Thursday, December 22, 2011

Goodbye, Ciao, Hasta Pronto?

I am currently sitting in the Quito airport. My flight leaves at 6:10 and I left the house at 3:45. My travel through the airport was amazingly quick and now I have time to sit here and think about how much I'm going to miss my kids, Colegio Americano and my Ecuadorian family! (Ps I highly recommend the pre-check in online. The line was 4 times longer if you didn't check in beforehand.) My baggage ended up weighing 53 lbs. I had to stuff things in my carry on but I got to keep everything I brought to the airport! :)

I am going to miss so many things about Ecuador. I am going to miss all of the great food and people. I am going to miss my host mom, Vero and her help with my Spanish. I will miss Maggie, Meghan, Kyle, Peter, Tere and all of the teachers that helped me along the way! Colegio Americano is such a beautiful school and I was blessed to work there. I will miss being spoiled and taking taxis everywhere. I don't think I remember how to drive now ;) I will miss all of the amazing shopping and Maggie and my's second home (La Mariscal).

Yo quiero decir muchas gracias a Tere y mis estudiantes. Yo estaba preocupada cuando me daba cuenta que iba a enseñar a 4to y 5to grado. Esto es un grado muy diferente que Kinder! Pero del primer momento en la escuela yo estaba cómoda. Esto es debido a mis estudiantes y Tere. Gracias que ustedes me ayudaban mucho. Ojala que aprendieron ustedes y yo se que yo aprendí muchísimo!

Both of my amazing 5th grade classes during my surprise goodbye party.

Making their own pizzas during our party. We have amazing parents!

Mary, Me, Tere, Lauren, David. 5th grade teachers and amazing people. Mary open your eyes!!!

Some great kids!

My 5th graders giving me the book they made me.

Hasta luego Ecuador.
Les extrañaré todos!
Con amor, Katy

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Museo de Guayasamin and Christmas cookies!

Today Maggie and I went to El Museo de Guayasamin. Guayasamin is a famous Ecuadorian artist 1919-1999. A lot of his paintings represented the anguish and suffering of Indigenous, mestizos and poor in Ecuador and throughout the world. We took a guided tour. It was very interesting but very sad. We couldn't take pictures inside the museum but everyone should check out his paintings! We got to take a few pictures outside of billboards that represented Guayasamin.

He had some beautiful quotes hanging around the museum. One of my favorites was the following...

"Una vez lloré porque no tenía zapatos hasta que vi a otro nino sin pies" Translation: I cried because I did not have shoes until I saw a child without feet - Guayasamin

Also when talking about the faces he painted he said you don't paint a face you paint the soul... He was apparently a very wise man.

I bought some reprints that are just beautiful! I couldn't buy the sad faces because I thought they would give me nightmares...

After the Guayasamin we went home and made Christmas sugar cookies. The kids had a lot of fun and I ate too much dough.

Con amor!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

El Museo de la Ciudad y La Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesus

All of my friends went to the jungle this weekend. I was just getting over a cold so I couldn't join. I'm very very sad! Instead, today I took myself to Quito Colonial (old Quito). I visited El Museo de la Ciudad. It use to be a hospital and now it is a museum about the indigenous people of Quito past to future. They also had plaques about the old hospital. It only cost me 3 dollars to go in. It was a bit more than normal because I'm not Ecuadorian.

Painting of the 7 sins being punished in the inferno.

How would you like to sleep on this bed?

The view of La Virgen de Panacilla from El Museo

Afterward, I went to La Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesus . Sadly I was not able to take pictures inside the church. However it was built by the Jesuits. The whole inside of the church is gold plated. The whole place shined and it was amazingly gorgeous!

Con amor,

“The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.” – Russell Baker
We had a great Christmas party! We ate lots of great food including turkey and chicken. We exchanged Secret Santa presents (in Ecuador they call it secret friends)and then we had delicious Ecuadorian style Eggnog called Rompope. It was delicious! It has huevo, vainilla, canela, almendra molida, leche, azúcar y licor (eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, almonds, milk, sugar, and liquor.

Tere (my teacher) and I

The student teachers... Meghan, Maggie, Peter, Kyle and myself

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A short week of school and Christmas parties

Well I am working on getting over my cold! Yesterday I got sent home early from school. Today my teacher told me to lay on the floor and take a nap and tomorrow I plan on actually surviving the day! Haha It was a hard three day school week :)

On the positive side, I really got in the Christmas mood today. Tomorrow is our school Christmas party with the teachers. I made fudge and a delicious cream cheese dip.

Also, my students are featured on the FCAQ website doing their Thanksgiving craft that I taught! I'm in the photos too but they aren't so pretty :)Look under the Thanksgiving link.

I miss you all!
With love!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Getting nostalgic for Christmas!

