxmi from England and Manolo and Charo from Spain.
We have a full timetable every day. We always get up at 6 a.m., have breakfast, and then get picked up at 7:00 and taken to the first school (Clara Bruno). The town is very loud, the traffic very chaotic. Even if the roads have markings (which is extremely rare), you get 4 cars sharing 2 lanes. People get on and off moving buses – and in the middle lane as well! In the neighbourhoods where we are working, you see a great deal of poverty.
The schools are in fairly precarious states. But the kids are incredibly sweet. We are welcomed every morning with 1,000 kisses, and the same when we say goodbye at the end of the schoolday. We’re like aliens to them. After eating lunch together (prepared by the parents), we then go to the other school (Maria Piedad), with a very tough and very nice headmistress and more children who keep flinging their arms around our necks and clinging to us. Around 6 p.m. we get picked up and taken to the hotel. Then we still have to eat and prepare for the next day. We actually wanted to write much sooner, but with the heat, the high humidity, having to switch between 3 languages, and the exhausting programme, we’re completely wiped out :((.
The kids are unbelievable. Already on the 2nd day they gave us drawings, (plastic) roses and home-made necklaces … and they are always bringing us either ice cream or some kind of soft drink filled into little bags (handmade by the seller), or a biscuit …
In the Clara Bruno school we cleared out the “library”. Now we are buying new furniture, painting and moving everything back in. Then we’ll celebrate! Every school gets $400 from Proniño through us to spend on something useful. In this school we’re investing this money in the library. We’ve also bought a fire extinguisher, because they have already had a fire in the kitchen and didn’t have a fire extinguisher. The other school would like a cassette recorder. They do a lot with dancing and music. Laxmi is the most in-demand, with her English lessons. The English teachers are glad to have a native speaker alongside them.
What do we do the whole day:
Christiane: The Gummitwists imported from Germany are going down brilliantly, especially with the 10-12-year-old girls. The little ones love “Plumssack” [German children’s game] (what’s that in Spanish ??? :-), it’s new to them), relay races, ring-throwing games. Where is Germany, what do German children do, and are guinea pigs really pets (here they roast them on a spit) are some of the many things that all the kids and teachers want to know.
Linde: They do have basketballs but there’s no air in them. Quickly pump them up and off they go! They really enjoy that. At last I can draw and make things again: flowers out of crepe paper, origami vases, colourful fans …
Okay, that’s all for today – we still have to prepare a big party (for 300 children) for Saturday!
Lots of love from Ecuador from
Cristiana and Linde ;o)
PS: Photos to follow