8 Weeks in Ecuador – What I’m Packing

Hi everyone!

I have a few more exciting updates about my trip to Ecuador, which I leave for TOMORROW! It still really has not set in that I am about to head out and will be gone for 8 weeks. My flight leaves from DFW, stops in Houston, and then arrives in Quito at 5:55am on Sunday morning. In total, there will be about 7 hours of airtime. One of the other volunteers is actually also from the Dallas so I will have a new friend on my flight! Here are a few updates and photos of what I’m packing:

Training in Quito

For the first 9 days of the trip (Monday the 18th to Wednesday the 27th) I will be completing training alongside the other volunteers in Quito. Our training will focus on teacher preparation, Spanish lessons, and cultural lessons. We will have long training days but according to the directors, we will also have some time to explore the city!

Teaching vocabulary

On Wednesday, 2 of the other volunteers and I will travel to Riobamba (4 hours south of Quito) and move into our placement. I talked about my placement a little in the past post, so check that out if you missed it! I now know that I will be teaching the vocabulary class. Every week, I will come up with a theme to teach the various age groups of students. The difficulty will vary based on age group, but they will all have the same theme. The age groups are divided as follows:

RED FROGS         4-5-6

BLUE BEARS        7-8-9

ORANGE BEARS   10-11

BLACK DRAGONS 12-13

GREY WOLVES      15

I will have an older Ecuadorian highschooler volunteering with me in the classroom — this will be a huge help with the language barrier! A few days after arriving in Riobamba, our director is hosting a potluck welcome dinner at her house. The Ecuadorian volunteers will bring Ecuadorian dishes and the other volunteers and I will bring American food. It might be a challenge to find the correct ingredients there!

Packing

One of the most frequent questions I have gotten when I tell people about my trip to Ecuador is the understandable question, “What are you packing?!” Packing has been a bit challenging because I will be there for 8 weeks, the weather can get chilly especially in the evenings, and I need clothes for both the classroom and for outdoor adventures. My airline allowance for baggage is one 50 pound checked bag, one bag for the overhead compartment, and one small personal item under the seat.

Here’s what I have packed so far:

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Pants: 1 pair outdoor pants, 1 pair outdoor capris, 2 pairs dark denim, 1 long skirt, 3 pairs workout leggings, 1 pair cute shorts, 1 pair athletic shorts

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3 graphic tees, 1 workout tank, 2 versatile tees

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1 sweatshirt, 1 coat, 1 rain jacket, 2 cardigans

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4 longsleeved shirts

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3 dresses (one was in the laundry)

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Shower shoes, Chacos, Hiking boots, sandals, and (not pictured) tennis shoes for the plane

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Daypack, contacts, watch, scarf, warm socks, hat & gloves, jewelry, Flonase, hat & gloves, toiletries, English and Spanish dictionary

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Grammar book, 2 journals, kindle, money belt, passport (+ necessary paperwork), LOTS of small bills – large bills are hard to change in Ecuador!

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1 swimsuit, 1 hat, water bottle, gum, sunscreen, quick-dry towel

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Gifts for my hosts!

Other random things not pictured:

  • Small prizes and classroom decorations
  • Underwear/socks/additional toiletries
  • Small purse
  • Chromebook
  • Sunglasses

 

Que la aventura comience!

Ecuador Uncategorized

I’m going to Ecuador?!

During the end of my past Fall semester, a time when students are often beginning to brainstorm their summer plans, I had an idea. I was beginning to miss my semester abroad in England and started daydreaming about going abroad again. My mind started whirling – I have always been interested in learning Spanish but have never had the opportunity to be truly immersed. I set out on on a mission to find an opportunity to travel to a Spanish speaking country for the summer, teach English, and practice my Spanish. I believe that the best way to get prepared for my future teaching jobs is to throw myself into new places and greet new opportunities with open arms.

A quick Google search led me to World Teach’s home page and I instantly felt called to apply. World Teach sends volunteers all over the world to teach English and other vital skills and they had a placement in South America – Ecuador! I had a feeling that this was the program for me. I did my research on the organization and then quickly applied. To be honest, I didn’t really have a summer back-up plan.

I was thrilled when a few weeks later, I got an email inviting me to join the Summer 2018 Ecuador team. On June 17th, I’ll be leaving for Quito Ecuador where the team will spend 1 week training. Then, two other volunteers and I will head to Riobamba, Ecuador, which is 4 hours south of Quito and nestled in the Andes mountains. Our placement in Riobamba will last for 6 weeks. This will be my first time visiting South America and I am eager to immerse myself in Ecuadorian culture. The weather in Riobamba should be nice and cool and I’ve been told that the hiking opportunities are incredible. While in Riobamba, I will teach at a summer camp for 4th-10th graders Monday-Friday. My class will be one of many stations and will focus on English and language skills. The program will commence with a volunteer-group trip to the beach.

In Riobamba, the other volunteers and I will be living in a community center with two priests!  I am getting more and more excited as my flight gets closer. I am absolutely overwhelmed with the support that I have recieved from family, friends, and Elon professors and staff. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! If you would like to keep up with my experiences and adventures while I am in Ecuador this summer, please follow this blog!

 

 

Ecuador