Showing posts from November, 2012

When Did I Grow Up?

I still have the ‘when I grow up’ mindset. The truth is that a career with a stable salary, dinner parties, a real grown up apartment, all of those things that I envisioned as adulthood, are here. Even though I have a Master’s Degree and a steady job, it’s hard sometimes not to feel like I’m faking it.

People my age have husbands and babies and mortgages and car payments, and I feel like I’m a fraud in my life sometimes. Who am I to pretend to be a serious person with real responsibilities? I’m realizing more and more that I didn’t snap into adulthood, it was a slow process of different jobs held, countries explored, degrees earned, and financial responsibilities.

So this teaching thing, it’s not something I’m doing for money or doing to build up my resume for future jobs, it’s my career. I am a professional. A trained, certified, respected (hopefully) history teacher.

 I create lesson plans and tests and print materials and grade essays and discipline children and contact parents and…

Thankful in Quito

Things are going well here in Ecuador, and this Thanksigiving I have a lot to be thankful for (even if I had to work today, booooo).

1. My roommate Laura, who has made my experience in Quito a million times better than it would have been on my own.

Laura and a friend last weekend hanging out in Quito
2. An amazing job at an international school in Quito. I have heard horror stories about other international schools here in Ecuador and around the world, and I gotta say, I have it pretty lucky here. My school is supportive and positive and a generally stress free place to work. Plus, I love teaching! My students rock!

3. My ability to travel. Thank goodness I have the means to explore the world. This year I went to Israel and Colombia. Next year I am going to London and Amsterdam, and who knows where else. Also, I am going to the cloud forest tomorrow!

4. A supportive family. I had this discussion last week with some friends. My family is nothing but supportive of my crazy life choices.…

Ambassadors' Wives Event in Quito

One of my favorite events last year was the big convention the Ambassadors' wives held in Parque La Carolina. Each embassy had a booth with food, art, wine, and crafts from their country. I remember sampling Israeli food in particular and loving the hummus. Sadly, I did not take any photos, but fear not! The same event happened again today, but at a different venue this year.

The crowd at La Bazar de Naciones
Entrance into the food booths
Laura heading down the stairs... ready to feast!
La Bazar de Naciones took place in an old military hospital turned event center (I previously blogged about an artisan market that happened there). As much as I love the building, it was not well suited for a huge food convention like this. Because of the limited courtyard and patio space, there were not nearly as many food booths as last year. I still managed to eat food from about 4 different countries.

Me eating some coca ice cream from the Bolivia stand
Egyptian roasted eggplant dish
I spent the whole…

Where to Next?

In the international teaching circuit, most hiring for the upcoming school year gets done between December-February. I am starting the process of contacting schools and narrowing down my choices. Ultimately, it comes down to where I get an offer, but hopefully I will have some say.

Money is sort of irrelevant for me, I'm used to living paycheck to paycheck and I don't need fancy things. This time around, I want somewhere where I feel safe, somewhere with a happening nightlife and cool cultural events. Street side cafes and pedestrian walkways, tattoo parlors and comic book stores, consistent public transportation. So, readers, where do you think I should go to next?
Tel Aviv, IsraelSeoul, South KoreaHong KongZurich, Switzerland SingaporeBelgrade, SerbiaBogota, ColombiaSantiago, ChileTokyo, Japan Istanbul, TurkeyMoscow, RussiaUtrecht, Netherlands Sofia, BulgariaBangkok, ThailandBudapest, HungaryBeirut, Lebanon Saigon, VietnamKrakow, PolandVienna, Austria

WTF Wednesday?!

Typical line for the ATM at my grocery  store (which is cash only)

Abandoned in a Third World Country

This post’s title is definitely an exaggeration. But sometimes when I reflect on my situation, that’s really how I feel. Things weren’t supposed to be like this. Let’s rewind two years, to winter break 2010.

I was in love with an American living in Central America. After years of traveling back and forth across oceans to spend time together, we finally decided it was time we try to make it work in the same country. My plan? Get to Latin America by any means possible. Was it my first choice? NO!!

I took Spanish in high school and college because it was convenient. I had traveled to Peru because my uncle the flight attendant conveniently got my mom and I free flights there. I had volunteered in Ecuador summer of 2010 because my best friend from home wanted to spend a summer practicing Spanish and volunteering.

I don’t regret any of this, I just don’t know if I would have picked Latin America if it were up to me. Asia, the Middle East, and Europe all call to me. Bolivia, not so much.

I w…

Exploring on a Sunday

I love weekends in Quito. This city has so much going on under the surface. If you are visiting as a tourist, I don't feel like you really get to experience everything Quito has to offer. You really have to live here and have time to wander and explore and venture to where ever calls you to get a sense of it.

Wandering down a random stairwell into the city
My dad asked me to take a photo at a KFC  to prove not everything in Ecuador is beautiful
Cool art in the city
I love stumbling across the random farmer's markets that pop up all over the city, or big artisan markets of jewelry and art. Last weekend it was a beautiful day out, so Laura and I decided to wander around the Mariscal neighborhood until we found a good brunch place. On a sunny Sunday, Mariscal is such a cute neighborhood, despite most things being closed. Ecuador is a dry country on Sundays so a lot of restaurants don't bother opening as employees spend the day with family.

My favorite bookstore in Quito, but this …

An Expat Halloween Bonanza!

Since Laura and I are getting evicted, we decided to destroy our apartment with a Halloween rager before we moved out since we probably won't get our deposit back anyways.

(just kidding)

But we really did have a crazy Halloween fiesta. We were afraid to leave our apartment the next day for fear that our whole gated community was going to form a lynch mob and make an example of us. After about 5 hours of cleaning, things are back to normal around here.

Let me just says, expats are crazy people that go all out. Looking through all of the photos from that night, as a single girl I can't help notice it's all couples! Is the expat community EVERYWHERE all couples?! Just wonderin'. Here's a taste of some of the best costumes.

Chester Cheetah and Tony the Tiger (moi!)
Slutty Grandpa (he stripped down to a diaper later in the night)
Everyone showed up with food!
Daryl Hannah's character from the movie Splash
Binders full of women!
Awesome pirates
Frida Kahlo- runner up of the…