October 8 was the anniversary of our move to the Southern Hemisphere. We had such a busy day that we didn’t even remember until after 6 pm so we didn’t do anything special. However, the Cuenca Fire Department had a parade of all their trucks in our honor!
So on this occasion, and since it has been over two months since I last posted, it is time to get everyone caught up on the momentous and mundane of Los Gano de Ecuador!
By far, the most important event of the last two months has been the visit of our daughter Kathleen. We did a few touristic activities but mostly we enjoyed being together.
The process of becoming at least “functionally literate” in Spanish takes a lot of our time but I love it! I can really tell I am improving and that spurs me on to work harder. I have to be careful not to get a big head when Ecuadorians tell me I speak Spanish very well. Ha! They just are such nice people 🙂
We also participate in a Spanish Language Meet Up once a week in a local restaurant. For two hours we speak only Spanish (usually) with Gringos learning Spanish and generous Ecuadorians who give of their time to show us how it’s really done!
To reciprocate for the Spanish conversation time mentioned above, both of us also attend the English Language Meet Up. Glenn usually works with Hugo and I work with Helena. This activity really brings home how weird the English language is. For us, pronouncing Spanish is not that hard as letter sounds are very consistent – it’s the grammar and syntax that get us. But for English learners, it’s all about the pronunciation!
I also teach English to children three times a week. I know, what a shocker, right? Once a teacher, always a teacher. But I receive great joy in the planning and implementing of the lessons and activities. And as in my past as a professional teacher, I always find some great people to work with!
It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the social opportunities as they present themselves but somehow we manage. Going out for lunch or dinner with new and old friends tops the list. We also try to attend most of the free concerts by our symphony orchestra and chamber groups.
This and That
Another major activity in our lives is serving at our church. Cuenca Christian Church is now a bilingual church! Glenn and I both play and sing in our worship band and I usually put together the lyrics in BOTH English and Spanish for the powerpoint slides. We have been singing more and more of our songs in both languages which also helps with our language acquisition.
The Cuenca International Chorale and Ensemble has resumed rehearsals for the second half of its 2015 season. We sing in both groups and gain much enjoyment from our time spent preparing and performing the music. This December we have two concerts scheduled. Glenn is also singing in a barbershop quartet for the first time.
Speaking of Christmas, guess what I saw being erected in Mall Del Rio on October 5th?
We’re coming pretty close to the end of this marathon blog post (phew!) but I must leave you with a couple of animal pictures.
What We’ve Learned: That we have a lot of great friends. Thank you to everyone who came to our party.
What We Need To Learn: To like soccer (fútbol) but I don’t think it’s going to happen!