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Final Thoughts

I’ve been told once or twice that I’m a dreamer; to get my head out of the clouds. To focus on reality, not fantasy or the prospect of what could- or, in my less than expert opinion, should be. I’ve tried to do just that. I honestly— albeit halfheartedly— have. But it never quite works out the way the suggestors or I ever expect. I guess that’s true for almost every worthwhile experience in life, but no matter how many times expectations get exceeded or disappointed, it always feels like the first shocking time when you realize you don’t know everything and almost certainly never will. The real challenge comes in deciding what to do with yourself after that realization. How you act and react to the knowledge that the world really is your oyster and that no matter how much you know, there is always more to learn; no matter how much greener the grass is in the distance, the fact that you choose to be sinking your bare feet into the grass directly underneath you and what you choos…
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2011 Update

Alright alright, I admit it’s been entirely too long since my last blogpost. In my defense, I’ve been trying my hardest to get my various visitors to write accounts of their trips, but I am repeatedly met with “don’t hold your breath” or simple “nah” responses, so looks like you guys are stuck with me. But where to begin? My problem now is that most things that happen to me that would have seemed outrageous a year ago are pretty standard now. Getting on a bus and having the person sitting next to me hold a bag full of live chickens the entire ride is no big deal. Arguing with the fruit vendors that each apple costs 20 cents instead of 25 is my new normal. In that sense, I might fail in painting a full picture of my experience- when I mention a bus ride and you picture a Greyhound while I’m remembering a campo Unidos bus, there’s bound to be some misinterpretations. But maybe that’s what you want to hear about- the little intricacies of how my life has changed and what will come…

Carnaval y'all

Phew, where to start?! This past week has been, hands down, my best week in Ecuador (so far). Before I get to that, though, let me catch you up to speed on what I’ve been up to since I last checked in.
Since I’m still holding my breath that Shelby will come through and grace us with a blogpost about our trip, I’m going to refrain from giving you the blow by blow. Instead, I’ll give it to you by the numbers:

Number of PC Volunteers Shelby met: 8
Number of PC Sites Visited: 3
Number of Parades Watched: 4
Number of Mangos Shelby Consumed: 25+
Number of Days Spent Without Running Water in My Site: 3
Number of Hours Spent on Buses: ~40
Number of Days Spent by a Body of Water (Beach or River): 6
Number of Hostals/Hotels Stayed at: 3/1
Number of Ecuadorian Provinces traveled: 5

Overall, we had a really fun time. She got to see where and how I live, got to meet my counterpart and host family, got to shop at a huge market, got to meet a bunch of my PC friends, and so much more. She came during p…

funny (and true) video

While we all wait on pins and needles for Shelby's blogpost about our trip together, I thought I would bring to your attention a funny video about joining the Peace Corps that a friend sent me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-wDq17zyN0

Enjoy.

2010 Wrap-Up.

OK, this is going to be a long one, so bare with me. I’m going to do a little bit of a recap of my year- the ups, the downs, the visitors, the work, the food, the friends, etc.

So, my year started as it usually does, with a birthday brunch at Grandma Bev’s house. It’s not that I necessarily started to feel the weight of what was to come whilst eating my bagel and shmear, but I definitely remember thinking that this was going to be my last b-day brunch with the family for at least a couple of years. I’m not a group movement type of gal, so I don’t remember feeling particularly upset about it, but I definitely took a second to think about the sorts of family events that I was about to miss- birthdays, graduations, holidays, etc.

January and early Feb were spent mostly running errands and trying to get organized for my upcoming adventure. I don’t think I had ever spent so much money on myself or been into an REI quite as many times as I did during that month and a half. Overwhelmed wa…

October Update

Well, the update your blog emails have started flowing, so I guess that means it’s time to give you guys something. Not too much has been going on the past few months- well, not much by my standards but according to Mom, you guys will find anything I write fascinating, so here goes nothing…

Last time I updated the blog was the beginning of October, right before my birthday. It wasn’t the most exciting birthday I’ve ever had, but I’m a pretty tranquila gal, so hanging out with the host fam was all I needed to honor that fateful day 23 years ago. After that, I hung out in site for a few weeks helping out with a few garden projects that are going on. More on my work a little later, I’ve got to ease my way into that whole schpeil. At the end of October, I headed down to Cuenca to celebrate Halloween and Cuenca’s Independence Day. While Cuenca’s Halloween didn’t quite rival the few Santa Barbara Halloweens I’ve experienced, the Independence Day festivities definitely blew me away. T…

Quick Update

alright, alright i know it´s been way too long since i´ve updated this. instead of writing a novel detailing every single thing i´ve done that has kept me from writing to you, i´ve decided to do a quick rundown of the more important events of the past few months and then later (if you´re lucky and i´m just that bored) i´ll expand a little.

first, let´s talk about dad´s visit way back in late august. i don´t take full responsibility for not updating you about his visit because i asked him (very nicely) to write me a blogpost from his perspective detailing our trip and never heard back. we basically went on a whirlwind tour of ecuador starting in and around quito and going north to the cloud forest and then to a huge indigenous market called otavalo, we then headed east into the oriente (amazon jungle) where we stayed for a few days exploring the jungle and trying our best not to get eaten alive by bugs, next we headed south to my favorite city in ecuador, cuenca, where dad got to meet …