(usually) Lost in Ecuador


Inolvidable
July 10, 2010, 4:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This

is a historic blog post. You’ve all stuck with me through happy spasms of blogs, depressed blogs, ‘I’m Going Somewhere Awesome and Oh My God It Is So Awesome’ blogs, ‘Man This Sucks’ blogs, ‘What Am I Doing Here?’ blogs, ‘I’M SO BORED AGHHHH’ frustration blogs and ‘I’m Finally Learning Spanish and Life Seems to be Okay Now’ blogs. Last August I’m guessing most of you tuned in, hopeful to get a little entertainment (or perhaps just to claim that you’d been following my doings) and now, this is my last blog post from Ecuador. Strange to think, I know. But before I get all reminiscent, why don’t we cover the week?

Last Sunday was another slow day. We’ve been having some familial technical difficulties around the house lately; Karen had moved all of her clothes and all of Jose Andres’ items to my grandmother’s house (on my host dad’s side; the house that Dad and Judy stayed in when they were here). Yeah, a little tense. They had a long, long discussion on Saturday night that I was not privy to, since it was a Karen/Host Mom thing, and I guess they got some sort of decision worked out since after we did the shopping on Sunday, we went over to pack up the rest of Karen’s things. We ended up staying there for 3 hours, to my slight annoyance – I was really tired, for some reason. I’ve been a bit more irritable than normal, if that’s possible for me, and I’m suffering from a serious bout of lethargy. I pretty much feel like sleeping. All the time.

Being a good girl, I decided to get up early on Monday and go to school. So I did. There was no school. So I went back home and went to sleep. Such is my life. Despite my lethargy, I was DESPERATE to do something in the afternoon. I just felt like the week would never end (although it’s gone really fast), so I walked around for about an hour outside. It didn’t take off the edge, but eh.

Tuesday I did attempt to go to school and finally succeeded. The only real reason I went was for Oliver, since it was his last day, and I wanted to say goodbye to him. I also managed to fob off all my pins on the happy masses of my class. Kevin was being stupid as usual; I told them all ‘take two’ and he takes six, and then tried to get more. I told him off in Spanish, and then proceeded to regulate the pins a little more strictly. Goodness gracious. Other than that, Tuesday was generally uneventful. Daniela came over to my house to talk for a bit in the night.

Wednesday all I had was Rotary, and I went with my host parents and Ketita since Ketita had to do a little presentation about the USA. To my excitement, my old host family and their son were there as well! It was so great to see them! You have no idea how much I missed them!

…I hope, dear reader, you can see the sarcasm in that statement. Actually it wasn’t a big deal. My life is not a soap opera, no matter how much I talk. We just never made eye contact/talked to each other for the entire meal, with my old host parents pointedly discussing the year with Ketita while I talked with Fernando on the other end of the table. It could’ve been worse. I wasn’t rude – I greeted and said goodbye to them, although I can’t say it was anything particularly fancy. I gotta wonder what they said to Fernando. My current host parents were cheerily talking about how amazing of an exchange student I am, how good I am with Jose Andres and helping around the house, and just generally how much they love me. I watched Xiomara and Jimmy exchange a look somewhere along the lines of ‘What?’. Yup. It is what it is. They never did pay my current host parents for the pension for December, but finally my host mom just said: “Forget it. They will never pay.” Pepe is the new president of the Rotary club, so he refitted the sound system and WANTS TO MAKE THE MEETINGS SHORTER (along with outfitting the club with a fully stocked bar). I let go a sigh of relief, although it will only apply to the kids next year.

Thursday morning I became irrationally frightened. I woke up at six in the morning to the sound of on-off, regular tapping noise that sounded like it came from my door. My sleepy mind tried any and all ways of rationalizing this sound, because it was coming from the bottom of the door – Maybe it was Jose Andres? No, he couldn’t knock like that for an extended period of time. Then I thought, something mechanical? And imagined a machine at my door knocking, but that wasn’t right. I was trying to keep myself from freaking out, because I kept telling myself there had to be some logical reason that that noise was occurring, but somehow the image of that creepy little girl from the Ring kept popping up in my mind, and I knew if I sat up I would die. I couldn’t go back to sleep since it frightened me so badly.

I finally sat up.

It was just the sound from my host mom’s treadmill. She’d moved it so it was right outside my room. I felt slightly silly, but I know it was mostly because I’d been still mostly asleep that I’d thought like that. Whatever.

