Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The little things....

Since I last wrote, which.....has been quite a while, I have discovered a few things......

1) Stop Analyzing. I always over analyze. It is a problem, because over-analyzing is just the same as worrying to me.....and worrying, well worrying never gets you anywhere. What do I want for dinner? What do I want to wear to work? WHAT can I do with my life? what do I WANT to do with my life? The questions are endless. And the answers? oh, they can go on forever. By the time you figure out these answers, you waste precious time and energy. A friend once told me....Do what makes YOU happy. It's as simple as that. I am trying to keep that mindset....I like simple.

2) It is all about the little things. I have always had a love for anything that is beautiful, old, or anything that smells is almost funny how an arrangement of fresh flowers can alter my mood...or entire day for that matter. Sometimes I think I will end up working with such things one of my dream jobs? Antique Dealer. Another dream job? Shop Owner. When we went to Paris I thought I was in heaven. It was one thing after another, for 2 days straight. Back in Atlanta, I have found a few little things that make me very happy.


My new candle. Cire Trudon is the oldest candle maker in Paris, the history behind the company is as delicious as the smell.


This Weekend we went to New York City. The cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery were amazing. A little sugar is always good for the soul!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

There is a first time for everything...

Wow, A lot has happened since I last wrote.....I came back to Atlanta, for one. Now, I look back and I realize I got scared. The political Issues, a few changes at the school, and a friend who got sick while abroad all played a part. I do not regret leaving the school.....that was a choice I needed to make for myself. However, I DEEPLY regret leaving the country so soon. I actually was unable to leave for a few days ( I had a little run in with Immigration....Now I know the proper steps when registering a visa!)--that should have been a sign I should stay. Leaving is probably my one regret...ever. Now, I can always go back, and I will. I realize that I am not as independent as I want to be, so this has been a lesson for me for sure. I miss that country, and I am not done exploring!!
Since I have been back, I have started a J.Crew again, and I am looking for a job. I have decided I want to do non-profit, or something I can be proud of and help others. I like selling clothes, but at the end of the day, I just help people spend money, and that is not good enough for me. Oh goodness, Life is a total roller coaster.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Although I do love my adventures I am having down here in Ecuador, I have to admit I am starting to miss home more and more.... Yes, I realize I have been gone only 2 months. Fall is my favorite, the air, the leaves, not to mention that I love fall clothes! I still frequent the J.Crew well as the Anthropologie one:) I also miss my friends terribly, I happen to have THE BEST friends in the world and going this long without them is kind of painful at times.....Thank God for internet, atleast we can keep in touch that way. So, all this being said, I have never once wanted to quit here--Ecuador is a great country, with great people, and great places to visit.
It is funny, the idea of home to different people and the affect it has on them. Yesterday I had the chance to go on a little road trip to a few different towns north of Quito...what a treat! Ecuador has AMAZING reminded me of Italy in many parts. The colors, the people....I am horrible at taking pictures, but I am for sure going to return to those parts and take pictures, and maybe even stay a few days:). Anyways, The my friend and I stopped for lunch and were talking about her work.....she travels to the states frequently and was saying how after about 2 days there, all she wants in some soup and good Juice (ok, we can put a man on the moon but we cannot make fruit juice? It is true, Tropicana you stink in comparison). While, the whole time she was saying this I was thinking all I want is Whole Foods, or Chick Fil A.....I am sick of soup! It was an interesting conversation. I have come to the conclusion that while I love to explore and travel, I will never want to be away for long--Good thing I did not join the Peace Corps! ha!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


