We have definitely been busy the past couple days, traveling to Cuenca and hiking Chimborazo, but I figure it’s not too late to do a little check-in for week 2.
Week two was definitely less stressful than the first week! It was also shorter (only 3 days because of our trip to Cuenca) so that’s probably why it was a lot easier to handle. Our field trips have definitely allowed us to get to know our students better, so coming to school is always enjoyable because of that! One of the things Andrew and I really like about San Ignacio is their morning routine. For 30 minutes before classes start, all of the students (led by multiple teachers) participate in their “Brain Gym.” During this 30 minutes, the students work on simple things like verbs, the date, weather and introductions in both English and French – ask me to sing my french song I made up for you when I get back. The headmaster believes that by doing these things in context and while being active, they will stimulate learning and remember things better. Andrew and I love this concept and have been lucky enough to be more or less in control of brain gym for our last 2 weeks at school. While Andrew focuses more on leading the more structured part of Brain Gym such as weather, body parts, the date, etc. I assist him and also lead all of the kids in a mini yoga session! It’s a great way to start their day, get blood moving, and it’s fun to see all of the kids giggle trying to stand on one foot during warrior 3!
I absolutely love San Ignacio, especially the students. I love that the students and teachers are so excited having us, and I love their excitement towards learning English! These are definitely the things that make all of the stress worth it. While I have enjoyed my time here and will continue to enjoy it, I think I have learned a lot about myself while teaching my students. I love kids and I love to teach, but I am definitely not meant to be a teacher (at least not in the traditional sense in a school). I have definitely chosen the right path for myself. I am excited to start medical school in the fall with the same curiosity, passion and excitement that my students come to class with everyday; I am also excited to use my teaching experiences to be a teacher for my future patients and their families.
So all in all, we are having a great time here! We have been on 2 awesome field trips with the school, and have gone on even more adventures with out host families! While I wish I could spend more time with my host family, I love spending most of my time with my students. We’ve reached the 3 week mark, so we’ve only got 2 more weeks left in Ecuador. We plan to teach this week, and will be heading to Guayaquil this weekend to hit the beach! We hope that next week we will have time off to explore a little more before we head home to our families and friends on the 14th (WE MISS YOU ALL IMMENSELY)!