Monday, February 18, 2008

Quick update - the beach.

I meant to tell you guys about the beach... Over Carnaval (Carnival, like Mardi Gras...) I went to a beach in north Ecuador called Las PeƱas with Luis and his whole family. The beach was not the very best, but the trip was a lot of fun. Even Uno got to go!

Part of the Carnaval tradition is to throw water on each other. Ecuadorian kids love to wait by the road for unsuspecting carloads of people... like us when we were sleeping... besides the driver of course... quite peacefully, until some kids were able to aim a bucket of water through the open window right at our faces. They got me, Luis and his sister Cindy. and Uno.

In other exciting news, we went out dancing and I got stung by jellyfish. Apparently getting stung by jellyfish is pretty common here, and although it hurt at the time it wasn´t so dramatic. However, to make it sound dramatic... I got stung three times. Once on the finger, and twice on my legs.

But it really was tons of fun! I swear. Hahah.
We went swimming of course, we went dancing, and we ate some amazing seafood.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I´m finally updating!

Sorry for being out so long... I´m not sure anyone even checks this anymore!

I´ve been back in Ecuador less than two weeks now and it´s going pretty well here...

My classes are nice - the students are great, but the book is lame. So we make our own fun and still try to prepare for the exams. I´m teaching three two-hour classes this time instead of just two.
-Sidenote: Each round of classes only lasts 8 weeks so I have completely new classes, as if I were starting a new school year-

My apartment is pretty cute and in a convenient area. My roommate is sweet as well, so that´s going pretty well...

Uno is with me! The Ecuadorians want to know why she´s a girl and called Uno instead of Una and they don´t appreciate the joke that she lost her eye running with scissors. Sarcasm and dry humor hasn´t quite caught on this far south yet.

I´m definitely coming home by June. One of my good, dear friends is getting married in June! So I´ll be there.

More updates later, if I bother getting on the internet!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I´m flying home on Friday! I´m really excited to see all of you, be back with my family and my dog, and eat biscuits and gravy.

I feel like I should have updated this more, but I haven´t spent much time on the internet during my stay here. When I am on the internet, I´m usually focused on investigating high-altitude cooking or PhD programs... Anyway, those are my excuses. See me in person for any details you feel like you´ve missed.

The plan for the future is to come back to Ecuador around January 10 and stay until June-August-ish, at which time I´m thinking of studying a PhD or getting a real job. A real job... eh.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This past Saturday evening we had a Thanksgiving dinner and I baked some cornbread as my contribution to the potluck.
Baking cornbread in Quito is not as simple as baking cornbread in Memphis... at least not for me. Even as a fluent Spanish speaker there are some words that just don´t come up too often and it takes living in a Spanish-speaking community to pick them up. So I spent quite a while looking up things like buttermilk and cornmeal.
After the vocabulary comes the issue of conversions. How much is a cup in the metric system? What is 425f in celsius?
Then the issue of how to bake something properly at 10,000 feet altitude. That 10,000 feet changes things. I´ve always baked at sea-level, and recipes are naturally written for sea-level, even high altitude recipes are only written for 3,000-6,000 feet!
I allowed myself enough time to bake two cornbreads, and it was a good thing. The first I overcooked because it still seemed very moist when in retrospect I should have taken it out. I learned my lesson with the second and it received lots of compliments.
I´ve also figured out chocolate chip cookies at 10,000 feet. Lucho (same person as Luis) says I could become rich selling the cookies!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Embarasada does not mean embarassed...

There are a lot of embarassing mistakes that can be easily made in Spanish... I´d like to think that after studying as long as I have I wouldn´t make them, but of course, I´d be wrong. I am far enough along to not use embarasada (pregnant) when trying to say I´m embarassed, but I do still screw things up a bit.

For example, I meant to tell Lucho (a.k.a. Luis) that I don´t have a good sense of smell, so I told him huelo mal (I smell bad). I immediately realized that I´d messed up, partially because I know better, but mostly because he sniffed me and said es cierto (that´s true).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ecuador photo highlights

The city
The city

The Basilica

The Basilica

The Basilica

One of Ecuador´s biggest exports

Street view

My favorite kids, Eric and Melany


and definitely not least, the reason I can kind of dance, the tanguero, Luis

Ecuador highlights

Cotopaxi, the most picturesque mountain

Quito city view

Typical street in Quito

My kids, Eric and Melany

One of Ecuador´s biggest exports

and certainly not least, the reason I can kind of dance, the tanguero, Luis