Friends + Family,
Sorry for the rambliness.
This past week has been the hardest yet. Which isn’t saying much, since I haven’t quite been in Ecuador for three weeks yet. I think sometimes we tend to forget that we will still be doing that nitty gritty, daily LIFE stuff when we’re in another country. We still have to wake up every day, spend time with the person we are, and do mundane tasks. Prior to my trip, I didn’t do a lot of day dreaming/envisioning what it would be like. I was simply excited to be going, felt blessed blessed blessed to go, and spent some time reading guide books and looking at photos online.
And Ecuador is just as beautiful as the guidebooks promised. La gente (the people) are both kind and caring. The food has been an adventure in gastronomy, with mostly pleasant results. My time, however, is very self-guided, as is my research. This has resulted in hours. Upon hours. Turning into days . . . of reading articles on ecotourism, regional and national plans,Parque Nacional Sangay, and demographic information on my area of Ecuador. While it is fascinating and helping me with my Spanish (did I not mention that 95% of everything I’m reading is in Spanish? I’m now know most environment/tourism related words. If only the articles also touched on conversational day to day happenings, I’m sure I’d be pretty much fluent by now. Except not at all), it can be very tiring and isolating, and feel a lot like, well, school.
Today I finished a rough draft with a brief introduction, general and specific goals, and methodology (again, in Spanish. Someone please be impressed!) for my supervisor to turn in for a list called a POA (Plan Operativo Anual) so that the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry for the Environment have an idea of all the projects for this upcoming year. It felt like quite an accomplishment, but at the same time I don’t want to spend the next seven, seven and a half weeks by myself on my computer for hours every day.
Logroño is a really tiny town. I’m near Sucúa and Macas (both much larger) and have easy access to them both by bus, but right now my main point of contention is that I don’t want to just do stuff by my lonesome. And not being from here, I have a hard time identifying WHAT, exactly, I would want to do. I’m asking the universe + God for continued blessings (because I have already been very, very blessed on this trip) for friends and invitations to fill my time while I am here and break up my days a bit.
Some of the growingess I’ve experienced while here/random thoughts:
1) It is ok that I am a DO-er. The past two years, burnt out from DOing constantly for the wrong reasons (seeking my worth in to-do lists, grades, and other accomplishments) I stumbled upon the school of thought that teaches people to BE and espouses the value of human beings over human doings. So I read about being, and thought a lot, and sometimes just sat with myself. And I learnt a lot about being, and about doing. And while I agree we can’t just be defined by what we do and that our society put too much emphasis on doing/achievement/success, I am a doer and have to be doing to feel like I am being.
2) I have really wonderful friends and family, whose love permeates through my computer with every note I get. Love you guys.
3) Latin America planning and time frames are very different than ours. Getting up at 5 am to leave at 6-oh-wait-now-7 and then waiting until 9:30 for a car to pick us up that never comes . . . I’m becoming accustomed to being super flexible and easy going. About everything.
4)Life is hard. And even though I have this guilty-feeling that my life is not hard, that it is in fact quite easy so why can’t I love and appreciate this easy life- it is hard sometimes. As my all time favorite blogging diva says, life is brutiful. Brutal and beautiful.
5) Is it possible for someone’s Spanish to actually degrade after three weeks not being around anyone who speaks English? I think yes, or at least that’s how I’m feeling right now.
Not coherent at all, but leave me some love+ encouragement in the comments!