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A conversation with my dad, Sunday afternoon:

Dad: So this might be none of my business, and just tell me to butt out if you want, but are you ever going to go back to church?

Me: [cue nervousness] Um, probably.  I don’t think I care about going as much as you and Mom do…

Dad: Is there anything I should know?

Me: No…

Dad: It just seems weird, you finishing up a seminary degree, and not going to church.  You aren’t losing your faith, are you?

Me: No…  My faith is fine.  I just don’t like Christians.

Dad: Oh.

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It’s weird when my parents try to parent me.  And when they add matters of faith to the mix.  Because I’ve never considered them great examples…  Sure they have the outward stuff down, but I’ve yet to see evidence of the inward.  And I’m not saying it’s not there.  I’m saying my parents live in secrets.  They don’t share or open up about anything.  So how would I know?

And I did try to go to church that Sunday evening (unbeknownst to them).  But during the announcements, they were saying how this fall they’re starting “Men’s Fraternity” back up.  And this year they’ll be studying Jesus’ life to see how he lived as a man in order to see how they should live as men.  And I left.  That’s exactly what my thesis is fighting against.  (Well, it’s one of the things.)

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In other news, I don’t think I’m going to go to Ecuador.  I think the lure of a job (if I can find one!), my own place, a truck, a pet (or two), and free time is too strong a lure to resist.  Counseling, time to try to write a book…  Those are bonuses I cannot deny.

Now all I have to do is actually write my thesis.

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Do you read into things?  See signs where they may or may not be?  I do.  I think it’s how I base my life decisions, to be honest.

Right now I’m reconsidering Ecuador.  Let me preface this by saying that in no way do I not want to go to Ecuador.  Rather, I am questioning the timing.

I am tired of academia.  You have heard this from me before.  Jumping into an intense certificate program, then into teaching English (which I have no actual desire for) is just more of the same, in a different flavor.

I need counseling, and am about to start looking for a counselor.  If I go to Ecuador, I wouldn’t be able to continue, due to the language barrier.  Plus, instead of being able to focus on getting healthy, I’d be bombarded by a new culture, a new language, new everything, every day.

Leaving would drain me of my resources, which means that when I came back, I’d be worse off than I am now, financially.  Plus I’d have the burden (job-search-wise) of being gone for so long.  (My friends who have done this can attest to the difficulty it can create.)  I’m ready to settle into a job, find a place to live, be an adult.  I want a job that I leave at the end of the day.  I want free time.

I have been offered a job (contingent upon my background check coming back clean, which is no problem).  It’s only 12-20 hours a week, and lasts through December.   That is a perfect amount and time-line for writing my thesis.  However, it is woefully inadequate if I want to move to Ecuador.  Although, I’m not sure I’m capable of writing my thesis if I’m working full-time…

If I stay, I could get a truck.  And maybe a puppy.  And I could look into moving to the Midwest.  Or stay in this area.  Either way, so long as I had my own place and a real job–post thesis.

I haven’t really made a decision yet, but I’m considering.

The end has come: today I have to finish researching for my thesis.  I have seven books in my room to get through.  Tomorrow my mom comes and we will be packing so that I can move home on Saturday.  Yikes!

Yesterday, I met with one of my profs for an hour, the one who lived in Quito, Ecuador for 13 years.  He had some really great information for me, especially considering I don’t know where in the country I’ll end up.  But it sounds to me as if I’ll prefer the highlands to the lowlands,  long-term.  Plenty of time, plenty of time…  However, I do have to have some time-line in place before October so that I can book tickets.  (I hear that I don’t want to wait longer than that to book.)  They make you get a return ticket for your temporary work visa, so I’ll probably fly in and out of Quito.

I worry about making big steps like this…  I am resistant to change, even good change that I put into effect myself.  So I’ve learned that if I prepare and think about it ahead of time, it makes it easier to adjust when the time comes.  With something so big, like moving to Ecuador, I want all the help/preparation I can get to ensure it’s a good decision and a good experience.

I suppose that I really ought to get a start on my day, considering it’s already 9am!!  Wish me luck!

FABRIC: Tonight, I went to Fabric Depot.  I was in heaven.  I bought 8+ yards of fabric (various), thread, colored elastic, and D rings, all for $52.  Not bad, right?  I got two fat quarters that I loved together–not sure what I’m doing with them yet.  I got two sets of unbleached muslin for two regency style aprons (one for me, one for a friend).  I got a bit of accent fabric for another bit I have at home and intend to make into another apron for myself (addiction).  And I bought some cute sewing themed fabric to make into a travel-sewing-kit foldy, pocket thing.  Finally, I got a delightful fabric with wonderful accent fabric to make into an apron I’ve promised a friend for years that I would make.  I think it’s going to end up being a 50’s style apron, which I think will fit her and the fabric.  I’m pretty excited about all of my purchases.

LIFE: When I’m not working on my thesis, I’m daydreaming about Ecuador.  It’s getting ridiculous.  And I bet my friends are getting tired of hearing me talk about it.  If I’m not careful, I’m going to start idealizing it to an unhealthy degree, but you know, it’s been so long since I felt really excited about something that I don’t mind my ridiculousness.  Besides, did I mention that in February, when the weather is gross almost everywhere in North America, I’ll be on a beach, in a cabana, with a hammock on my porch??

My roommate and I go walking in the mornings (6:30am), and we walk through the neighborhoods and look at houses and gardens.  Seeing all those delightful things makes me want my own.  I think I want a brick house (not just so that I can sing this song every night, but also because I like how they look).  And of course the willow tree in the front yard and the vegetable garden in back.  I want a neat and tidy yard, with overflowing flower gardens.  It’d be nice if there were a puppy and a kitty around.

And sometimes, sometimes, I want the husband and kids.  But, you know, let’s not get crazy here.

I think I already mentioned that I bought this book: The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide.

I’ve finally been reading it, and I’m onto the Streamline section.  It’s brilliant and balanced.  And I’ve already begun, even though I’m not through the book yet.  But it inspires me.  Especially in light of moving to Ecuador: I will be storing what I don’t bring with me (against the day I come back), so I don’t want to get back and wonder why I kept the things I kept.

Plus I’m moving home in around three weeks and would like less stuff to move.  Might as well get rid of it now instead of later, right?

I like the idea of going through things, methodically, and being willing to get rid of things that aren’t in use and never will be.

That to say, I highly recommend this book if you’re looking to trim down your stuff and create space in your life.

I was officially accepted to the CELTA program in Ecuador through Southern Cross.  I signed up for the February 2013 course.  Now I can finally dream and plan!  I intend to go early (January) to work on my Spanish.  I was told that if I do well on the course and want to work in Ecuador, I should have no problem getting a job.

That means, folks, that in February, while most of you are cold or rainy or miserable, I will be on a beautiful beach, living in a cabana, for five weeks.  Although I did come across a blog that talked about a scorpion problem. *shudder*  I’m not going to think about that.  I’m going to focus on beaches and swimsuits and living in paradise.

Of course, I’ll have to do my course, also, and I hear it’s intense.  But I’m sure I’ll be able to rise to the challenge.