Monday, March 16, 2009

Ecuador, Day 7

Another day done; my last full day in Ecuador. Sonja & I spent the morning at the university, roughly planning 3 potential workshops about curriculum quality. We could not deliver them this time: faculty were out on inter-semester break & besides, it is still not at all clear that they are the ones responsible for curriculum development here. But at least we have come up with a plan & theoretically Sonja (who is living in Guayaquil) would be able to deliver the workshops later if necessary. We came back into town, had a late lunch, & spent the afternoon & evening preparing for our presentation tomorrow. I worked on reconstructing a pivotal diagram while Sonja worked on all of the translation into Spanish. It was after 7 before we became seriously aware that we hadn't eaten yet. And it was almost 8 before Pat & Jeff returned from their tasks & joined us with a bottle of wine & a bag of chips. We nibbled & drank & planned our strategy for tomorrow & finally began a very late supper after 9 pm.

So now I am tired but mellow, thinking about what a treat it is to be able to mix work with travel. There is something very pleasant about balancing the humdrum & responsibility of work with the excitment of being in a foreign place. I love the structure of having defined tasks to complete, a timetable to keep, meetings to make. And I appreciate the opportunity to meet plain ordinary working people, to connect as colleagues rather than solely in a service provider-tourist relationship. I am lucky & I know it.

But tomorrow will be a busy day with an early start so I must cut this short & head for bed.

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