Today was my first workday and it was pretty long. It was pretty much training and then later we tried to get me a cell phone today on World Teach’s plan. There are two cell phone companies in Ecuador: Movistar and Porta. My company is on the Movistar network and so we went to their HQ to add me to the plan. We got there, got a number and things moved quickly and went to talk an attendant. We discussed what phone I’d get, the Field Director tried to see if we could negotiate a better deal which resulted in nothing, and then it was time to fork over ID, etc. We had the right ID but didn’t have our RUC which is this sort of certificate with your tax number. So we decided we’d go back later. We had a meeting that afternoon and so stopped at Movistar HQ again. This time we had all the right information and so thought things would move along. We sat for like 30 min before the guy finally told us that his computer system wasn’t working and could we come back later that day to get the phone. Now you might be thinking why would we wait 30 min without question. This is just how things are in Ecuador. They take forever. After our meeting, we then went back to Movistar. We talked to the same guy, and we sat and waited. This time it was nearly an hour before he said that his system wasn’t working. At least this time we could get the phone. Tomorrow he’ll call us to say when the line has been activated and provide me with a phone number. Oh how I miss running errands in Ecuador. Somehow everything takes an age to complete and sometimes even days.
We knew it would take it’s time to get things done so while we waited Kate trained me in stuff that I needed to know for the job.
There are some things that are pretty cool here. $0.25 for a bus ride. That was the same price when I was here in 2004 so it’s great that that hasn’t risen. I’m also enjoying the cost of the taxis. $1-$3 will get you across town. Ecuador is actually quite expensive for South America but after NY prices I’m loving it. For lunch we went to this place and had an almuerzo – you get soup, meal of rice and chicken and salad, dessert plus juice all for $2.50.
I’m pretty knackered after today. It’s been raining like crazy every afternoon. Pouring rain that soaks through everything. Also I’m getting used to communicating in Spanish throughout the day which can be tiring. I’m happy that I can converse pretty ok so far. I had breakfast and dinner with my host family and I could hold my own during the conversation. I still have to get into the swing of it but I think it will flow better soon. I’m going to take some Spanish lessons while here to keep improving and tomorrow I have my first lesson. Can’t wait! I do love some self-improvement.