A Travellerspoint blog

Guayaquil update


Apologies if this post seems disjointed or not very interesting; it's not about any one particular topic, but things I've thought about at different times since I arrived in Guayaquil.

Maybe it's because I’m surrounded by an atmosphere of language learning (I'm learning Spanish at the same time as teaching English), but I often find phrases of languages I learned at school popping into my head, or I get flashbacks to moments in the lessons themselves. For example, in the free taxi we get home if we finish teaching after dark I often have to stop myself saying 'gehe gerade aus, bitte' to the driver after we’ve been round the roundabout and I want him to go straight on for a bit before turning at my corner. Last week I was sitting on a bus when all of a sudden the phrase 'Was hast du lechte Wochenende gemacht?' came into my head – 'what did you do last weekend?’. I keep wanting to say 'aber' instead of 'pero', 'sehr' instead of 'muy', 'je suis' instead of 'yo soy' or 'yo estoy'.

Speaking of school, it feels strange to think that it's exactly ten years since I finished my A2 Levels. To think I had no idea then that in ten years' time I'd be doing what I am doing, and on the other side of the world at that... It also feels strange to picture myself in Year 7, choosing to start learning German in Year 8 instead of Spanish, unaware that in the future I would end up starting to learn Spanish anyway, albeit Ecuadorian Spanish rather than the Spanish from Spain.

Although I don’t get much time to read non work-related books, I have got through a couple. I'm trying not to zip through my collection too quickly though because there are not many places in Guayaquil that sell books in English, and I couldn't bring that many with me in the first place due to my luggage weight allowance. I've read/ reread a couple of Joseph Mitchell books – 'McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon', wonderful in itself, and 'My Ears Are Bent'- and Charles Darwin’s 'Journal of the Voyage of The Beagle', which is absolutely fascinating (apart from occasionally when he goes off into detailed descriptions of geological formations - I skip those). Now I’m onto 'Andes' by Michael Jacobs. I wholeheartedly recommend all four, although in the latter I've only got as far as the bit where the author crosses into Colombia from Venezuela (he travels the length of the Andes from Venuezela to Argentina, following in the footsteps of Simon Bolivár). Once I finish this then I think it'll be the turn of one of my favourite books of all time, Laurie Lee’s 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning'.

Some teachers here have been following the whole Edward Snowden incident with interest, keeping up to date with his location and wondering if he will end up in Ecuador or not. I have to say that although I do wonder if he´ll make it to Ecuador or not, I have more interest in the situation of Nelson Mandela. I keep abreast of the big news stories here - I keep tabs on the BBC Sport and BBC News websites, I have a CNN news channel at the flat, and upstairs in the main part of the language school there's a flatscreen TV permanently showing the BBC World News Service. I sometimes hear the trademark beeps of the latter in the background when I'm in the room I teach in the most.

Anyway, I'd better be off now - this time tomorrow I'll be in the middle of my Saturday five-hour class, so I need to work out what I'm teaching in it!

Posted by 3Traveller 01:32 Archived in Ecuador Tagged spanish ecuador guayaquil english_teaching

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