Friday I wanted to go to school. Couldn’t. Got LOCKED IN THE HOUSE. Some bright person locked the door from the outside and I was the only one at home, so I had to patiently wait until someone got home at one in the afternoon. Nice, I know. I was disappointed – I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my course as a whole, although I did send messages to everyone that I had the email or Facebook of. Later that afternoon, Childerico came over with my passport (thank goodness that’s kind of important), and I’d been packing all afternoon. I’m pretty much done with my packing, thanks to yesterday – All I have left is shower stuff and my clothes for tomorrow. Please, God, don’t let my suitcases be overweight. It’s not like I have a ton of stuff. The problem is that IT’S ALL HEAVY. Thank the good Lord that I went home for that week or I would’ve DEFINITELY been overweight. I did a bit of shopping yesterday as well; I’m pretty much set. All I need to do is buy three more identical things. Last night I went with Daniela to the San Gregorio University (she made me a little pull over and got me a shirt for  going away gift! Awwwww.) and then we went to the Fiesta Facebook, which was pretty much a giant modeling show. I left early since the lights made my eyes hurt, and that brings us to today.

Saturday. My last ‘complete’ day in Ecuador. Tomorrow we’ll be going to Guayaquil right around five o’ clock, since I technically need to be in the airport three hours early, and my flight is at 11:10 at night. I. Can’t. Wait. Today I wanted to sleep more than I actually did; like I said, I’m uncommonly tired lately. I should probably go to church tomorrow (sigh I want to sleep in tomorrow), and today I think I’m skipping out on Amina’s little party thing to go do something with my host sisters. Eh. Like I said. I don’t really feel like doing anything but just having a little time to myself.

It’s been one incredible year. I wouldn’t say I’m a completely different person from the Allison who sat down to type my first blog a year ago, but I would definitely say I’ve changed (hopefully for the better!), week by week. I’ve learned more about myself here than I ever could’ve just by staying in the United States, and although there’s still a lot I don’t know, I’m willing to continue growing. I’ve seen breathtaking sights that most people go their entire lives without even knowing they exist. My memories consist of not only the times when my life was perfect, but also the times when I had to struggle through. Even when I did have to, I always knew that this was the best time of my life so far. I can’t forget the people that I’ve been so blessed to meet – My host family (Carlotta, Alberto, Ketita, Jose Alberto, Karen, Jose Andres), Course Sexto F of Manabi Technologico, the Rotary companeros in my club Portoviejo Rotary, my other Ecuadorian friends, and last but certainly not least, the exchange students that were like my family and although they aren’t here anymore, I’m keeping them close in heart (….I’m being cheesy today). Hopefully I’ll be going to Europe next summer, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Thank you so so so much to my family, especially my Mom , Dad, Brent, and Lindsay, who have supported me every step of the way and ensured that every day of my year was the best it could be with their love and words, even though they are thousands of miles away at the moment. I really do love you guys! I don’t know exactly who is reading this thing, but to my friends who tell me they miss me and talk about what I’m missing and rail at me for leaving, I love you – Even though you thought you were giving me a bad time for not being there, it just reminded me that nobody has forgotten me and I’m still loved over there. AND TO MY ROTARY CLUB (if any of you are reading aside from Dad) THANK YOU. Without you, this year would’ve never happened – Even though I signed up late, you got me on board!

This next year will be a decisive one. On July 19th, my mom’s family is relocating into a smaller nearby house, so it’ll be a rush to try to get that figured out in the short time I have to get everything sorted out. I find it ironic that I have to pack again as soon as I get back. I also go to Clearwater Arts Camp at the end of July, and then I have to get my school year all sorted out, and keep up the sports and the such. Many kids here worry about having to return to the ‘real life’, and for a short time, I worried about it as well, but now I look forward to it. I know now that I am perfectly equipped to handle it, and the truth is, I’m ready to go home.

Again, my love and gratitude to all of you, and hopefully, hasta luego! I’ll see you all soon, and God bless!

Chao, por la ultima vez.

(Man, I have to eat like, half a bag of chifles. I don’t want to throw them away because they’re so good, but I bought too many… Oops is an understatement.)

(Okay, who else thought Justin Beiber was a girl the first time they heard that song ‘Baby’? I’m not kidding. I was so shocked.)



Meet Me Halfway
July 4, 2010, 2:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello my fellow residents of the United States (I choose to believe most of you are from the USA). It’s around 9:30 on a Saturday night here in Portoviejo, Ecuador, and we had just lovely weather today, although I didn’t get out much. Oops! All I did today was clean house, exercise while watching Sleeping Beauty (yup) and then we went to the end half of a birthday party for a close relative. Karen ended up in tears at the end for some reason… I didn’t understand why, as I only caught a bit of the conversation. It’s been a little tense around the house lately; Karen expressed a desire to me to move out, and I think she might actually do it.

Anyways, last Monday. I went to school, yada, didn’t do anything there. Monika showed up right around break to say goodbye, and we skipped out on the rest of school to go to Centro with her so she could get some last minute shopping done (she didn’t actually buy anything). Oskar hung out with us too, right there at the end, and then we all went home to eat lunch. A couple girls from my course, Monika, and Jan came over to my house just to talk a bit, and then that was that.

