Another update: I'm happy.

ecuador eats

Milk in a bag!
Turron Espana--this bizzare almond marshmellow that has the nastiest aftertaste. But worth trying, right?
Grenedia or "monkey brains"
Now you know why it gets the name it gets.
Coco crackers. Crazy deliciousness in a cracker. And it reminds me of my sister-in-law, Coco.
A delicious chocolate-dipped fruit birthday cake for one of the volunteers.
Other good things that I've ingested: choclo, coconut milk, banana milk, tres leches cake, fruit pizza,  plenty of rice, and plenty of things to give me the runs (TMI?), but plenty of things that I want to eat everyday for the rest of my life. JUST THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW.


mundo hermoso

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." 

Just wanted to let you know that Ecuador is easily one of the most beautiful places that I´ve ever been to. I´m still trying to get a picture that gives the scenery any kind of justice, but it proves to be a little more overwhelming than one would think.


choo choo train

Self-doubt is one of the most jarring and immobilizing states of being in existence. Previous to this experience here in Ecuador, I had myself convinced that I was not a kids person, that I had no patience, that I was cautious about love, that I was a horrible teacher, that I would be completely helpless when it came to special needs, that I was incapable of mothering skills other than worry and that coming here was a stretch for such a selfish soul like mine, but there’s only one piece of truth from that—this was a stretch. These past two weeks have been enlightening and destructive in the sense that years of me creating false representations of myself that have been created for who knows what reason have been broken down. I let these perceptions inhibit my abilities to grow and become a more full person. My fear & loathing of my pseudo-self had me convinced that this would be too difficult for me and that this was something that a person like me would not be successful at. The greatest realization it seems is that this is not something that I just learned or acquired—this was discovered.

I can do this. And I can do it well, too.

What scares me most is the years that I’ve wasted thinking these thoughts about myself and/or what other misconceptions of myself are preventing me from progression. But I guess that’s part of life’s journey, RIGHT?!

For those who may inquire, know that I am doing more than just figuring out what’s going on in my brain. I’m high-fouring orphans. But because of privacy issues, I am not allowed to write super specific details or share photos about the kiddies. I am also debating creating another blog purely for Ecuador posts that will be more in depth and personal and will also be private. If this happens, I will let you know.

But for now, a list of things I’m grateful for: good plumbing, books, strawberries, health insurance, right-of-way, not having fleas, not having lice, cheddar cheese, sweatshirts, showers, yogurt, loving parents, peach pizza, technology, freedom, space, and legs that work.

Thanks for complying with my trite, pathos-filled post about self-discovery, but you had to know that it was coming (and there will be more to follow).


uno uno uno uno

It’s tradition in South America to take a dummy and burn it on New Year’s Eve. The dummy is a representation of your former self from the past year that you are leaving behind. Along with the burning of the dummy, we wrote down things on a piece of paper and attached it to the dummy to add to the tradition and make it more personal for each of us. I’ve actually been doing something along these lines for the past three or four years and while I haven’t actually burned a dummy, I burn paper plates.  I derived it from this tradition and it was awesome to actually do the real thing this year!

I usually take the burning very seriously and write very specific things to be burned, and while I won’t tell you EVERYTHING, know that PMS is on the list every year, because it never really goes away.

Along with this tradition, one is supposed to jump over the burning body, wear yellow underwear and run around the block while holding suitcases to give you good luck and to have a financially prosperous new year. I should’ve done all of them, but I don’t have any yellow underwear and I couldn’t stay up past ten to even see the New Year come let alone run around the block with my suitcases. Next year, though.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo: 2011! This is going to be a great year. I can feel it.

twenty ten

This year was one of the hardest years of my life, but I've made an enormous amount of changes and developments in myself that are for the better, I think.
And a gratuitous picture of myself....YEEEEE!
Tata twenty ten! I graciously bid you adieu and hope you never come back again!