Monday, October 8, 2012

Feliz Cumpleaños Isa!

Today is Starfish co-founder Beth's birthday! (Beth goes by Isa in Ecuador).  We hope you have a great birthday and thank you for your commitment to a brighter future for our Starfish scholars!!!

Maria, Taylor, Ashley, Steve and Jenn with their birthday cards!

Jenn and Anabel are Barcelona fans, but because it's her birthday we love Beth even though she's an Emelec fan!

Marlon, Jenn, Anabel and William with their birthday cards!

Friday, October 5, 2012

My backpack weighs more than I do!

Check out this video from an Ecuadorian television station about the crazy list of supplies many Ecuadorian schools require!  The "No-ticias" program from Gama TV is known for purposefully "mis-informing" and making parodies of the news.

This particular video is extremely relevant to Starfish as it makes fun of the lists of supplies that students in Ecuador are required to buy at the start of each school year.  I for one can attest that I was never required to buy half the amount of supplies for school that Ecuadorian students are required to buy...factor in the difference in average salaries and we are talking about an impossible amount of money for many families to afford.

I am learning this year that the best students who are elected leaders of their classes are often required to purchase things such as music speakers and other expensive things explained in this song.  Another interesting fact - students take regular public buses to school, meaning they also pay a bus fare as opposed to the yellow school buses most of us took through high school!

Starfish scholarships for 2012-2013 represent $216 worth of supplies, while an average monthly salary is about $280!  This parody is done to the tune of a popular song "Una vaina loca" (loosely translated - a crazy nuisance).  Translated lyrics below!

Que hago? Esta está caro                               
Seguro quiere estudiar mijo?                         
Una lista loca la que piden ahora                    
Yo no creo que un niño gaste todo esto en un año escolar
Piden calculadora y hasta computadora
Y mi guagua este año recien va para el prescolar.

What do I do?  This is expensive.
Are you sure you want to study son?
What a crazy list they require now.
I don't believe a kid will use all of this in one school year.
They require a calculator, and even a computer
And my kid is just going to preschool!

Para los ninos empiezen las clases
Y si no tienes plata que haces
En la escuala te sugieren donde tienes que comprar
Me pidieron 4 uniformes
para que no gaste ropa dice los rectores
terno y bano para un paseo que van a hacer.

School is starting for the kids
And if you don't have money, what do you do?
The school suggests when you should buy
They required 4 uniforms
"So you don't waste your clothes" said the directors
suit and bathing suit just for one field trip they're gonna take.

Una vaina la que piden ahora
tanto papel de color le alcanza hasta la Universidad
como 40 carpetas
frijol, fideos, lentejas
debe ser para arte porque lonche ya me hicieron pagar.

What a crazy nuisance they require
So much colored paper it'll last until college
Like 40 folders,
Beans, noodles and lentils
It must be for art class because they already made me pay for snack!

Oigame porque me piden la computadora
si mi hijo no sabe leer senora
eso le dije yo a la profesora
si no te gusta buscate otro colegio ahora.

Listen, why do you ask me for a computer
If my son can't even read miss?
I said this to the teacher
"Well if you don't like it, find yourself another school now"

La mochila esta full
pesa mas que me hijo el Raul
y ahora que hago hay que cancelar 3 meses de bus escolar.

The backpack is full, 
It weighs more than my son Raul
And now how am I going to pay for 3 months of the school bus?

Pura vaina loca la que piden ahora
y que al coca barriga el seguro debo comprar
ya quede chiro
prestame don Ramiro
que al medio ano seguro han de querer el aula pintar.

Such a crazy nuisance what they require now,
I'm already broke,
Lend me money Mr. Ramiro
Because halfway through the year I'm sure they're going to want to paint the classroom

Una vaca loca me pidieron ahora
para el dia de professor de donde el billete voy a sacar
que a una gringa loca contrataron ahora
es la teacher de ingles y un bono extra toca pagar.

Now they asked me for a crazy cow for teacher's day
where am I going to get this money?
Now they hired a crazy gringa
She's the English teacher and we have to pay an extra stipend!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mi Colegio by Dayanna.

Dayanna shares with us a little bit about her high school and her experience as a Starfish scholar.

Yo me llamo Dayanna Zuñiga Salas.  Estudio en el Colegio Dr. Juan Modesto Carbo Noboa del curso 4/2.  Soy una señorita aplicada en mis estudios.  Yo con mis amigos (Espinoza, Maldonado, Davis, Yagual) somos muy aplicados.  Mi colegio es de 2 pisos y pide muchas cosas y cosas que son muy cara.  A veces no pido por el temor de perder la beca y despues digo yo mismo "no, si no pido saco 0" y me decido pedirlo.  Gracias por su ayuda!

My name is Dayanna Zuñiga Salas.  I study in the high school "Dr. Juan Modesto Carbo Noboa" and I am section 4/2.  I am a hard-working young lady.  My friends (Espinoza, Maldonado, Davis, Yagual) and I are very attentive to our studies.  My high school is 2 floors and asks for us to buy a lot of our own materials that are very expensive.  Sometimes I don't want to ask for so much because I don't want to lose my scholarship but then I tell myself "No, if I don't ask, I will get a 0" and I decide to ask for it.  Thanks for your help!

**Note** In many high schools, students in their last 3 years of high school are required to do internships and/or practicals for which they are required to supply their own, sometimes very expensive materials.  Dayanna has done practicals "prácticas" so far in accounting, mechanics and chemistry.  Without the help of her scholarship, she would be forced to sit out these classes and receive a 0 for the assignment as she has done in past years.

Dayanna (above, far left in jeans) with her Starfish friends at one of the monthly meetings.