There is one word for this week- Interesting. Well, it actually did not get interesting until the end, but there was enough interesting in a day to make the whole week interesting. Thursday started off as a normal day at school, and was going great until about 1pm. A letter from the director was being passed around saying that school was cancelled for first thought was "Oh maybe i will go to the beach!!" everyone was excited....until we got the reason behind this no school thing....Thursday morning the president was kidnapped by the police. There were riots all over the city, and looters were going wild due to no police. The military was called in and everything shut down. The police got word that their benefits and salaries were being cut, and this is how they reacted....they kidnapped the president! Crazy. Thus, my beach trip idea came to a halt fast. Many of the students got so scared for their parents at work, and they all wondered how long they would be waiting for them. All of this came as a shock to me, although i knew there was political instability in Ecuador, I mean....kidnapping the president!!! Wowzas.
The part that really threw me off was when one of the teachers told me "Oh, there is nothing to worry about, these things happen all the time. It will blow over in a few days..." She said it so calmly it almost made me laugh, until I realized how sad that it was. Those kids knew exactly what was going on, they had witnessed this before, and the teachers seemed to be worried, but they too were all too familiar with this uprising. My first thought was "How can a country even allow this to happen?!" Imagine the U.S. with no police....and then imagine the consequences if Mr. President were kidnapped....goodness gracious. It is Sunday and things here are normal again. I have felt safe everywhere I have gone, everyone says this is a dangerous country, but I believe if you are smart it is no more dangerous than any other. This incident did make me realize I am so lucky to have grown up in America....not only did I grow up in America...I grew up in a great city and went to THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA (can I get a roll tide?!) I am one lucky gal.
I realize that most of these kids may never get out of their situation. Some of them have to get past their family issues, and all of them have to get out of the issues of their country. Education is in very bad shape in this country. These little nuggets do not have it easy. I have decided I am going to make hem keep a journal everyday. I saw the movie Precious last week and that is where i got the idea...write. Every day. In English.
After the interesting week I had, I decided I was going to treat myself this weekend. I checked into a hotel with a hot shower and a comfy bed, and a tv with cable (I have hot water in my apt. but only for about 3 minutes at a time). I now feel like a new person!!! Hey, I may be volunteering, but everyone needs to give themselves a pat on the back every once in a while. To me, it helps me appreciate what I have and I am able to go back to those kids and give them 100%. Volunteering is not about giving up everything you know and want, it is about giving your love to others who need it. Pure and Simple. I am focused on giving a little love to those kids, they need it!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Life Is Grand Indeed....

Every week I have so many new adventures and stories....This week started off with a nice culinary surprise--really, I wish I could have seen my face when I found this surprise because it was totally unexpected. I went down the street to try a new lunch place on Sunday, and I could not wait to try the chicken and looked so good. It came with a side of soup (They LOVE their soups here in Ecuador) so I thought I would start with that, it looked good too! Well, as I was scooping up another spoonfull I realized that there was a funny shaped something in there.....I scooped it up and nearly fainted- there was a chicken foot in my soup!!! ahhhh I really did not like this surprise....apparently they are used to flavor soups, but I mean.... I did not eat at all on Monday. I do appreciate the food is all so fresh and simple. It is amazing to me how America can put a man on the moon and not figure out how to make fruit juice. I have a few favorite things.....fried Bananas--they are so good. Cheese Empenadas--yum.....So most things here are very acceptable to eat.
This week was a long one at the school.....but good. I am getting comfortable in the class with my kids...some days I feel as though nothing gets done because they really are not the best at doing what they are told. They are still so cute though.
This weekend was great! Yesterday I met a lady who lives here and she took me to Mitad Del Mundo....the middle of the world!!!!! It is only about 20 minutes outside the city, so it is a perfect day trip. There is the coolest cultural museum there that has all the different regions in Ecuador and all the different customs of each....I loved it, and now I want to visit EVERY CORNER of this tiny country. Aftter the museum I did a little dancing in the middle of the world to a little bit of ecuadorian music. There is a big Crater near the Mitad Del Mundo and so we went to go take a peek....but the clouds were to heavy at this point, and so we could not see that:( However, we ate lunch at El Crater restaurant which was FABULOUS, so our trip had a very happy ending.
Today, I went to Pichincha! I woke up and it was sunny, so i hopped in a taxi and went! The weather here is very will be cold, hot, sunny, and rainy all in one day--and foggy too. When I got my ticket I got in line and stood behind 4 people who seemed to be my of whom was very good looking so I kind of researched them. Turns out they were staying at a local hostel and asked me to join them....friends for a day!!! All in all the week was good! I could have done without the chicken foot though....