Tuesday. Eh. I got up at 8:00, and, um, school starts at 7:00. Yeah, I hadn’t been planning on going. Instead, I slept in a bit, and then I went over to Jan’s house at 8:30, since we’d determined that I’d be going over as it was his last day here. He was a little annoyed with me, I’m afraid; although I believe it was more of nervousness about getting everything done and then that odd mixture of feelings you get when you’re about to leave more than anything else. We went to school so he could say goodbye to everyone, then it was back down to Centro with Monika again (Japan and someone were playing soccer, can’t remember who, but Japan lost… Was it Paraguay?) so they could buy flowers for their host families. Back to Jan’s house, we ate lunch, and then it was time to wait. His host mom showed up and we had civil conversation, but yeah, finally, it was time for him to leave. They dropped me off at my house, and I guess you could say it was emotional for me. I told Jan I was afraid I was going to cry (which I did, profusely), and he told me not to think about it. Pfft. Germans. It was pretty much one of the toughest days for me. I don’t know how to write about it, really… How am I supposed to describe that? It’s rather bittersweet, really. I might get to go to Europe next summer if I’m a good/lucky girl; so I have that to look forward to. But a year still seems like such a terribly long time to wait to seem them all. Oskar and Monika came over a little later, although I was still under the weather, you could say. They took me down to Centro with Florian where I proceeded to start crying AGAIN when I had to say goodbye to Monika and Oskar. Oh dear.

That night I went over to Florian’s house for a bit, to cheer myself up, and we talked for a bit with Marvin before we had to go. Didn’t cry that time, thank goodness.

Wednesday I couldn’t go to school. Really, I couldn’t make myself. So instead I slept for a long time, lazed around the house. I went to Rotary that night, but imagine my surprise when the taxi pulls up and the club is completely dark. We didn’t have a meeting; but no one bothered to tell me. Thanks, guys, thanks… A waste of two dollars.

Thursday I did go to school, although it was with reluctance. As I feared, I was feeling a little ‘down’ when we were even lining up to head into class. I was doing so-so up until the break, and yup, you guessed it! Started crying again. Everyone kept asking me about Monika and Jan and if I missed them and where were they and if I’d ever see them again, and it was impossible NOT to start crying. At least I wasn’t wearing mascara, and my classmates were extremely supportive of me. I went to Oliver’s class after the break, just so I wouldn’t be alone in my class. I mean, not alone, but I’d gotten so used to having Monika and Jan with me that being there was almost a physical reminder that yes, they’d left and I was alone. I know I’m technically not alone, but it sure felt like it. Everywhere I go I remember doing something with the people that have left, and I can’t help but be waiting for them to show up even though I know they’re not crying. Oh man, gotta stop this – I’ll make myself tear up again.

Friday, again, I didn’t go to school. But it wasn’t because of my emotional girly feelings, oh no – They’ve started exams and I’m avoiding them religiously. I went out with Daniela and a couple of her friends. We wanted to go to the Don Omar concert, but we just ended up sitting on the sidewalk talking, which was fine with me as well.

Today I already talked about, right? ;D I guess the countdown is beginning. This is my second to last post, now. I haven’t the faintest if I’ll do a follow up post when I’m in the US. I probably will out of habit, but just to think – I only have a week left here, and then I’m gone. As for how I feel, I’ve been exercising the heck out of myself and going to bed early every night. It helps. I’m not staying home alone, either – I get out and do stuff. I love Ecuador, but it isn’t the same now. I guess I’m kind of just waiting for not this Sunday, but next Sunday.

Love you all, until next week – My last post in Ecuador!

Chao!



EGOISTA
June 28, 2010, 1:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hurr. Hurr. Hurr.

So I actually DID start writing yesterday. I just got, I dunno, distracted. I thought Friday was Saturday because I was so confused and happy and whatever, but I got myself straightened out. Alrighty then. So, what do we have here?

Let’s do something fun and work our way backwards.

Today; Sunday: I woke up. And cleaned the house. Yup, I must be desperate. The house was nice looking afterwards. We went out to eat, then I came back and at four in the afternoon I COOKED BBY. Jan came over and made some pudding stuff (which I am eating right now), and cut onions/carrots/green peppers for the stew I made. Oh my God, he eats red peppers raw. Germans. The stew turned out nummy, thank God; I was worried that it tasted too much like pepper but I guess it was alright.

Yesterday; Saturday: I DID NOTHING. Well, I cleaned more house, and I went to go get ingredients for aforementioned stew, and then it was my host dad’s birthday so we had a nutso time providing food for 18 people in a dinner party. Yay for supervised drinking! (I’m kidding. It was a chocolate smoothie laced with something not strong; no big deal.)

