Posted by: Googie | May 15, 2010

The last day at Katitawa

14th May 2010 would be my last day (for now) as a volunteer at Escuela Katitawa. As was the case with every Friday, there were no real classes and the kids and the volunteers took it easy. This gave me an opportunity to click some last day snaps, and generally walk about trying to remember how much we had accomplished in the last month.

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Anna & Googie walking to the school

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The kids play on their “bus”

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Megan & Kevin walk back from the farm

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Believe me, throwing stones into a wheelbarrow can be a lot of fun!!

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Chinchana, Jessica & Bruna reinvent the phone

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Eddie teaches Cristiano to play the guitar

Today would be Matt’s last day as well, but since he would be leaving early, he was given his wooden medallion early during the Friday morning presentation. We said our goodbyes to Matt, but there was a very high chance of me running into him again on Monday in Quito.

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Matt, Lija, Kevin & Wamari

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Saying goodbye to Matt (while Cristiano just cannot get enough of the guitar)

Friday was also the day of dance practice for the kids. I had always wanted to dance along with them, but I was really scared of Fabiola, the strict dance teacher. Luckily the other volunteers came to my rescue and asked if I could dance with the kids. She agreed, and I jumped in with full fervour. Not being completely familiar with the Salasacan dancing style, I was too slow in my steps and turning at all the wrong times, i.e. when the ladies were supposed to turn. Finally, one of the kids – Andy – couldn’t take it anymore and shouted, “Googie, no es mujer!!” (Googie, you’re not a woman) 🙂

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Googie trains for Bollywood

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With my adorable nursery kids

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The pond that we created

Another view

Here is how the pond looked just a few weeks back.

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I’m sure Lachlan is proud of his farm

Why Lachlan’s farm?

At lunch time, I too got my medallion along with a farewell speech from Rupinho (of which I understood not a single word, but nodded as if I knew the entire thing by heart). It was rather difficult to say goodbye to the kids, the ducks and the chicken.

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Responses

  1. Hey googie,

    When you sent a thanks mail, in that u mentioned about international trip, But i thought u might be going for a month trip or so.. Seriously after seeing your blogs and the orientation for the travel.. and the places you have been.. I just want to say you are a fabulous guy man.. Bye take care

  2. Googie,

    Worth reading your blog. I am proud for having a friend like you 🙂

  3. hay Googie,

    This is Shrikar, we met last night.

    I just finished some work that i had to get done.

    My no. is (snipped by Googie)
    email: (snipped by Googie)

    shoot me an email or phone call and we can meet up in the city.

    Have a good one,

    Shri

  4. I have a friend traveling to the same school as a volunteer teacher. Is there any info you can provide regarding the region, any preps she should make, etc? Also what is the temperature during the day/night? how about the Security situation? Specific vaccinations. How about small things you know the kids/parents would like for her to bring? Any advice would truely be appreciated. Thank you very much!

    • Hey Ed,
      Honestly speaking, I went with zero prep. I just bought a ticket to Ecuador and landed there. Being in a continent where hardly anyone speaks English and not knowing a single word of Spanish was a little intimidating in the beginning. Since I had landed at night, I decided to sleep in the airport itself, and ventured out only in the morning. From the airport, I walked to the bus terminal and then caught a bus going to Ambato, and then blindly followed the directions to the hostel (as detailed in the e-mail from the school). Once your friend gets there and meets the other volunteers, they’ll help her with everything else.
      Since it is at a rather high altitude (a little over 2700 ft above msl), it is usually a bit chilly; so she’ll need one warm jacket and something to cover her ears. It can get quite cold at night, but there are warm blankets at the hostel. It is totally safe. For the month and a half that I was there, I NEVER felt unsafe even for one second. I did not take even one vaccination, and I don’t think it is needed as long as you stick to drinking bottled water.
      I would say that its best to ask the current volunteers what they need, but I know from experience that from a volunteer’s perspective its a difficult question to answer. What the school really needs is money (since it is almost entirely funded by a single person). The best way to donate money to the school is through the paypal links on their blog: http://katitawa.blogspot.com
      If you need any other info, don’t hesitate to contact me.


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