Culture Shock Got My Tongue


I’m usually someone who is comfortable with silence. Awkward, comfortable, days’ worth or simply minutes, I usually need some sort of silence to function and feel at peace. I can go hours ambling around my apartment (when I had one) with enough chatter in my head to never notice the gorgeous silence surrounding me. Five … Continue reading Culture Shock Got My Tongue

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You Can’t Go Home Again


After nearly nine months of living in South America, I set out on a pilgrimage to my first homestay in Ecuador 18 years ago. (Pardon me while I catch my breath.) There on a semester exchange program with my undergraduate institution, I lived with a host family for three months. That experience seared changes into … Continue reading You Can’t Go Home Again

There’s No Place Like Home


The beginning started in early July when the days on the calendar stretched out in neat numerical rows, blank and simmering with potential. Staring at them seemed daunting and simultaneously expectant as if about to read a great mystery. Now I am seven months into that story, each chapter reads as a folder of photos … Continue reading There’s No Place Like Home

Being Scared and Popping Bubbles


I never know when blog inspiration will strike. A bit like a yawn, it catches you off guard and you’re helpless to resist. Yet, if you try it becomes this awkward fight between biology and the mind. Considering when I last posted here, it’s been a rather uncomfortable few months. I am still uncomfortable, actually. … Continue reading Being Scared and Popping Bubbles

Metal Water Bottles Make Good Weapons…and Other Discoveries


Metal Water Bottles Make Good Weapons… and Other Discoveries Life in a small, rural, Ecuadorian village isn’t so different than perhaps anywhere else in the world: Most people know each other, there’s local chisme or gossip to feed upon, and just about everyone is eventually related in some fashion. Quite different from the Green Mountains, … Continue reading Metal Water Bottles Make Good Weapons…and Other Discoveries

Useless Alarms and Double Parked Cars


Stepping out of the Mariscal-Sucre airport after some super-fine, well-deserved, first-class service, I knew I’d found Quito again. The smell of diesel-spewing buses plunked long forgotten memories back into my exhausted mind. Again and again over the last week, a scent, a visual, a phrase, a sound has prompted a flood of familiarity so vague … Continue reading Useless Alarms and Double Parked Cars

Slaying the Dragon of Doubt


Sometimes it seems Hagrid and I have more in common than I think. Magical thinking tends to convince one that even the most perilous creatures are warm, fuzzy critters whose only intent is to love us unconditionally. Hagrid’s affinity for dragons is no exception; and apparently neither is mine. And instead of possessing the instinct … Continue reading Slaying the Dragon of Doubt