Friday: We had no school due to it being… Some independence day or something for Manabi. Anyways, that was happy. I slept in and was confused when I woke up, hence trying to write my blog. I did go to a party with Daniela, my Ecuadorian best friend (aside from Ketty of course who I now love dearly). Yay for unsupervised drinking! (KIDDING I DON’T LIKE BEER) It was a good party; but we were only there for roughly two hours, and it was impossible to hear anything due to the noise.

Thursday: Had school. Of course. We took course photos for Jan, who leaves Tuesday. Cynthia had a party in her house that night, and I was reluctant to go, since, well, it was in my old host family’s house. So understandably I was a little nervous about it. Jan and I went to Lukas’s house in the afternoon, since he was leaving Friday, and he invited us over for pizza, so we figured we would go eat pizza at his house, and then go to Cynthia’s party. Hee. I didn’t make it there, and neither did Jan – We hung out with Florian and Lukas until almost one in the morning. Lukas’s parents are so chill. Yay for supervised drinking with adults who are drinking as well! (…mostly kidding). I can also discreetly mention here that THURSDAY WAS ONE OF THE BEST NIGHTS OF MY LIFE AND I DIDN’T SLEEP (hence being exhausted the next day). May I note, this isn’t because Lukas left; I love the kid ;D It was just a good night. Believe it.

Wednesday: ROTARY MEETING. I had my ‘going away’ speech then, despite the fact that I still had two and a half weeks to go. I had two weeks to write aforementioned speech. I wrote it ten minutes before the meeting. Eh. If it had been in English, I would’ve just winged it, like I usually do. It turned out alright. I can say I had the CHEESIEST speech, but the best part about Spanish speeches? They’re all cheesy. Something about the language just allows it. Yay for not drinking!

Tuesday: Ummm. School?

Monday: YAY FOR… wearing flip flops to school. Originally I wore flippy floppies because of my damaged toe. Now I wear them because 1. they’re more comfortable 2. my school flats are dead and no longer reglueable 3. nobody cares. I love my classmates. They still tease me like heck (sometimes worse now that Jan is here) and I miss Monika, since she doesn’t bother to come to school, but they’re so amazing. They want to throw a party for me before I leave. Awww.

Sunday: I wrote my blog last Sunday. And it was Father’s Day.

Now that was fun, wasn’t it? I guess I should finish my laundry, then skippity off to bed (iron my clothes somewhere in there). I want to watch Toy Story 3. Prince of Persia was an awesome movie. There’s a bit of stress going on for me at the moment due to the fact everyone’s LEAVING ME THE JERKS and a couple family issues, but aside from that, all I really have to worry about is the fact that

OH MY GOD I HAVE TO GO BACK TO MY REAL LIFE IN TWO WEEKS

Te quiero mucho =)

Ciaoooo hasta la proxima semana~



You Know, Real Food
June 21, 2010, 12:08 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t particularly feel like posting. But I still have a dogged loyalty to my poor blog, so here I go. I guess the first reason I don’t feel like posting is because I was lazy with my diary this week, so I actually have to think about what happened. Oh well. Let’s see what happens.

Sooo I didn’t have the web for a bit last week, due to the fact my uncle hadn’t thought to pay the web bill while my host parents were gone. But I did go out to the disco with Ketty!!1!!!1111!! We went to a place called Copa Cabana, mostly known for the giant humongo bowls that they serve the alcohol in that are shared by a table. I didn’t drink a drop, and good thing – I ended up in the bathroom with Ketty, who found she couldn’t speak/understand Spanish and I had to translate for her. She passed out on the way back home, but I somehow got her in. It was, well, interesting.

Host parents got back the next day, with enough suitcases to kill somebody. They had SO MUCH STUFF it was just incredible. I don’t know how they got onto the plane. But anyways, the house was a mess for a couple days. It’s so great to have Ketty here – I hate to play favorites, but Ketty is my favorite. She’s closest to my age, and we get along fine and dandy.

School was school. Nothing really happened, I swear to God. After school Tuesday I went with Monika and Ketty to Centro just to hang out. It was Ketty’s first time in Centro after having been gone, and she was SO nervous. Monika and I on the other hand were cool as cucumbers. Of course, it was because Ketita was nervous that something had to happen… We were walking back to the shop of Monika’s family, and Monika suddenly pulls us along, saying nervously, “That guy behind us is…. excited.” Shocked, Ketty and I both looked and confirmed this, and we quickly headed to the shop with nervous giggles.

We exited 10 minutes later, and began walking down the street again. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the same guy pushes past me (I was walking behind Ketty) and grabs Ketty’s hips from behind and I’m not kidding, held her there. TALK ABOUT DISGUSTING. She hit him and he ran off, and the ladies in the shop nearby were just sitting there with their mouths wide open as poor Ketty tried not to cry. It was horrid!

