Todd Dierker, Wife plus Jaime & Lucy
We had a great stay. We were there for a week. We had our own room with great beds, lots of blankets and access to warm showers. The meals were prepared by Elvia and another woman. The meals were delicious. Lots of great soups, rice or pasta dishes, warm teas, fresh fruits and plenty of variety from meal to meal. We worked with Maria, the English teacher, and supported her by teaching many of her classes from pre-K to high school. She gave us basic lesson plan guidelines and then set us free to go teach. The kids were eager, open and willing to push themselves to practice their English skills in new ways. They don't get a lot of practice with speaking English to each other or in front of the class so we focused primarily on that. With the younger kids we sang songs and played games in English.
The bus was cheap, $1 or $2 per person. On the weekend, the bus sells out of seats, so buying tickets a couple hours in advance is a good idea, or you may end up standing as we did. Definitely ask the bus attendant or other passengers to let you know when you get to the school, as it is not an obvious stop.
Access to bottled water was a bit of an issue as there are no real stores around. The school snack shack had a few small bottles and we bought them out. We boiled one pot of water, but also had the teachers that drive to and from Latacunga daily buy us a large jug of water. The 50 cent snack from the school snack shack of french fries with a fried egg on top was a great treat a couple of times too.
The school is an amazing project set in a beautiful mountain valley. The facilities are a welcomed resource by the community and the students are eager to learn. We felt engaged and welcome in our teaching efforts and very much enjoyed our time at Malingua Pampa.
Here are a few pics you are welcome to use...
Click on the image to enlarge