Here is a guest blog from Emily about one of her favorite English students:
This past weekend, I had to say my first goodbye. One of my English students, Guillermo, informed me that it would be his last class. He is a UN peacekeeper and is relocating to Haiti for the next 6 months. I was caught off guard by his unexpected goodbye and it has left me nervous for the month ahead, which will be full of goodbyes.
Guillermo is one of the funniest individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting here in Ecuador. I remember the first day he came to class – extremely quiet and standoffish; but over the last six months, boy have things changed….
Every time he enters the library he now greets us with a warm ”Bonjour!” or “ça va?”, because knowing two languages just isn’t enough for Guillermo J. He loved to tease me by randomly throwing in French vocabulary to see if I would notice. He also had his 2 favorite English phrases: “of course!” and “cooome on.” It’s hard to explain how funny these two phrases became, but just imagine them in a thick New York accent. At first, I thought I was the only one to notice his overuse of these two phrases, but the rest of the class soon chimed in and began using them as well.
A great example of Guillermo’s wonderful personality was displayed at one of our adult English parties. This particular party transformed into a yard-work party and Guillermo was the first guy to pick up a machete and get to work. He spent several hours clearing heavy brush from our backyard. And as if that wasn’t enough, he offered to come bright and early the next day to finish the job. “We were thinking about starting around 6am” we joked. “I’ll be here at 5:30,” he responded in complete seriousness. But that’s just the kind of guy Guillermo is: always willing to lend a hand and keep everyone laughing with his wonderful sense of humor.
I wish Guillermo the best of luck in his future endeavors. He will be greatly missed not only in the Super Advanced class, but also in the Manna community as a whole.
Guillermo helping cook for our Adult English party
Emily's super advanced students at the Manna house
Guillermo taking down our jungle