Wednesday we had Rotary meeting aka the Dia del Padre celebracion (Father’s Day Celebration), so that was uncomfortably long. I had to leave early, unfortunately, as I was in a good deal of pain from those gosh darn cysts. I didn’t go to school the next day, either; just a chill day.

Anyways, the next thing that happened was on Friday when, oops! Someone locked me out of my room! Ugh. It was so hot that day and highly annoying, so I just fell asleep on the couch still in my uniform. NOBODY has a key for my room, either, so we had to have one of the boys who works in the water purification factory climb through a tiny window that connects my bathroom to the living room. Ergh… But I was out of my room the entire afternoon, so Jan came over and talked with me for a bit before we went to Shopping to print off a photo for Juliette. It was her birthday yesterday, so she had a party, but had to cancel it since her grandpa is in the hospital.

That night I tried to go to the Traffic Light Party, but, um, we couldn’t find it. That’s right, you heard me. So instead we went to a bar! Isn’t life dandy!

Saturday, I woke up to the police in my house. No, I didn’t do what you think I did, to begin with. It was because the maid who was here has been ritualistically stealing things from my family and she got caught, so the police were here and then we went downtown to file a report. I bet I’m the only exchange student in Portoviejo who has had a chance to go down there!

That’s the short story of my week. Now I’m here. Just chillin’.

21 days?

Ciao, until next week.

(Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you!)



WAKA WAKA
June 15, 2010, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hey guys, long time no write, I know. But I do believe I’ve already told my excuse, so let’s get right down to work.

Dad and Judy showed up here at my house on Wednesday afternoon, much to my relief. Turns out they’d been lost in Portoviejo for about an hour. I was thankful they got THAT far. Both of them were tired, but glad to be here, and we got them all settled down in my grandfather’s house (free is a better price than any hotel!) and then Dad and I ran down to Rotary, which was, oddly enough, celebrating Mother’s Day. Hm. There’s been odder things.

The next day, we went to school real quick so I could play some basketball. We had the Olympics that week, so it was all sports, all morning, not that I mind much. After that we went to Manta to spend a little time at the beach. It was a little unrealistic to me – After all, I’ve been ‘away’ from my family here for so long that it feels like this is my place, and then my family shows up! It was great, don’t get me wrong, but slightly disorienting. We left Manta around 6:00 after I’d been doing some hardcore translating. My host mom was quiet, perhaps because she’s not familiar with Dad and Judy and she doesn’t speak English. After that it was straight off to Guayaquil since we had a reservation for the night in the Oro Verde Hotel. The road was a little harrowing, since all along Jipijapa had been torn up and this being Ecuador, there was no signs warning this and Judy kept saying we were on the wrong road, but again, we made it in one piece.

Friday was a chill out day for me, and I mostly, ahem, watched Fox News. River came over briefly in the afternoon to talk with me and eat cheesecake, and we went out to eat lunch at a nice restaurant, although the ceviche wasn’t lemony enough. Hey, I’m a coast girl. When I want my ceviche, I want enough lime to knock out a cow. On Saturday kids started showing up, and I went with the Riobamba girls to Burger King for lunch and then it was over to the place we were staying with Rotary at two. We got to hang out for awhile, so a couple of us went down to the Malecon to walk around and eat McDonalds. The Flag Parade at the District Conference was at 5:00, although it started at 6:00, and then we all got to be antsy in our chairs for an hour. Then it was back to the Malecon for an official tour, and then we all stayed up much, much too late.

Okay, I have a confession to make. I’m not planning on going through every day of the Sierra Trip for you right here. One, I don’t remember the exact chain of events, two, some of the stuff we did frankly wasn’t very interesting, but I’ll see if I can at least get the chain of days in correct order. I love the Sierra with a passion. Not only is the weather exactly my type (COLD BABY) but it’s just so lovely up in the mountains. It’s a lovely rich green, everywhere. We walked along the streets of Cuenca alone at night, where the recent rain made the sidewalks shine, and chased llamas (not kidding) at a Inga temple site. We held live shrimp in our hands and snuck back into our correct gender rooms at four in the morning while surreptitiously hiding bottles (erm not me really), although Rotary didn’t care much anyways. I wandered around Otovalo for three hours with my best friend, the largest market in Ecuador at 10 by 10 blocks, and then I sat in a small café by myself for an hour eating a brownie, drinking hot chocolate, and reading a Neil Gaiman book (when they advertise delicious American food you go get it) while wrapped in a scarf and a sweater. We heard about the Llama Mama, no joke, and ate llama and ostrich meat, and saw incredible monuments to God in Quito. The best part of all of this? I was with people who like me very much, and I like them very much back. When we completed the Paseo Manabi, we all told each other not to worry, that we’d be seeing everyone again at the end of the year and that wasn’t such a long time. Now, we don’t have that certainty, and we’re sure that we will never be all in one place at the same time again like we are now. The world is simply too big.

