Showing posts from 2012

El Ejido Park on a Sunday

My mom, her boyfriend Doug, and my little brother Nick are here visiting me in Quito. Little brother is a relative term, because my brother is now a giant at 6'3'', but I will always remember him as little Nicky who I could pin down and put makeup on. I'm sure there are no residual emotional issues there.

Sundays in El Ejido park are always super cool, and yesterday was a particularly beautiful day, so that's where we went! The park was packed with families and vendors and crafts and swingsets and kids on bikes. Also, the Ciclopaseo bike path cuts through the park on a Sunday so we had to avoid the sidewalks or risk getting run over.

Me and my bro at the entrance to El Ejido
Doug and Mom with fresh fruit in the park
Nick, with his Ecuadorian pride and street meat
These can be rented in the park for little kids
My mom and brother took advantage of every swing and seesaw in the park which was pretty funny. At one point, a little Ecuadorian girl came over to show my brother…

Happy Winter Break!!

If you're going on a road trip, returning home, wrapping presents, spending time with family, prepping a turkey, or taking a cozy nap, here's a nice tune for your happy Saturday morning:


UBECI is a small NGO in Quito that I have worked with since 2010. This past month, I have been working on a project that involves both UBECI and the school where I work at. UBECI needed 400 little bags of candy to pass out to children as Christmas gifts, and the National Honor Society at my school needed a service project to work on. A match made in heaven! We successfully collected the 400 bags of candy, as well as 200 toothbrushes and toothpastes to pass out in the markets.

What does UBECI do? Basically, since many children around the city grow up working in markets instead of going to school, we bring school to them. UBECI sets up educational booths in many of the markets around town, and provides educational support. Here is a great video summarizing the volunteer experience:

UBECI Volunteers from Joseph Lin on Vimeo.

I will be going to the markets next weekend to help distribute the Christmas gifts and take photos of the merry occasion. I will post more photos then!

Teachers and s…

Where Have I Been?

I've been moving! My mom and brother have been here visiting, I performed in a dance showcase, traveled to Mindo, celebrated Fiestas de Quito, maintained my social life, and for some reason, blogging did not seem like a priority these last few weeks. As soon as life settles down again, I'll get back to reporting on life in Quito, but until then, here's some photos to hold you over:

I ate a plate of hornado to celebrate Fiestas de Quito
I ate another plate of hornado to celebrate Fiestas de Quito
I listened to live music in the park

I got all dressed up and performed in a bellydance showcase
Funny directions my dance teacher posted backstage:  you are princesses not ogres!!
I hung around backstage at the Casa de la Cultura
I shared a dressing room with 15 other dancers
I moved my whole house in one trip thanks  to some awesome friends who helped out

I gained a great new view of the city from my new apartment!

Dance Rehearsal in Quito

Next weekend I have a big dance showcase coming up here in Quito. I'm a member of a traditional Middle Eastern bellydance studio (Egyptian style, specifically). This is my 6th year bellydancing, 16th year dancing in general. I will be performing a traditional Saidi cane dance. This was originally danced by men in Upper Egypt with sticks, but women can dance it with canes and tunics. It's a fun, bouncy dance, that is still very grounded in the floor. If you're interested, here is an example of a Saidi dance:

Noemi and I with our canes
There are tons of different rhythms and styles of bellydance, so the rehearsal was super fun because I got to see all different choreographies from various groups at my studio. The little girls were the cutest. They danced with silk fans and tambourines.

Tambourine girls

The youngest group

Silk fans are SO PRETTY

Girls with silk fans 
I think everyone is always mesmerized by a bellydancer with a sword, right? That seems to fulfill the traditional ima…

Picture Post: Waterfall Repelling

Last weekend we got to go canyoning, or waterfall repelling, in Mindo. It was a 45 meter waterfall that we slowly worked our way down. Everything was $15. Here are some photos!