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International Development in Ecuador

Practicing humility, feeling underestimated

To start, I want to briefly express that the earthquake that hit Ecuador Saturday night was an unexpected tragedy that has affected the entirety of the population of this amazing country, just as raw destruction of this magnitude always does. My heart aches for the loss that so many are undergoing; the loss of life, of property, of security, of peace. Anything I can do to help, rest assured I will do it, just as I would expect anyone else to. If any of my family or friends have the […]

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Be still, my fluttering soul.

The past few weeks have been amongst my most soul-challenging weeks within the entirety of my life. By soul-challenging I mean to say my soul itself feels as though it’s being torn into an infinite number of pieces, fluttering indecisively north toward my family, the pieces scattering themselves across Latin America as they go; transversing the Pacific in search of my better half in Singapore; circulating around Ecuador, settling themselves within both the light and obscure nooks and crannies of this beautiful, dark, dangerous city of Quito, which I’m falling ever more […]

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Forcing an introvert to be extroverted.

The past couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs for me here in Quito, Ecuador. My daily schedule is pretty much as follows: I’m awake by 6:30-6:45 AM; we eat breakfast at 7 AM (every day, like clockwork); I start walking around 7:30 or 8 AM depending; school starts at 8 or 8:30 AM and goes until 5 PM; I get home from school around 5:20 PM; we eat dinner at 7PM (again, like clockwork); I work on homework until my eyes start to involuntarily drift shut around 10:30-11 PM. […]

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Expect nothing; go, be, & do.

It’s the end of my first week abroad in Quito, Ecuador, and I don’t really know where to begin writing this post. Since I have yet to post while abroad, I will try to expand a little on some of the most important things from my first week here; that primarily being the first few days and the importance of mi familia ecuatoriana.  Monday was one of the hardest days I’ve experienced since I was más joven, when I constantly was being torn away from half of my heart and […]

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The Basilica of Many Stairs

During my first few days in Quito I visited the Basílica del Voto Nacional (it’s not actually called of many stairs but it feels that way!) The basilica is in the historic center of the city, not far from the presidential palace and the Panecillo (The statue of the virgin that overlooks Quito). When visiting the basilica the main attraction is the view from it’s towers. I went on a Sunday and climbed the towers with a friend. We walked in during a service and it really surprised me. I […]

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Climbing Ecuador

During my first weeks I went climbing with some friends in a nearby town. I went on a Friday afternoon and again the next day. The town itself is more like a neighborhood than a town because it’s so small but the climbing is great. The university has a program that pairs foreigners with domestic students and I had the luck to be paired with the president of the climbing club who is one of the best climbers in Ecuador. He was happy to take me and some other exchange […]

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Jugo de Maracuyá

In Ecuador fruit is abundant and cheap, thus natural juices are everywhere. They are also really easy to make at home. My favorite type of juice is Maracuyá. What is Maracuyá you may ask, it is passion fruit in English. In the U.S. fresh passion fruit is hard to come buy. Here is a ripe passion fruit, in Quito you can buy them for about $0.20 a piece. To make passion fruit juice you need: a blender, 2-3 passion fruits, about 2 cups of water, and a lot of sugar. […]

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Beautiful Commuting

During high school I commuted via public transit many days, I got used to the lull of the bus and train and the flat, gray, and often snowy scenery. During college I had a much shorter commute, at most a walk across the Mississippi. In Quito I have about a 45-minute commute to and from school but what I quickly discovered is that commuting in Quito is a wonderful activity. Here is a small taste of my daily commute home. I start with a 20-minute bus ride from Cumbayá the […]

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Bus Tour of Quito

On Tuesday of my first week here in Quito I went on a university sponsored bus tour of the city. We had the choice of a tour in English or Spanish and I chose Spanish. We had a great tour guide who told us a lot about the history and culture of Quito. Here are a few of the highlights. First stop on our tour: Itchimbia Park which looks out over Quito, with beautiful paths and great views. It’s currently the dry season here so grass is dry and yellow […]

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Wait, it’s May?

First and foremost, let me start off by saying that it freaks me out that I leave here in LESS than a week. Secondly, let me apologize for not being on top of all of my adventures and sharing them with you all. This month has literally flown by and I am not ready for it to end. Since the Galapagos, sooooooo much has happened! Without further edu, let me attempt to sum up my life for the past month in several hundred words. Week 1: April 1st – April 5th […]

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The Galápa-Experience

PSA: I’m not dead. Let me tell you how difficult it is to be able to keep up with my life here in Ecuador. I thought at first that it was going so easy to be able to write a post every single week. But then after the first few weeks I learned that this was going to be near impossible. I do so many crazy, cool, and exciting things here but it’s so hard to find time to share all of that with you because by the time I […]

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Around Ecuador in 8 Days

Woah, hey blog readers! It has been ages since I have last done a detailed update on my life adventures here in Ecuador. I am so sorry! These past two weeks have been beyond insane and need to be shared in detail with all y’all. After being in Ecuador for 6 weeks now, I can’t believe how much we as a group have done and all of the things that we still want to do! I continue to cross all of these crazy activities off of my list and somehow […]

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Two Places at Once

I have to say that after being here in Quito for 5 weeks now, I have learned to expect the unexpected and let the day take you wherever it pleases. The Ecuadorian lifestyle is much more laid back than it is in the United States, and with that comes great challenges, but also great excitement. This week has been the epitome of these thoughts. This week was a bit different from weeks past because after returning from Montañita, every other track in this program had to leave for another trip. […]

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!Feliz Carnival!

Hey y’all, I know that its been a almost a week and a half since I have been back here on the good ol internet, needless to say it has been a really crazy week! Since we last chatted, I have driven for approximately 32 hours via bus around this country checking out two specific places and when I say places, I mean complete polar opposites. Last week Thursday, our CIMAS clan ventured to the Cantón of Pedro Moncayo (a cantón is more or less a county). In Pedro Moncayo, we stayed […]

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From Quito Nightlife to Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas

Going abroad, I was a little scared that I would find myself in this strange country where I didn’t know anyone, and it would be difficult to find fun things to do as easily as it was in the good old U S of A, however after now being in Ecuador for nearly three weeks, I am happy to share that I could not have been more wrong. There is always something to do here, the question really ends up being how tired you are, and how far you are […]

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