Despite the looming event of our years winding down to an end, it was impossible NOT to have an amazing trip. I’m so glad I didn’t stay in the US when I went back in May, no matter how attractive it seemed, because I wouldn’t have missed this trip for the life of me. I only wish that we’d had more time to spend together. I swear I cried for a good hour, what with us saying goodbye for half an hour and then on the bus. I know there are lots of people that I will definitely see again because they’re simply too stubborn to just lurk back to their houses for eternity, but gosh darn it, why couldn’t I have been European!?! THE US IS TOO BIG AND I LIVE TOO FAR AWAY.

It’s been an odd week. When I got home on Sunday, it was to the discovery that Karen had jacked my room after she’d broken the AC and the bed in her room. “Well, Allison.” You say. “Where did you sleep?” Don’t laugh too hard, please – She made me sleep in the crib. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. It’s one of those big bed sized ones so the mom can sleep with her kid, but it was still kind of weird. Not to mention hot. You should’ve seen the look of incredulity on Monika’s face when I told her. Eh. Anyways, I finally got my room back, thank Jesus, after I was about ready to murder Karen since she’d been liberally making use of the room and the items contained in it. I still can’t find a couple things. Ketita, my host sister, arrived into Guayaquil at 11:00 at night on Wednesday, so they got here around 6:00 in the afternoon on Friday after spending time in Guayaquil. It was AMAZING. I love Ketty! She’s a closer fit to me than Karen is, and I get the feeling we’re going to get along just peachy. We went to the University last night (Friday that is) so Ketty could catch up with everyone, and I tagged along because we went out afterwards. We, um, got back to the house at 2:30… With Teresa (Karen’s best friend) and a guy named Antonino in tow, but they left at 4. It was a little odd. I was just so tired that I really wasn’t processing much, and it was a relief to fall into bed, although I had to sleep in Karen’s room again, thankfully NOT in the crib.

As for school, it’s been school like. All of the exchange kids have either left or just aren’t going to school anymore, so it’s just Jan, Oliver, and I, with Monika showing up infrequently and Florian even less frequently. Oliver’s not in my course, so Jan and I usually just end up talking for most of the day and after about half an hour, he starts giving me a bad time since his attention span seems to have decreased exponentially. Poor kid. He’s been having a tough time with his host mom, still – I’m a little worried for him, since I’m not sure what he’s going to do, but he’s not like me, despite the similarities in the situations (him with his host mom, me with my ex-host mom). He’s already talked to Fernando, his councilor, who declined to help, and I know he just won’t sit still. Jan’s got 17 days left, but it probably seems like the longest time in the world. Anyways.

We had Rotary last Wednesday as well, which served as the “SAY GOODBYE!” time for Cynthia, Lukas, Luke, Min Chia, and a letter from Leslie, since she already left. Jan, Juliette, and I get to do ours not this week, but next week, since this week is a Father’s Day celebration. Lukas was trying his best to leave the meeting early, since he was trying to surreptitiously catch the last bus to Quito with Florian, Marvin, and Oskar. Too bad he was so pushy, since it made Fernando suspicious, but luckily the kid apologized before he left. He should’ve played it cool. The next day the kids in my club went and ate ice cream at Pepe’s house with Fernando, who was still suspicious since Lukas didn’t show again, and then it was over to Luke’s house for another impromptu going away party. It’s really weird. I’ve already cried for people leaving, now there’s really nothing weird except a weird empty feeling or whatever. Another weird thing: Drinking with Rotarians. Ugh.

That’s all I got, folks. I’m hoping Ketty and Karen don’t want to go out again tonight – I was sleeping for most of today and it got me all disoriented. I don’t know where they are right now anyways. Next Friday my course from school is having a Traffic Light Party (haha, the name is actually in English on the invitations) so if you’re single you wear green, yellow is undecided, red is taken. Does this seem like a setup to anyone else? Do I have to go? There’s no internet for some reason right now, and my host parents get back tomorrow. I’m faulting only a couple weeks until I leave, as well. July 11th guys… Back in the US on the 12th.

Love you all lots. If you want more detail on the trip, just gimme a ring, although I doubt…

Chao!

(MUNDIAL GUYS!!!

By the way, apologies for the late post. Internet’s been spazzy…)



Flying is Learning How to Throw Yourself at the Ground and Miss
May 22, 2010, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Good morning world. It’s 10:12 Ecuador time, and I have absolutely nothing pressing to do today. Fascinating, am I correct? All I’ve done today is clean the floor, clean my shoes, and get a talking to from my host mom. That’s right. Allison got in a spot of trouble. Well, it wasn’t really so much trouble as it was just an admonishment. I’ve had Jan over to the house hundreds of times (and more so lately because he’s been having problems at his house), but Friday, host mom decided that it simply just wasn’t alright. Oh well. She just told me she didn’t like it, I said I understood, she said she wanted good communication between us, and that was the end of it. No biggie.

