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

Cooking up Cross-cultural Understanding

It started with bringing two small-handled jugs of maple syrup to my family as a thank-you-for-hosting-me gift. As happened in Turkey, my family didn’t quite know what to make of the mapley liquid. The fact it came from trees somewhat wowed the younger ones in the extended family. I attempted to explain its fabulousness in … Continue reading Cooking up Cross-cultural Understanding

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

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Writing in my journal has long been a savior of mine, from the throes of high school angst to times like this when I retreat alone to my cuarto and encounter more emotions one could ever feel. Right now, as I settle into my new life in Ecuador, my journal contains fears, hopes, doubts, observations, … Continue reading Breaking Up is Hard to Do