Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Living and Working in Ecuador

I received an e-mail this week that made me chuckle. "I think you should change your blog title to 'Living and Working in Ecuador.'"

It's probably not a bad idea, but I never feel like I'm working except when I'm in language school three days a week! For some reason, I got placed in the Advanced-Advanced Spanish Class and at first I wanted to transfer out (immediately), but the only way you can grow in a language is to be in a class with 20-somethings that speak 100 times better than you do. So I've hung in there and most of my days are either writing and speaking in Spanish or studying to catch up on what I missed in the other four levels.

On Saturday I teach the Advanced Conversational Class at CEDEI which is actually the class that I'm taking in Spanish, so it's been a perfect match in that regard. My students are amazing and range from 14 to 60 years of age, so it's been a challenge to keep them all engaged.

Mark's schedule is better this cycle with classes in the afternoon, so we have our mornings and early afternoons together. Many times, we'll just walk across the parking lot to the Oro Verde Hotel for cappuccino and drink it by poolside. No wonder I always feel like I'm on vacation!

The hotel is undergoing renovation which will include a conference center. However, I'm a little disappointed after checking out the model inside the hotel; it looks more like a "hospital" in its appearance. The decorative brick is being replaced with a drab cement exterior. I'll reserve final judgment until I see the finished product, but I already miss the colonial look and feel of the building--especially the terracotta tile roof.

There's a lot of construction going on in Cuenca and it's hard to miss--even with our busy schedules. There are about 50 building projects going on around the city. Some are mere holes in the ground and others are nearing completion with folks moving in already. It's amazing to look at the landscape and see how quickly it has changed. This morning when we walked across the parking lot, one of my favorite views disappeared from sight as a new condo building put up the next level. Our apartment still has a view of the Tomebamba River and the Cajas Mountains, so we have been spared for now!

Even with our busy schedules and construction going on, we still feel blessed to call Cuenca home.

Until next time...hasta luego!

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Anonymous said...

hi, can you tell me how many people are in your advanced conversational spanish class?. Is the cost per hour cheaper since it is a group class? I find one-on-one classes no longer keep my interest and that maybe a group class would be more fun.

Connie Pombo said...

There are 11 students in the class and there are 8 classes (two hours). I'm not sure of the cost per student, but you can find that information out by contacting CEDEI. Group classes are a lot more fun -- lots of interaction among the students. It's a lively group and lots of fun! Hope this helps.

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