Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So, this past month has been a long party in Cayambe for San Pedro. The party as celebrates the native people of Ecuador. Last night as I am walking back to my house with my 14 year old brother we see about 20 people outside my house. Four or five of them are playing guitar and the rest are dancing. As we open the door to the house they all crowd in, push the coffee table and sofa to the side and start to dance and party in the house. I felt like I was in high school having a party at my house (not like I ever did) and felt like I was going to get in trouble with my mother.

I had my brother run over and get her and fix the situation. When I finally get outside I see my mother has bought the group a case of beer and is passing around a glass of beer to the party. She explained to me that the people coming into the house was a tradition and was no problem...dodged one there. After speaking with my mother I had no choice but to join in the dancing, singing and a little drinking (it was a school night) and had a blast.

Although I have only lived here about 2 weeks I find that the people I have encountered in Ecuador are living for the now and not that tomorrow or the ten years from now. Most people I have met have rarely left their province and only one or two have ever left Ecuador, but talking to them they are happy. Again, I try not to generalize and realize the serious problems facing Ecuador, but in the same light have to recognize the joy the people I have met get from dancing all night with family and friends.

So, next time you have a gathering, don´t be afraid to turn on a little music, pass around un vaso of beer and just let your feet do the rest.

I love and continue to miss you all. Stay tuned as I hope to get some pictures up soon!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day One in Ayora

6/19/2010 - I have arrived in the town where I will be spending the next 9 weeks. It is a smaller town outside of the city of Cayambe and is called Ayora. The town is exactly what as I was hoping for and my host family is everything I could have imgined. My direct host family consists of a mother, father and two boys, 14 and 4 years old. However, in Ecuador, families continue to live together or near eachother their entire lives so that aso means my host family has grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many nieces and nephews. My family owns a dairy factory and makes amazing cheese and yogurt.

I arrived in town at 1pm and by 2pm I was already invited to a family party to celebrate the confirmation of a family friends son. The party was incredible. The party started by everyone sitting around the edge of one large room listening to Ecuadorian music. Then we had a champagne toast and then the food came. The meal started with a delicious soup, which honeslty was enough for the meal, but then the plate of food came out. It was the BIGGEST plate of food I have ever seen. Potatoes, rice, salad and three different kinds of meat. A large piece of pork, a whole breast of chicken and an enormous portion of Cui. What is Cui you ask? Guinea Pig...YUM! I had to try it...and I didn't really like it.

After barely putting a dent into my plate bags were sent around and everyone put their platic plate of food into to take home to eat for what must be the next week. After dinner the music was turned up a bit and the alcohol came out. Pitchers were made of whisky or rum combined with water with gas. One pitcher and one glass to be shared by all. I went around the room and pored a small amount into the glass for one person to drink. I don't think those pitchers were ever empty for the next 8 hours. After the drinks went around everyone danced for as long as the pitchers were full and circling the room.

I had an amazing time, felt like I was immediatly part of the family and I get to say that I have tried Guinea Pig. It was the perfect first day and I cannot wait for another day. I hope all is going well at home and I miss you all dearly.

Peace and Love

Friday, June 18, 2010


6/16/2010 - I HAVE MADE IT TO ECUADOR. Yestday, Tuesday, I met with sll of the other volunteers in Washington DC for what the Peace Corps calls staging. They crammed in a bunch of information from 12pm until 7pm. Other tiring, it was so much fun being able to meet the other volunteers.

I really love the idea that all of us volunteers have come from completly different regions of the US, different backgrounds and different interests, but we all ended up being assigned to Peace Corps Ecuador.

Today, Wednesday, has been a very long day of traveling. We woke up at 5am to get to the DC airport early because there arearound 64 of us that had to check out baggage. We flew from DC to Miami and then from Miami to Quito. Similar to the boring aspects of staging, the negative aspects of flying were made better by getting to meet and talk to other volunteers. I have not met all of the volunteers yet, but everyone I have met has been incredibly friendly, funny and good to talk to.

Right now I am staying with the other Youth and Family volunteers at a hostel in Quito listening to some music in a room shared with two other volunteers. Driving through Quito, hearing spanish, and eating a delicious meal of chicken, rice and salad have all confirmed and reconfirmed my decision to join the Peace Corps and make the trip down here.

Alright, I am off to bed to wake up at 6am for a long day of paperwork and medical screening and shots. I miss you all at home (especially Maia my dog), but all is well. Keep me posted about life at home and I will keep you all posted about my life in Ecuador.

Peace and Love

Monday, June 14, 2010

All my bags are packed....

Alright, here we go. This is my first post ever on a blog, so bare with me. Tomorrow I am getting on a 9am flight to head down to Washington DC. where I will be for one day getting introduced to 'what is the Peace Corps?'. Then, on Wednesday, I will be starting the segment of my life that could generally be called "Ecuador". I will be training to work with at-risk youth and families for 9 weeks in or around a town in the Sierra (Highlands) of Ecuador called Cayambe. If my training goes well then I will be sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer and assigned a post elsewhere in Ecuador for 2 years.

I have said countless goodbyes and given so many hugs and kisses that it is now time to get on the plane and start "makin' moves" (MTMIII). After packing and repacking, I ultimately have no idea what I am bringing anymore, but realize once I get on that plane it doesn't matter.

I do not intend for this blog to be solely a chronicle of my daily life, but I hope to teach readers about Ecuadorian culture and also learn from readers who comment about similar experiences they have had in the world. I want this to be an interactive blog. Now, I would like to leave you all with a quote that good friends of mine left me:

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? (Vincent Van Gogh)

Thanks to all my friends and family for your constant support. I'll see you all soon!