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

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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

The Tortoise Catches Up with the Hare (and kicks some *ss)!


This sprinter may have finally figured out how to run and endure. It seems I’ve spent the majority of my life surviving; running at full speed from or to something, someone, or somewhere. It used to serve me; I was after all the fastest sprinter in my high school at the time. Despite how I … Continue reading The Tortoise Catches Up with the Hare (and kicks some *ss)!