Erika in Ecuador - update 4

Buenos Dias!
This week has passed in a bit of a whirlwind!

We have had lots of English classes in Atacames this week, and have been teaching a wide range of topics… animals, colours, numbers, body parts, weather, the family. The classrooms in Ecuador don't have the technology and learning aids that schools in England have, so they had to make do with our whiteboard drawings and my singing of heads, shoulders, knees and toes, both equally amusing! However their enthusiasm to learn never wanes, which is great.

We have also done more painting this week, and the play equipment is finished. I'll send you pictures tomorrow, the kids love it and there was even a queue of 40 children at the slide the other day! We also now have a mural on the stage which looks great thanks to Paloma's art skills. Paloma is a Telefonica volunteer from Spain and has all sorts of wonderful skills… including juggling!

The juggling came in handy on Saturday when we held a Gran Fiesta (party) in the school at Atacames. There had initially been resistance about holding the event on a Saturday as a lot of children had to work. However around 300 children attended, which was great. We had, amongst other things, face painting, balloon modelling, puppet making, a football contest, ice cream, sack race and a stall where Paloma not only taught the children how to juggle, but also how to make your own juggling balls out of balloons and rice!

However the highlight of the day was the dancing. Children of all ages had formed little dance troupes and practised their detailed routines all week for us to see at the Gran Fiesta, which was a privilege. The finale was the teachers and volunteers dancing the Marimba… I politely declined to join in as I had missed the weeks practice due to sickness, however within seconds the headteacher had crept up behind me and put a Marimba skirt over my head! I think I am his source of amusement this month, but I actually enjoyed dancing so I'll let it slide.

Today is our sole day of rest. We hope to go whale watching this morning, if we can't then we will go to the lovely beach outside our hotel. Must dig out the factor 30 – after only an hour of sun yesterday I have angry looking sunburn, it must be more intense on the equator!

Ciao for now – Erika x

Erika is one of our Pronino volunteers and is blogging from Latin America. To find out more about Proniño, head to http://dnc.o2.co.uk/home/Pronino.