sarahreichle:

Things I’ve Learned in Ecuador: #6 You Can Never Have Too Many Parades

About two months ago were the fiestas de la parroquia in my town of Tonchigüe. There was a rodeo, the election of the reina (more to come about that!), bailes and last but certainly not least were the desfiles. Parades are seriously underrated in the United States. Yes, we have Memorial Day parades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and the infamous St. Patrick’s Day parade in Scranton… but here in Ecuador they really, really, REALLY love parades. Just a rough estimate but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen about twenty desfiles since arriving here in Ecuador which averages out to about two parades per month.

All the local schools participate in the desfiles and there’s lots of marching, baton twirling, and military-looking outfits, but by far the most important and distinguishing characteristic of the desfiles are the drums. I’ve only ever seen about 4 different instruments in the parades: drums, xylophones, trumpets… and more drums. There are about 15 drums to every one other instrument and they can be heard for miles around. There are big drums, small drums, medium sized drums, any kind of drum you could imagine. Goldilocks would certainly not have a problem finding her dream drum here in Ecuador during fiesta time. The drumming is always accompanied by some dancing with batons, inappropriately short skirts and sometimes berets.

There are also the costume desfiles. The marching of the schools I can somewhat understand but these costume parades still blow my mind. I’ve asked around town and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how or what they decide to dress up as. I’ve seen children in Scream masks, dressed up as gangsters and Native American Indians. There are always all different sorts of animal costumes, traditional costumes from different regions of Ecuador but there’s also sometimes children wearing huge cardboard boxes painted like aquariums and some dressed as migrant farm workers. My favorite was the high schoolers walking around on huge stilts and dressed up in bright, multi-colored clown-looking costumes. Again, I have no idea why and I don’t think anyone else does either.

The best/worst part of these desfiles is that they last about 1 and a half hours minimum. I waited for about two hours in Atacames during one parade to see the kids from my high school and there were still about 15-20 schools yet to pass after them! And since all the towns in my area only have one major road, it’s always fun to see the buses lined up and stuck behind the desfiles for hours at a time. Luckily, I haven’t been stuck in a bus behind a parade yet!

Please someone come visit me! I can almost guarantee you will see at least one desfile!

Ecuador reblogs Peace Corps Volunteer parades celebrations culture cultural exchange

asiamericana:

This is Joanna, one of our favorite students.  She works insanely hard at the things she wants to accomplish.  She wants to be an English translator when she graduates, and she’s also a student assistant in our department.

Last night she came over and taught me how to cook some simple, traditional Sichuan dishes.  

Someone once mistakenly taught her that Americans say “howdy!” after they finish eating.  The first time she did this, we had to gently explain that this isn’t quite true.  But it’s blossomed into a running joke for us.  When we finished our meal, she sat back, rubbed her stomach and proclaimed  “Howdy!” 

It was the perfect sentiment!

asiamericana:

This is Joanna, one of our favorite students. She works insanely hard at the things she wants to accomplish. She wants to be an English translator when she graduates, and she’s also a student assistant in our department.

Last night she came over and taught me how to cook some simple, traditional Sichuan dishes.

Someone once mistakenly taught her that Americans say “howdy!” after they finish eating. The first time she did this, we had to gently explain that this isn’t quite true. But it’s blossomed into a running joke for us. When we finished our meal, she sat back, rubbed her stomach and proclaimed “Howdy!”

It was the perfect sentiment!

reblogs China Sichuan cooking language learning TEFL ESL education Asia

Red-nosed reindeer spotted in Guyana classroom!

Peace Corps Volunteer Ashley Borree recently shared a little holiday spirit with us in these photos:

These were taken at my school’s annual Festival of Carols. Every grade performed a Christmas carol in which they sang and danced. Pictured are some of my grade 6 students. We performed ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ so they all received red Rudolph noses. Then, of course, at the end of the show the students from all the other grades wanted red noses too. By the end of the day there was an entire school of reindeer running around!  

Have you shared holiday photos from your service yet? http://collection.peacecorps.gov/

Guyana Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer education holidays reindeer youth Christmas

stineinwonderland:

In my Oral English speaking and listening class we spent about a month “traveling” to different places in America. We discussed the culture and lifestyles of New York, Florida, Washington D.C. and California. All of which are places my students hope to get the chance to visit one day. While we were discussing California, I decided it would be a good idea to discuss my version of “Environmental Get Down “aka how can we environmentally make the world a better place. I talked about California as a green state and we discussed 5-6 ways we could help the environment. This of course involved me tell my students they should “eat less meat” because cows “fart and burp” methane gases. This turned into to a big laugh, because most people in China think its unhealthy to not eat meat, and because I was in front of a group of 30 students explaining the English words “fart” and “burp” furthering my students ideas that I’m “extremely weird but they love me.” By the end of the lesson I had my students choose one topic that they thought was most interesting and had them create Be Green Comics. The next class they shared the stories they created, all of which turned out fantastic and really interesting. They all loved it so much that next semester I’m going to be doing an “Adventure club” secondary product. This will involve me and some students hiking around different areas of Chongqing and discussing different ways we can help the environment, and maybe even planting some flowers and trees along the way. Check the pictures for the final results 😍

stineinwonderland:

In my Oral English speaking and listening class we spent about a month “traveling” to different places in America. We discussed the culture and lifestyles of New York, Florida, Washington D.C. and California. All of which are places my students hope to get the chance to visit one day. While we were discussing California, I decided it would be a good idea to discuss my version of “Environmental Get Down “aka how can we environmentally make the world a better place. I talked about California as a green state and we discussed 5-6 ways we could help the environment. This of course involved me tell my students they should “eat less meat” because cows “fart and burp” methane gases. This turned into to a big laugh, because most people in China think its unhealthy to not eat meat, and because I was in front of a group of 30 students explaining the English words “fart” and “burp” furthering my students ideas that I’m “extremely weird but they love me.” By the end of the lesson I had my students choose one topic that they thought was most interesting and had them create Be Green Comics. The next class they shared the stories they created, all of which turned out fantastic and really interesting. They all loved it so much that next semester I’m going to be doing an “Adventure club” secondary product. This will involve me and some students hiking around different areas of Chongqing and discussing different ways we can help the environment, and maybe even planting some flowers and trees along the way. Check the pictures for the final results 😍

reblogs Peace Corps Volunteer China education TEFL English environment

Top Volunteer-Producing Metro Areas
In 2012, the metro area comprising Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado, is the leading producer of Peace Corps Volunteers per capita with 14.7 per 100,000 residents, ousting the 2011 and 2010 per capita leader, Missoula, Montana. The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro area produced the greatest number of Volunteers with 345 in 2012, followed by the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area with 338 Volunteers and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area with 331 Volunteers.
How did YOUR hometown fair? 

Top Volunteer-Producing Metro Areas

In 2012, the metro area comprising Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado, is the leading producer of Peace Corps Volunteers per capita with 14.7 per 100,000 residents, ousting the 2011 and 2010 per capita leader, Missoula, Montana. The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro area produced the greatest number of Volunteers with 345 in 2012, followed by the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area with 338 Volunteers and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area with 331 Volunteers.

How did YOUR hometown fair? 

Colorado Fort Collins Loveland Missoula Montana New York New Jersey Long Island Washington DC Arlington Alexandria Virgina Top Metro Areas Los Angeles Long Beach Santa Ana California