...about life in Quito:
1. I just ate a huge bowl of encebollado (delicious fish/yuca soup) for $1.30.
2. waking up every morning to the view of the mountains out my bedroom window.
3. prefect weather - sunny and cool with no humidity.
4. you can buy wine in a box for $3 and it´s still considered classy (not to mention, delicious).
5. my laundry is done for me.
6. putting ahi (sort of a homemade hot sauce) on EVERYTHING.
7. drinking tea all day long, everyday.
8. sitting on our patio every night, drinking (before mentioned) wine, looking at the stars, chatting with my compañeros, and relaxing.
9. fresh-baked bread is delivered to our door every morning (from the bakery below our house).
10. NO BUGS. (seriously. my windows don´t even have screens).
And that´ll do for now. For those of you who know me well or have ever lived with me, I am a huge list-maker. I make lists constantly, for everything and anything. Thus, I´ve acquired several different lists of several different varieties since I´ve been here, and I´ve recently determined that it´s time to share some of them with the world...hence, the first installment of "my favorite things about life in Quito," with a promise of more to come later.
The last week has been tainted by this odd sort of dizziness/nauseousness/light-headedness/splitting headache/short of breath/you get the idea. I´ve been having dizzy spells and feeling faint off and on for a few weeks, but it would come and go so randomly that I didn´t think much of it...until I was experiencing the feeling last Monday, and it didn´t go away...until, well, I´m still feeling a little "off," to be quite honest. It got so bad by the middle of last week, that I ended up taking a day off (unheard of and nearly impossible to do around here), spent all of my free time in bed for a few days, and had blood tests done last Friday. The doctor I talked to thinks it may have something to do with suddenly having a different diet here than I do at home (ie. anemia, high cholesterol, or something like that), parasites, or just plain emotional and physical exhaustion with the added factor of...dun, dun, dun, ALTITUDE! I am starting to feel much better, but I should find out the test results by Tuesday, so we´ll see...
The hardest part about being sick is feeling like I am seriously letting down my students. One of the most important things we can give our students is a consistent, stable environment, so it´s frustrating when I can´t physically be there for them. Oddly enough, I miss them too when I don´t see them for a single day! (proven by the fact that I would dream about them every time I slept for those few days). Even when I was able to go to class, I did not have the energy or desire to put a whole lot of effort into planning and teaching, causing me to feel quilty and easily irritated by their antics...probably caused, in the first place, by my lack of planning! It´s a vicious cycle, I tell you! Haha, anyway, I am so lucky to have amazing fellow volunteers who take great care of me and cover my responsibilities without hesitation, and students who love and forgive so unconditionally.
Please think of me this week as you all eat your turkey and mashed potatoes! I will be educating the minds of young ecuadorian children, just like every other day of the week :). We do get to have our own little Thanksgiving on Sunday though(which also happens to be the 23rd birthday of yours truly), so you don´t have to feel too bad! I know that this is the beginning of a month or so that will be filled with lots of mixed emotions...as I miss my family and friends during the holidays, remember the traditions that are going on at home, but still get the pretty special opportunity to celebrate here, in a different way. Miss you all.