Let’s skip back to last Sunday. I said I would go to church, didn’t I? HA. Instead I slept, not that my host mom minded since she was horridly sick. We pretty much hung out for the day, and then randomly around seven o’ clock at night, Josh and Collin show up at my house, telling me they’d been desperately trying to call me. My cell phone had bit the dust, so of course I hadn’t heard anything, but basically, they told me Emily (from Australia lives in Quito) was coming to Portoviejo on Monday and she needed a place to stay for the week. They wanted to know if she could stay here. I looked at them doubtfully, pursed my lips and twisted my hands as the two of them shot puppy eyes. I knew I’d have to ask HM, being that permission from her would be hard obtained, not to mention there was a certain amount of risk involved. Emily didn’t tell Rotary in Quito and definitely not MY Rotary club, so if this crashed on her head, it would be my head as well.

But all I did was nod.

Surprisingly, my host mom said yes quickly, and we were a go. Karen was in on all of this, as she was the ‘contact number’ for Emily’s mom. Somehow…. It seemed like it was all going to go off without a hitch. The next day, I went to the terminal in the afternoon to go pick up Emily. I wandered around a bit drawing attention, then I finally got a phone call from her. After discussion, it was decided that Emily was thoroughly lost. I hadn’t known that there was a smaller terminal in Centro that was sometimes used. Ugh. But I got her down to my house, although she somehow lost her cell phone in a taxi within half an hour of getting into Portoviejo. We went to Luke’s house, hung out there, then back to my house for the night. We made a quick drive to Manta for some money thing with my host parents, then came back to Portoviejo and ate hamburgers before collapsing.

Tuesday was Emily’s first day in my school, and no surprise – She loved it. She said she has no exchange kiddies in her school, so having 11 of us all in one place must’ve been quite the experience. I got not one question from any teacher or inspector; they’re so used to us just showing up with random people they don’t even bother to ask anymore. It was on Tuesday night that we got our little shock… Emily’s mom called Karen’s cell to tell Emily to call her (since Emily lost her cell phone) so we did. Emily’s host mom had talked to the Quito Rotary about Emily going to Portoviejo… OOPS. Quito didn’t have the same reaction as Fernando, thank God; they seem to be rather chill about the entire thing, but they moved Emily’s return date up to Thursday. They actually wanted her to take a plane back to Quito, but that was definitely out of the question.

Wednesday was another tricky day. I have Rotary every Wednesday of course, but Emily couldn’t go to the Rotary meeting with me. So she just stayed with a couple of the boys and they went out together and I picked her up after the Rotary meeting. The district trip is approaching frighteningly fast. I see my Dad and Judy next Wednesday, and then… Wow. Less than a week and it’s the last trip, and then people begin to leave. Time’s like liquid. Fernando didn’t show last week, so I didn’t get to ask him about going to Guayaquil with Dad and Judy a day earlier. Looks like the exchange kiddies go down on the 28th to Guayaquil, but I want to stay the night there with my parental units on the 27th. I’ll be going to the beach on Thursday (probably Crucita. I wish it was Manta. Manta is better.) with Dad and Judy; depending if the host parents decide to come along I might be able to tow a couple of the exchange kiddies with me if we go by bus, which is so much cheaper anyways. I hope they let me alone so we can go to Manta.

Thursday, we got Emily all packed off to Quito, and we got our uniforms for the school Olympics. Did I mention? No? We have no school all next week, just sports playing! In other words, I get to go be athletic for the entire week in volleyball and basketball. And for the girls we’re playing six on six volleyball. I will totally rule at this. But anyways, we bought new uniforms for it at sixteen bucks a pop, but I got cheated on my shirt. They gave me one two sizes too small and with my name spelled as ‘Alisson’ even though I’d given the lady a piece of paper with my name on it. Fail. So she took it back and we’re hoping I get a good one on Monday. The boys uniforms look so much nicer than ours… I’m jealous. We had a ‘desfile’, or parade on Thursday night to start it all off. It was also a mini modeling show, and we had Monika be the model for our class. She looked quite stunning, but she got second place and was disappointed. I have lots of pictures to post up on Facebook; I think I’ll do that today.

Friday I went to go watch Jan and Oliver do the track and field events. I threw the shot put too because I could, and I’m still pretty good at it. Poor Oliver did the distance run and was dying by the end of it, and Jan did long jump (I got some funny pictures of that too). Sports for me start on Monday, and I’m excited for it! Tomorrow it just looks like another hang out day, although I have a couple of movies to watch, so that might help it roll along.

Love you all lots and lots, and I can’t wait to see you (Dad & Judy)!

