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

Up Ruta del Spondylus

False starts. Back tracking. Forgotten items. Everyone have everything now? Okay. Let’s go! ¡Vamos chicos, vamos! Bags in the trunk. Boards on the roof. Friends in the back. My chico behind the wheel. Music on the speakers. Driving north from Manglaralto.

Montañita: The streets are crowded with waikis and surfistas; the music thumps from nearby hostels; all is buzzing with energy. Cut through, cut through. Olón: The Santuario church and orphanage is perched on the point, looking like an ark left after the flood subsided; a big futból game going on in the pueblo; a cheering crowd is in the street. Cut though, cut through. Curía, San Jose, Las Nuñez, La Entrada: The villages get smaller and the houses get bigger; mini-mansions for the extranjeros and guayaquileños ricos with big walls to keep out the locals. Dodge the donkeys and the street dogs who lay down the road and watch us swerve around them without a care in the world.

Then climb, climb, climb. Up through the jungled hills. No people, no villages. Just lush green and the ocean off in the distance peeking out at us through the valleys. And then down. The waves roll beside us as we coast along, back, Continue reading

Explaining Thanksgiving

Dear non-American friends,

You must just take my word on it when I say that Thanksgiving is the best holiday. Because it’s such an American thing, there really isn’t an equivalent holiday that I can present to you so that you’ll understand. I know you don’t get why I’m bitching about having to work today. I know you don’t understand why I’m demanding that you all come over to eat together tonight. We’re not celebrating the birth of holy babies, or anyone’s birthday, or anyone raising from the dead, or anything specific really. I’m not even going to tell you that it’s about American Indians and settlers. No, the reason Thanksgiving is awesome is exactly because it’s not really about any of that. It’s about celebrating us. Celebrating your family, your friends, all the good in your life, all the hope for the future, all the greatness that has past. It’s about being together. I know that seems very wishy-washy but just follow these simple steps and you can’t go wrong:

  1. Make an amazing indulgent meal where you don’t have to care about calories, or butter, or that extra piece of pie. If 10 people are coming, cook enough for 20. Go nuts. Don’t just make one dessert, make 5. Let the wine flow. Continue reading

Reader Appreciation Award

Woohoo! I won a Reader Appreciation Award!

“Ooooo,” you are probably thinking to yourself. “What kind of vetting process was there? Maybe there was a committee choosing among all the fantastic blogs in the world and she won it all!” Well I should just let you think that it’s true. What it really means is that someone who reads my blog thinks I rock. Which is good enough for me because it rocks that something thinks that I rock. Especially when that someone is not just my mother, but the kickass blogger Steve of the The Solipsist.

I found Steve when I came across one of his hilarious book reviews on Goodreads, and Continue reading

I Love the *Blah* you *Blah*, and Other Inappropriateness

The party was beautiful. All the little girls were in frilly little dresses with ruffled little white socks and white dress shoes. The food was delicious and the cake was lovely. It was everything that a 2 year old’s birthday party should be… apart from “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rhiana blasting from the speakers. If you are unfamiliar with this song, do a YouTube search, otherwise here are some select lyrics for you:

“If she ever tries to f***in’ leave again,
Imma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.”

The kids and moms were all running around, playing games, enjoying themselves, while I sat by the wall, glancing around nervously, and wringing my hands. It was as though some profane pop-up that I couldn’t get rid off had jumped onto my laptop screen while I was sitting in a public place. Oh god, oh god, go away, stop! Is anyone else noticing this? I didn’t do it, it’s not mine! Please, no one else notice this!

So why is a graphic song about a guy who beats the crap out of his girlfriend playing at a 2 year old girl’s birthday party in the first place? Not many people speak English in this part of Ecuador, so they are just listening to the catchy loop and picking out a few words. It probably sounds like:

Blah blah blah blah there and blah me cry,
Blah blah blah blah because I love the blah you blah

Nothing wrong with that! Perfect for the natal festivities of any little tot! The real issue is Continue reading

To Dos

  • Learn how to cook guatita
  • Get an oven and bake lots of cookies
  • Perfect my ‘from scratch’ spaghetti sauce, since they don’t sell the premade stuff.
  • Figure out how to keep the neighbor’s goddamn chickens out of my veggie garden so something can actually grow.
  • Wake up early enough in the morning to buy raw organic milk from the old dude on the bicycle
  • Finish and start selling my surf/andean inspired knit wear collection online: 2 patterns down, 8 to go! Continue reading

One Year in Ecuador

As of Sunday, I have officially been living in Ecuador for one year. Insane. It has been a pretty crazy ride, and I’m not ready for it to end. So how do things stack up against the year before? Lets break it down.

The Year Before Last                     This Past Year

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Books I was        The Millennium Series                      1984 – G. Orwell
reading
                                Eat. Pray. Love.                              The Odyessey

last Harry Potter book               1st Harry Potter en español

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Ways I was       Broken foot from falling          Punctured foot from running on
injured                   
off an icy roof.                  a broken seashell on the beach. Continue reading