Saturday, November 24, 2007

High Lights of Life on the Richert Ranch

I know, I know--it has been quite awhile since I have posted. This is partly due to life being crazy on the Richert Ranch, but also because life in Ecuador seems more and more normal each day and that is definitely limiting my blog material. I am not entirely sure how I feel about being totally comfortable with seeing a family of five zipping around Guayaquil on the back of a motorcycle, or of seeing the boy painted in gold doing back flips in front of cars stopped at one of the busiest intersections in the city. But there you have it--part of everyday life here in beautiful Ecuador.

Christmas vacation is coming up soon (just three more weeks) and Dave and I will be headed back to the states to visit family and friends. Talking about our encroaching visit, we realized that we will probably experience a bit of a culture shock when we step off the plane in the states. Taxis will seem overpriced, as well as food (what? meals are going to cost more than $3.00?), the air will smell different, the language loud and harsh, not to mention it will be freezing. We are wondering if we will be able to sleep without hearing the constant honking of horns and ringing of car alarms. And what will wake us up if there are no roosters that begin their song at 5:00 in the morning? And we will once again have to get used to wearing seat belts.

Anyways, this post was intended to be full of highlights from the last couple of weeks, so I will get to it. Here is the rundown:

* Overheard in the 6th grade classroom: The preface is that one of my students said to another that he was being ignorant of other people and their feelings. This is the rundown provided by a third student in the class that made me bite my tongue to try to keep from laughing out loud: "And then she called him stupid in french or something!"
* Dave and I celebrated his 30th birthday by living it up and going to dinner at the Red Crab. A restaurant where you can purchase lobster, crab, and other delicious seafood for under eight bucks.
* Parents of one of my students invited Dave and I , along with a couple of other teachers at IA, to their home for an "American" Thanksgiving dinner. There was turkey, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. De-to-the-licious.
* We found a coffee shop (a rarity in Guayaquil) where we have loved spending the last couple of Saturday afternoons. It is always afternoon because they open at 12:00. Regardless, their coffee is real and not instant and their desserts are wonderful.
* Dave and I began private Spanish lessons, twice a week, with a wonderful woman named Natasha. She is patient, flexible, speaks English, and laughs at our jokes. We are loving it.
* Dave, in his new role as art teacher extraordinaire, had to have his classes make 200 Thanksgiving placemats for the annual IA Thanksgiving dinner and program. The highlight of my day was walking in and hearing him tell the kindergarten class that they were not to cut their hair. Priceless.
* We were able to talk with our nephew this last week and had him confirm that when we are at the little yellow house we will play with him and his toys.
* And as a little ego-boost, the guy at the supermarket told us our Spanish was improving.

Nothing crazy, nothing out of the ordinary. Just little snapshots of our days that reconfirm how Ecuador is becoming home.