Next blog update = ??? I doubt I’ll be able to get on during the trip, so it’ll probably be after the trip in another SUPER BLOG post which is a million pages along. We’ll see.

Also I LOVE EMILY SORG AWESOME PACKAGE



Why Do Girls Put This Gunky Stuff on Our Eyelashes When It Smears and Doesn’t Wash Off Well?
May 16, 2010, 6:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s actually Sunday here, but let’s say it’s Saturday. It’s Saturday in Washington, anyways. I’m writing very late at night, but I lay down in bed and the ‘blog blog blog’ instinct just nagged at me insistently so I figured I should just get it over with. Not that it’s a task or I have anything pressing to discuss, but here I am in any case.

So I went to the U.S. of A.

YEAHHHHH BABY

People ask me, “How was your trip?” and I just make some incoherent noises at them. It was one of the strangest and most amazing weeks of my life. I’m not going to go through and describe it all, since this is my Ecuador blog, but impact-wise, it’s been odd. It seems as though someone up there was looking out for me traveling-wise, since whenever I had a problem or just needed someone since I was having a mini freak out, someone was always there to help me out or point me in the right direction. Thank YOU. I was an emotional wreak; nervous and overjoyed and creeped out and I could cry at the drop of a hat. I missed the exchange students, but being in Washington with my Mom and Dad and then Sissy’s wedding (on a side note my sister was pretty much the most beautiful bride I had ever seen, and Brent GREW MORE and is now tall, that silly boy) and going back to school… Only one person told me I was ‘different’, Mr. Nedved (my scripture teacher from last year) and it was after perhaps a minute of talking to me. It didn’t really sink in for me until I got to Dad’s house and I went down to the dock for an hour, and I put my feet in the water, even though it was frigging FREEZING out there, and I looked around and thought to myself, “This place doesn’t change but I have and will.” Creepy, am I right? But it was just… Oh. I have no words, which is unusual for me, as most of you know. I don’t feel the same. It’s not something tangible, and most people can’t tell, but sometimes I wonder if I know myself any more – Or if I ever knew myself to begin with and now I do know and I’m just getting used to the idea. But moving right along.

I stayed the night at River’s house when I got back, and I got up around noon since I was jet lagged. We got her ear pierced real quick, the tough chickie, and then it was off to the Manta Express to take a bus-car thing back to Portoviejo. I got back here around 6:00 in the afternoon on Thursday, and it didn’t feel real. I felt like I hadn’t left at all although I knew I had. My room’s been rearranged a bit, ugh, hate it when they do that when I go away on a trip, but everything’s the same. The maid they hired got fired (THAT RHYMES) because some things were going missing, but Karen expects that we shall hire a new lady sometime this next week. Going to school on Friday? THAT was fun. Monika unfortunately got dengue, a nasty flu passed around by mosquitoes, so I didn’t get to see her, but the look of joy on Laura’s face when I handed her a 24 oz. Rockstar was hilarious and oh-so-worth it. We’ve been having Twinkie Time for the Europeans, who have never had Twinkies before, and people were glad to see me. We walked home, and Friday night we went out to Bono (the bar) to celebrate a bit, aka more Twinkie time. Got home and collapsed into bed, and woke up the next morning to my cell phone after having a lovely dream.

Now, we have an English project that includes making a short video in English, but I wasn’t planning on going to help them in the morning considering I wasn’t in any of the groups. I got a call from Jan saying that he was going to be late since his mom had disappeared for a bit, and after calling around it was discovered that none of us have the phone numbers of my classmates, so I tiredly offered to go tell them he’d be late, which involved me crawling out of bed. Aren’t I a good friend? But I got roped into filming and narrating for the group, so when Jan finally DID show up, I’d taken his spot. I’m an excellent friend. It was pretty funny, since it included cross dressing and HORRID English, so we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and then I headed back home to do some cleaning and lunch eating.

I went out again tonight, since it was Lukas Bauer’s birthday barbeque. Yes, I did hit him with the belt. I got him goooooood. But Josh did better – Poor Lukas actually got a small cut! Florian hit him pretty hard too, so us girls took pity on him at the end of his sixteen whippings and tapped him with the belts. It was a small party, perhaps 13 of us, and therefore more relaxed, so we didn’t have to do too much, just hang out. Tomorrow (today) I head to church bright and early. Exciting, I know. I’m going to bed so early tomorrow night… I’m actually headed to bed now.  I know this is a bit of a short post, but again, skipping USA stuff and including exhaustion, I’ve got rights.

I love all of you guys out there, and July 11th is my leave date, so it’ll be quick.

Ciao for now, mis amores. Keep in touch. Your next update is next week on Saturday, and the weeks go quickly from now on… Four weekends my two best friends leave, two and people begin to disappear.

(I love you Mom)

(I love you Dad)

(I love my friends & family)

(…I LOVE MY LIFE)