The Ocean Gives and Takes

In the 2 years I’ve been here, I’ve been warned over and over to be careful swimming in the ocean. The waves get really big. The currents are strong. There are riptides. But it’s also beautiful and people don’t let that keep them out of the water. I’ve been told, if you’re in trouble you wave arms until a sufista or someone on the beach sees you and swims over with their board to help you to shore. But this informal kind of vigilance sometimes fails.

This week in Olón, two children were pulled out by the current. No one saw them disappear into the waves. No one heard them call for help. No one saved them. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures


This gallery contains 12 photos.

Click on any picture to go to fullscreen.   I’m so grateful for this amazing year, and for everything I was able to experience. I’m grateful for all the people who have been a part of my life, for all … Continue reading

Barefoot Running Advice from Dr. Dad

I hate running. I hate everything about it. I think that running is tedious and stupid. But now I run. So what kind of idiot would participate in a sport that they actively hate? Well, I also deal with constant blackouts and brownouts, washing clothes and dishes by hand, and cold showers. Part of living in Ecuador requires learning to live with things that you always hated. No power? Buy a bunch of candles, and forget any ideas of stocking up on food to store in the freezer. Staring at a mountain of dirty laundry with a sinking doom feeling in your stomach? Get grifota, put on some good podcasts, roll up your sleeves and just zone out and do it. It can actually be quite a zen experience once you get over the Am I really, I mean really, about to wash all this with my hands? thoughts that are going through your head. Have to take a shower in freezing ice water? Sorry, I have no help for you there. I’ve been taking cold showers for 1 year, 10 months, and 1 week and 2 days, and I despise them just as much today as I did the first day I got here. There is no getting used to cold showers. The dread that comes over you as you stand under the shower head, waiting for the piercingly frigid water to hit your poor unprotected and vulnerable body never goes away. Oh the horror…

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