Monday, June 21, 2010

Finished Up

I'm sure most people who were reading my blog have given up on me posting but I'm going to wrap this up anyway. I've been back in the states awhile now, although I still haven't found any work. So there's really no excuse for my negligence. Here's some thoughts that I wrote up for my church newsletter.

1. Do not try to find any rhyme or reason in Latin time. At first I tried to divine an overarching schedule, for instance that most people arrived an hour late to parties but only 30 minutes late to meetings. However whenever I thought I had things figured out things would switch around on me. And inevitably the few times I arrived late to a meeting, those would be the times when the meeting would start on time.
2. Accept that you will be viewed as odd and make it work for you. At first I was very worried about how people saw me but then I realized they would find me funny regardless of what I did. It’s a rather liberating feeling when you stop caring about being embarrassed.
3. Along the same lines, there’s no need to worry about speaking perfectly. I learned Spanish a lot better when I stopped trying to speak perfectly (which generally meant I didn’t speak much at all) and just enjoyed talking to people regardless of the mistakes I made. The people in my town were very understanding about my bad accent and long pauses as I tried to remember the word I needed.
4.Reading is way more important then even I thought it was. There’s no real history of reading in Ecuador and as a result the kids don’t have much of an imagination. I was surprised to have to explain Disney movies to the kids because they were too difficult for the kids to follow. When teaching English my students didn’t have the ability to invent their own sentences or dialogues. It seems to all steam from never being read to growing up
5. To finish up, the way to peoples’ heart in Ecuador as elsewhere as through baked goods. One of my favorite things to do was bake cookies with the kids something I’ll think about whenever I’m baking.

Well this is my final post. My life is pretty boring now so I won't be keeping a blog anymore. Hope those of you reading this enjoyed hearing my anecdotes on life in Peace Corps Ecuador.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Almost there . . .

I'm in Quito finishing up paperwork and bank stuff. I have officially left my site and fly back to the states on Sunday. It still hasn't really sunk in yet. This past week I kept telling myself that this was it, but it hasn't registered. I had two good-bye parties, one on Monday and one last Friday. So I OD'ed on potatoes and guinea pig, and would be perfectly happy not to see either one again for awhile (especially boiled potatoes). Luckily everyone is used to me not drinking so I didn't have to worry about being force fed beer. I promised everyone I would try to come back some day, but who knows when that will be. I made a last bach of cookies with the kids at my house yesterday and had a nice quiet dinner with my host family. Now I'm jumping through all the hoops to officially end my Peace Corps service (this wouldn't be a gov't organization without reems of paperwork. I'll get that stuff done tomorrow and then have Saturday to do whatever. I was thinking about going up to Otavalo where they have the big crafts market (we went there during training for a day) but now I'm feeling lazy and might just wander around Quito for the day (and buy lots of strawberries at the market here). We'll see. For now I'm just looking forward to getting things done for the day and going to my hostal and crashing (at least this was my last early morning bus ride!).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Getting poked

I'm in Quito right now for my final medical checkup, which means getting poked a lot. Luckily they're not making me get a flu shot (I boycott those on principle), but everything else is getting checked up. The nice thing is that they had us come for 3 days but the actually appointments aren't that long, so I have a lot of time to wander around. I'm planning on getting some books for my last month here. I really wish that I'd kept a list of all the books I've read here like some other volunteers have done. I know it's at least a couple hundred. In other news we've finally started planting some gardens. Of course now that we've started it's stopped raining, so we'll see how things go. It's been a pretty dry winter overall, nothing like my first one here in Ecuador. I don't think the roads have washed out at all this year. Last week I played manager at one of the hostels here because the owners had to go to Latacunga last minute. It was a nice change of pace and I had fun chatting with the guests there. Most tourists that come through my area have been to so many other cool places so I'm always getting new trip ideas. Who knows when I'll have the time and/or money to go, but at least I have lots of ideas.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Here´s some pictures from Mateo´s birthday party and some new year`s celebrations. They were playing a game where you popped the balloon and inside there were instructions on a charade you had to do. The little kids were too embarassed to really do anything so they ended up just bursting the balloon. For new year´s a bunch of people got dressed up and worked their way down the road into town dancing all the way. It was pretty funny to watch.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I was on the bus the other day and noticed that the speedometer didn´t work. I started wondering why they wouldn´t get that fixed because i remembered a time in a rental car with a broken speedometer and the fact that we had to go back and get a different one since without the speedometer it was really easy to go to fast on the highways. This got me thinking about the fact that i´ve never actually seen a speed limit sign in ecuador or any kind of speed trap. so i guess a speedometer isn´t really neccessary. plus the roads here pretty much enforce a natural speed limit because of all the potholes and the curviness. just thought i´d share that random observation. i´ve been helping out at one of the hostels here this past week because their dog fell and hurt her back so i´ve been giving her shots and physical therapy. but other than that there´s not much to report.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

nice leaving time

Wow, so I don't have to start this blog with sorry i haven't posted in awhile. i figured i'd do one now since i still have free internet here in quito. The seminars have not been particularly exciting and they foiled my plans for reading in the back since they moved all the chairs into a circle (i think they might have noticed me reading in the first session). last night peace corps took us out to a really nice restaurant on a hill overlooking old town quito. it was really fancy, with a fancy sorbet they brought out between courses to cleanse the pallet (all i could think of was the movie princess diaries at that point). i was disapointed i didn't have my camera for the party afterwards complete with a mariachi band (which i don't think is really ecuadorian). i'll have to get some pics from the other volunteers. i think some people are pretty bummed that this is the last time we'll probably see each other (or at least are all together), but honestly i haven't seen most of the volunteers in my training group very regularly so i'm not too worked up over it. that's not to say i don't like them, but i've gotten used to not really seeing them already. so it'll probably be awhile till i post again, just an fyi, and i hope everyone reading this is doing well.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Okay, I've been really bad about updating. I think it's the whole senoritis thing, getting lazy in the home stretch. I'll be done in less than 3 months which is kind of crazy to think about. Another reason for my lack of updating is that nothing new is really going on here. It's pretty much the same old, same old. I kind of avoided the new year's party because it was cold and most people were drinking to get drunk, which I didn't particularly want to d0. Plus no one would really notice if I left so I did. They burn the old year in effigy, represented by a life size dummy, which really smells. We're slowly getting around to planting the gardens, the problem being it hasn't quite started raining enough. We'll have a rainy week and everyone will think winter has started, but then it will dry up for 2 weeks. Next month I'm actually visiting some other volunteers further south because their community wants to learn how to make shampoo. So I'll have a nice little road trip and see some friends.
For the past week and a half I've been in the states doing some job interviews. I'm hoping I'll at least get one offer so I'll have something lined up for when I get back. I've gotten to see some friends and family along with enjoying chipotle's every other day (plus some other tasty treats). The only downside is that it's freezing here and I've gotten soft living at the equator. I fly back to Quito this morning and then we have our close of service conference, which is mostly just book-keeping type stuff like how we wrap up our service and where we want our resettlement allowance sent. This means I'll be sitting in the back reading, which is how I normally deal with boring meetings here.
I do have some pics from new years but I didn't bring my camera with me so I'll try to get those up within the next couple of weeks. Happy (belated) New Year!