Monday, June 29, 2009

soap making and dancing preschoolers

Last week we had a soap making workshop with the local women's group. It was lead by 2 teachers and students from the Seattle area that were here as a part of a service trip. The chem teacher spent a little too much time going into the chemistry of the process which was a bit much for the women but other than that it went well. I think it might become a regular business for them if the local hostels are interested. My only concern is working with the lye since that's pretty nasty stuff (the lye recommended in my peace corps soap making recipe is drain cleaner you get at the local hardware store). But as long as we find a safe place to make the soap and use the proper precuations I think we'll be alright.
In other news, Friday I went to a dance competition for the local preschools in my unofficial role as community photographer. The kids were so adorable although to call it a dance competition might have been stretching it. The teachers were more or less herding the kids through the steps. But it was still cute. I got roped into being a judge, mostly on the fact that I am a gringa. I was very generous in my grading (figuring that these were little kids and there was no need to give a realistic score) but the other judge was really harsh in his grades. I guess they don't mess around here!
For those of you wondering, my host dad did win the election the other week. He starts as town board president in August. And yesterday I saw the most incredible rainbow ever. I tried to get a photo but it didn't do it justice. I think it was the first time I've ever since the full half circle of the rainbow. It's the right time of year for them since it's sunny but can get a little drizzly in the afternoon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

local elections

This Sunday we had what is basically the equivalent of town concil elections. I'm still not sure who won because it was a close race and they were still counting up the votes yesterday. Right now I'm in Latacunga so I'm not sure if they figured out who won today or not. My host dad was running for president, and it seemed like he had a fair amount of support. The voting system was changed when they changed the constitution and it's a little confusing. For instance you can either vote for a party, or you can vote for individuals. I think there are 5 slots on the council, so if you voted for a party you picked all their members for the 5 spots. Or you can pick and chose your favorite people from different parties. However if you do that your vote for those people doesn't count for as much. It's all very confusing.
Not much else new to report. This week is my last english class for the school year. I just finished writing a fiendishly difficult test for them (just kidding about the difficult part). I think during this last month I was finally getting the hang of this teaching thing and figuring out what worked and what didn't with the kids. So I'll be better prepared next year.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

new pics

Okay, the internet hasn't been cooperating as I've tried 2 times to post some pics and it hasn't work. Hopefully third time is the charm. These are pictures from the mother's day festivities as well as some I took while out walking. Nothing much new to report. I'm on my way back from Quito after out midterm conference. It was nice seeing everyone and commiserating about our shared difficulties.