Showing posts from June, 2012

Why am I in Ecuador?

Growing up, I always wanted to live abroad. Now that I am finishing my first year actually living in a foreign country, I have been trying to meaningfully reflect on my experience here. Was it everything I wanted? Am I cut out for this? Why am I even here?

It would undoubtedly be easier if I wanted to stay in Florida, live near my family, and get a teaching job in a local high school. Sadly, that is not who I am. I feel a need to explore with every fiber of my being. If I am not on the road, I dream of dirty hostels, of foreign public transportation systems, of 20 hour bus rides through unknown territory, of exciting language barriers to conquer.
I’m not sure if I am looking for a place that I will ultimately call home. Maybe that will never happen. Ecuador is definitely not that place. I think 2 years here is the perfect amount of time for me. If I were more outdoorsy, this would be heaven. For my coworkers who love mountain climbing, Ecuador is a good fit. I thrive off of culture, gra…

Hectic Afternoon

I got out of school at 11 today because it is final exam week and I have to grade all afternoon. On my walk home from the bus stop, I noticed our neighborhood seemed particularly lively and stopped to take some photos with my BlackBerry. The sound of dogs barking, construction sites, cars honking, people shouting, planes flying overhead, and every other loud city sound seemed magnified for some reason on this pretty afternoon. This is my first experience living in a real 'big' city, and I am finding I am well-suited to it.

Could this explain the constant power outages?
MegaMaxi: Ecuadorian Wal Mart
The Ecovia is the public trolley in Quito 25 cents a ride!
I popped into my favorite lunch restaurant
 Vegan Asian almuerzo, $2.50
This teen couple looked either sad or tired
Tons of construction makes my neighborhood look like the set of War of the Worlds
Alien invasion in my neighborhood!
Can't escape Subway
After running errands all afternoon, finally turned down my cute street. I…

One Can Dream

I make enough money to live very comfortable in Ecuador, that is for sure. The problems arise when I start looking at shopping in the States or Europe. Combine that with the fact that I am trying to keep my material belongings down to 2 or 3 suitcases because I am always on the move, and my slight shopping addiction is a toxic one. One thing's for sure: I can still window shop! If I had money in my bank account, right now this is where I would be blowing it.

Samantha French Painting
I LOVE the paintings of Samantha French. I was introduced to her on my favorite interior design blog, san fran girl by bay, and would kill for a real print to go on my wall.

Indigio Bunting Shop
I think these buttons are just so freaking cute, and I want to cover everything with them. I could put them on my backpacks, my dresses, my shoes, give them out to random people on the street. They bring a smile to my face.
Anthropologie Dress
I will be road tripping across the States this summer, and I want to t…

Locked Up Abroad!

You have probably heard of the popular National Geographic series 'Locked Up Abroad,' right? A couple months ago, they were filming here in Quito and I was hanging out on the set. My Ecuadorian friend's sister in law was working there and invited my friend to play an extra, who then invited me along for moral support. I was sitting off screen and the director pointed at me and said, 'Hey, your clothes look very 1970s, want to throw a doctor's lab coat over that and hop in the background of some of the scenes?' I obliged.

I had kind of forgotten about it until today, my friend sent me the link to the episode. I am in it for a split second, right around 3:10 in the hospital scene! I got a free steak dinner out of this, and I figure my path to stardom is now paved. Ha! Really, it was a ton of fun, and getting to see the set of a real tv series was just an all around cool experience.

Night Out in Quito

My first year in Quito is coming to an end and I am feeling so torn! Part of me can’t wait for summer (I will be taking a two month long road trip across the US to visit all of my friends), but part of me is feeling really nostalgic and sad because a lot of my coworkers won’t be coming back next year. This is the reality of working in international schools: contracts last 2 years, so every year a lot of your friends leave. This will be a difficult part of the job to get used to. That DOES mean however that we will be getting around 15 new teachers next year, who will hopefully be as awesome as the teachers moving on this year. I am really excited for all of my friends who are moving on to awesome places like Brazil, China, and Egypt. Hope I end up somewhere as equally awesome in 2013!
Jenny, Laura and I have been trying to make the most out of our time together since Jenny is moving to Salvador de Bahia in 2 weeks at the end of the school year. It’s Laura’s birthday, so we went out las…

Featured Blogger!

Pretty exciting news on the blog front: I am the featured 'blog of the month' on the expat-blog website! The idea of a lot more traffic on this blog kind of makes me nervous for some reason. My digital dossier is becoming permanently engraved on the internet, which is a risk you take when you make a blog. The idea that people from around the world would want to listen to my rambling still surprises me. Anyways, check out the interview:

Expat-Blog Interview

Working in International Schools

When I was in Ecuador during the summer of 2010, I met a guy at a bar who told me he was here teaching American history. I was surprised, because that sounded way too good to be true. I wanted to teach American history, and I also wanted to live abroad, but I didn’t think it was possible to combine those. Here I am, two years later, living in Quito and teaching American history. I never got that guy's name, but if I got the chance to meet him I would smother him in gratitude for introducing me to a world of possibilities. There is a network of American and International schools around the planet that offer so much more to teachers than public schools in the States. Most have the International Baccalaureate curriculum, which is actually what I had in high school, so it is easy for teachers to hop around the world on the international teaching circuit. Right now I teach middle school humanities (8th World History, 9th US History) and 11th grade Theory of Knowledge (a philosophy type…