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I love my students--they are insane, but great. Some of them are not the best at sitting still and not talking, but they are young and many have a difficult home life. The directors of the school are very strict about all the kids not talking, I understand you need order, but only being able to play and chat for 30 minutes out of a 7 hour day is hard, I know i would not be able to do that! Despite that, these kids are so loving, and they crave that. I get atleast 50 hugs a day, and they are so interested in America! It is amazing to hear their questions, and I love talking about it with them....Since I am here for a limited amount of time I want to make them so interested that they want to continue to learn on their own. I have come to the conclusion that my ultimate goal is not to teach them perfect grammer, but help them want more out of life and love them....and that is what they need.
This week I started to tutor after school....Well, I do help them with their homework but I talk a whole lot with my kids--which, we are not supposed to do, but I make them talk in English so I am helping them! haha. Anyways, I do not get back to my apartment until 5 now, which is great tired as I am I love it. This week we had Open House, and I had to get up and talk about me to all the parents who came...I made sense!!! My spanish is getting better and I am so excited!
I did learn that one of the boys in pre-k is autistic. This made me sad, because all the teachers know is to look him in the eye when talking....I do not know much about Autism, but I do know there is much more out there that can help him.....another project I am going to undertake!
This weekend my adventure was postponed, it was really chilly and cloudy early this morning, so I decided to just chill out today. I went to the mall to get some tennis shoes ( I was needing some) and for a few hours forgot I was down here working with poor children....this mall was similar to Lenox....many beautiful stores with many beautiful people walking around...just because i am volunteering in a 3rd world country doesn't mean my weakness for beautiful things has gone away! that will always be with me I am afraid, which is ok if I can put what is important first! I did try on a few things, and I am happy to report I think I have lost almost a dress size!!! Easy to do when you don't have all the processed food around! That is not even an option here.
I am learning so much that I do not even know how to explain it through my blog....It is all a little overwhelming to think about actually...But it is all positive. I am beginning to wonder if six months will be enough time!! I guess this is a good issue to encounter :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Week of School!!

this week was the first week of school, and all of a sudden I am an English teacher...kind of strange. It went very well considering I was more nervous than all of the students combined. The first day I had them go around the room and say their name and what they did on their summer vacation, which proved to be a bigger task than I thought. Most students did not know how to answer, and some knew how to answer but did not open their mouths--they just stared. So, I am thinking we will need to do a whole lot of review! Which, I remember coming back from summer and not remembering a whole lot. I decided we would do things as a group....something fun that would ease their nerves. Something simple. So, we sang the ABC's, sang head, shoulders, knees, and toes, and played other vocabulary games....success!!! Each grade took to this great, even if it was easy for them (which, I am not sure it was) it was fun and helped get them talking (a little). Tomorrow I will give them a review test from last year, so I hope to get a better idea this week of what they know....Maybe I can teach!
After I finished my week I decided to go on another adventure this weekend...It is my goal to do something new every weekend. This week I chose to go to the historic district....think Paris+3rd world country+ hills of San Fran and you've got the historic District! I loved it....there are zillions of churches and museums to explore. My favorite churches were the plain, old, dark, that sounds pretty bad! Having been to Europe last year, these "plain" ones were so different but had so much character at the same time....simple beauty. I went into the San Fransisco monestary and Museum which, if you ever go to Quito it is such a cool little place....I am sure that will not be my last visit there. My adventure would not be complete without great food! I ate at the restaurant below the museum, which was so good and had a perfect view of the plaza. Another weekend escapade ends in success!!!!
This week I am starting to tutor English after school and I am meeting with the director to get this child/student sponsorship rolling. Weekend plans? Taking the cable car to the top of pinchincha volcano!! Stay tuned folks....