Saturday, January 15, 2011


If the opportunity to live in this amazing place weren't enough benefits, there are plenty of perks that come along with an English-teaching position at the university. For example, I get a breakfast buffet every morning, even the weekends, if I feel the desire to come in the mornings. Internet service, although unreliable and slow (it's this way everywhere on the island), is at least free. There is a decent book exchange for us nerds who like books, lots of books. I get to meet and make connections with superb professors and doctors, usually native Ecuadorians, as well as googles of international students and volunteers. Next week the semester group arrives and I've decided that I will take the Evolutionary Biology classes with them, for free. There are also outings and trips with these student groups.

Recently, I got to go on a six-hour boat trip to Isla Lobos and Leon Dormido to snorkel. Gear and lunch and snacks were included. All for free. It's not so expensive to arrange this trip on your own, but it never happens often, since there is a minimum number of passengers needed, guide fees, etc. The other teacher and I were fortunate to be allowed to join a small student group who was studying geology and evolution in Ecuador and the Galapagos. So on top of the spiel we heard from our friendly guide, we also heard some insight from the two professors.

I saw my first jellyfish at Isla Lobos, although not much else, other than sea lions, obviously. At Leon Dormido, we circled the towering rock formation twice, then snorkeled through the channel twice. The current was calm and still, and the water pretty clear. The first run I saw several Galapagos sharks, although they were swimming close to the sea bed, at that area around 47 feet. I spotted a few Pacific sea turtles, and fists full of fishes.

After we exited the channel, we loaded back up on the boat and went around to drop off at the same spot, because swimming with the current is so much more enjoyable. The second swim was much more exciting, as black-tipped reef sharks were swimming only a few feet below and around us! Then we swam on the outside of the rock, the sea bed nowhere in sight, only the sunshine like columns in the aqua water. As we returned to Puerto Bacquerizo Moreno, we saw in the distance, a few dolphins jumping over the waves. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Not too bad considering I'd still do this job without any of the above-mentioned. My students are great, funny, interesting, and dedicated. I tell them that my goal is for them to have fun while learning English, and maybe that's why they are so open-minded to the silly games and creative projects that I thrust upon them.

People always say about work: do something that you love; but shouldn't this be true of everything we do? Do it all with love?