I always imagined that when I decided to spend time in Ecuador I would be living in the capital city, Quito. I have spent years doing research here and there to learn about what Quito is like. What is the city like, what are the people like, what is the culture? But this past week I received an email saying that there is a school in Otavalo (about 2 hours north of Quito) that really needs an English teacher. Even though I usually am a “Let’s stick to the plan” kind of girl, I thought it was more important to give students a teacher than to worry about where I will be spending the next few months.
So the plans changed.
Now, I will be staying in Otavalo, Ecuador. Otavalo is a small city tucked away in the Andes Mountains which inhabits around 90,000 people, many of which are indigenous people. Otavalo is famous for its outdoor market, el mercado, which forms every Saturday in town. I have heard that you can find pretty much anything at these markets. From cloth to live stock, to jewelry, to Guinea Pig on a stick. It would be an understatement to say that I am excited to see this market. Even when I thought I was going to be staying in Quito, seeing the market was at the top of my list.
Recently, I have given information about the school I will be working with. There are around 400 students and teaches 1st through 10th grade. I was told there is a bit of flexibility with the age of students that I will be working with. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to experience more than one age group because, let’s be honest, I don’t actually know what grade I want to teach in the future. The first few weeks I am there, I will be working alongside a teacher to learn a little about the students, the school, the teachers, and the culture. After a week or so I will have the opportunity to take over a few classes of my own. In preparation for that, I have started creating a few lesson plans and activities for the students, but I will not be making anything extensive until I learn a little more about my students. Once I am living in Ecuador and finishing up my lesson plans I will be posting them under the “Teaching” section of the blog, if you are interested in looking at those.
My host mother will be one of the teachers from the school I will be working with. Not only is this a wonderful resource to have as a future educator, but it will also be great to have someone to walk/ride to school with and someone to help me assimilate to the Ecuadorian culture. The fact that I know my host mom and I already have things in common is very reassuring. I am excited to meet her and her family and to see what the beautiful city of Otavalo has in store for me.
Only 25 days now until the Adventure of a lifetime begins.