I had the day off today due to Quito days. I got to sleep in and then Maggie and I watched movies. I decided to bake ginger banana bread. It feels more like Christmas with all of the baking I've been doing. I listened to Christmas music but the lack of snow makes it difficult!

Tomorrow we will hopefully be going out to celebrate the founding of Quito. However, Maggie and I are both sick so we will see what happens. Hope everyone is enjoying the snow back home!

Ginger Banana Bread
Adding ginger to this recipe for banana bread gives it a real kick. You can add more or less ginger according to your taste. I also like to add orange or lemon zest to this recipe to give it even more flavor!

READY IN: 1 Hr 20 Min


* 2 1/4 cups of plain flour
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup melted butter
* 2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup plain yogurt
* 3 ripe mashed bananas
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice
* 1-2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a small loaf pan.

2. Mix the butter and brown sugar together and add the yogurt and mashed up bananas.

3. Sieve the flour into a separate mixing bowl and add baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and grated ginger.

4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Bake in the oven at 350F for about 1 hour and test by putting a toothpick in the middle to check if it is cooked all the way through. The toothpick should come out clean.

6. Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10-15 minutes then place on a cooling rack to cook fully.

I'll tell you how it turns out :)

At Christmas, all roads lead home. ~Marjorie Holmes

Con amor,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cheering for the bulls...

Sooooooo...... we went to the bull fights. We are officially celebrating Fiesta de Quito right now. It is a celebration of the founding of Quito. They celebrate with parties and dancing and parades and bull fights. Turns out I do not like bull fights. The arena was beautiful and so were the horses and the costumes. However, when they started stabbing the bull, I was done! We watched 3 bulls and then left at the middle with 4 more bulls to go. It was upsetting and we kept discussing how this would NOT fly in the states. PETA anyone?

Video of the Bull fight when the bull attacked the horse!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Viaje a Baños

Omgoodness! So much to share about Baños. Maggie and I got up early in the morning on Friday Nov 25th and took a 45 min taxi ride to south Quito. There we met up with the rest of the group and we took a 3 hour bus to Baños. We had a hostel reserved called Plantas y Blanco. It was a fantastic hostel! We had private rooms and it cost us 11.50 per night per person!

We did not want to waste anytime. We went down the road and found a place that had dune buggies. We rented two buggies and Kyle road a motorcycle. We drove for about an hour and a half through the mountains. We stopped along the way and saw several waterfalls. It was amazing! Afterward we went to the Swiss Bistro. The food was amazing and cheap just like most of Ecuador. Maggie and I split a meat fondue and it cost each of us 12 dollars. Then we went to a bar that played American music. We asked for hip hop and they gave us Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez! We went home and went right to sleep after all of that fun!

On Saturday we went white water rafting. We learned all of the commands, we learned how to fall out of the raft and how to rescue. It was awesome! We were on an Amazonian tributary and they told us if we wanted to go to Brazil we could get out of the boat and float there. We spent an hour and a half on the river and then we went and had lunch in a tiny town. It was a class 3 rapid... now I need to find a class 4!

When we got back from white water rafting we went to see the Waterfall that was near our hotel. Then we went shopping for a bit. After shopping we ate dinner at Casa Hood. The owner was from Michigan which was very cool! That night we rode a Chiva (a big open sided bus with flashing lights and loud music) we went to the top of Tungurahua volcano. We couldn't really see anything because it was cloudy. It was very boring. However, 4 hours after we left on Sunday it erupted and everyone was evacuated!

The city of Baños from the top of the mountain.

On Sunday morning we got up and ate breakfast on the rooftop of our hostel. I ate pancakes with peanut butter and cheese. It cost me less than 2 dollars! Before we went to breakfast we went to the Baños termales (hot springs). We sat in what looked like dirty water but was actually mineral water straight from the earth. You could also shower in water straight from the waterfall... it was freezing and
amazing! We went shopping a little more and then checked out of our hostel. We took a bus to Ambato and then had to take a taxi and another bus to Quisapincha. In Quisapincha there are tons of leather shops. There were soooo many beautiful cheap things. I really wanted a real leather jacket but my arms were too long and nothing fit! Maggie bought a beautiful 100 percent leather hand made jacket for 60 dollars! We took a bus and taxi back to Ambato and then took another bus back to Quito. We arrived at 8:10. After taking a horrible taxi back to Quito we arrived at 9:30 at home. I was sooooooo tired!

Overall the trip was amazing and I would love to do it again. I wouldn't change anything! (except maybe the last taxi driver).

Vero has decorated the house for Christmas but it just doesn't feel like it could be close! It is hot in the sun. That is not possible during Christmas time!

Le extraño todo!


Decide how you want to feel, and go wherever it takes to feel that way.
— Andy Hayes, Travel Writer