Thursday, November 22, 2012

something that makes me smile.

We get loads of 50 cent pieces at the clinic. This one (the one on the right) is my absolute favorite, though.

I traded it for 50 cents of mine and I was determined to keep it as my lucky coin. Unfortunately, I accidently spent it at the internet cafe the same day. So much for lucky..

Saturday, November 17, 2012

mi casa

This is the outside of my house. I live on one of the two main streets in Peurto Quito, so I´m surrounded by busninesses (and loud music).

My chickens. My family just bought two more chickens -- a rooster and a chicken, like these two. The two roosters constantly fight (and keep all of us up at night), so they are killing the smaller rooster (the one in this photo) to eat...

my room


the inside of my house. That gate divides our yard from our house. My living room, kitchen, dining room and basically the majority of my house is outside. 

my living room

My kitchen has an oven, which many people in the Puerto Quito don´t have.

My really sweet dogs that everyone is scared of -- probably because they bark like maniacs at everyone that passes by and they have bitten off someone´s nose before....but they are really sweet!


I live outside so seeting giant moths, geckos and, unfortunately, lots of mosquitos in the house is a common occurance.

Next on my Ecuadorian adventure: Otavalo, Ecuador

Thursday, November 15, 2012

el mercado de pescado (Manabi, Ecuador)

The night before this picture was taken, I asked my host mom what time I had to be ready. She told me 8 o´clock.

At 7 o´clock sharp, my host dad knocked on the door to my hotel room.

¨Yeah?¨I answered the door, a little confused (and sleepy).

¨Ready?¨he asked.

¨Right now?¨

¨Yes. We have to get up early to go to the fish market¨

"Okay,¨ I grabbed my camera and tried to walk out the door.

¨First, comb your hair. Five minutes.¨

So this is me with my host mom in front of our hotel on the beach... in my PJs.

At least my hair was combed.

We walked down the beach to El Mercado De Pescado.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I´m sorry I can´t get you anything cool.. or really anything at all.


I can write you a blog post.

TWENTY things that I love about you on your TWENTIETH birthday:

I love..

1. that I´ve know you for so long. You´re my best friend! (Also, because I´ve known you for so long, I have plenty of blackmail.)

2. your creativity

3. that you´re willing to do crazy things with me

4. along with that, you have the craziest ideas for things we can do..

5. your talents

5. that you´re good with kids

6. that you know how to make a girl feel special

7. the fact that you´re scared of sharks. (I feel like it makes my life more entertaining.. just kidding! sort of..okay, I´m not kidding at all)

8. that you´re a hard worker. Specifically, you´re a hard-working missionary

9. that you always act like you love the presents I give you (even if we both know they´re on the lame side)

10. knowing that you would do anything for me 

11. that you make THE BEST chicken -- which I miss a ton! (& you´re a good cook in general)

12. that you´re not very good at board game type games (which I love because I can always win)

13. that you can do a backhand spring

14. that you will always take a picture with me, even if it´s the millionth one

15. that my family loves you too

16. that you´re willing to try new things

17. that I can talk to you for hours and it fews like only a few minutes

18. that you have a lot of supporters

19. that you do the sweetest things for me

20. & I love dating you!


Friday, November 9, 2012

A Short Preview of My Apprenticeship.

This is the subcentro I am volunteering in for the next six months as a Nursing Assistant.

This is me in the subcentro with my over-sized lab coat which advertises a medication that probably has something to do with the urinary system. (I am investing in scrubs in the near future.)

All of the histories for the patients are paper.

There are over 12,000 of them and that number is rapidly growing. My job includes shuffling through the thousands of histories to search for the patients' history and to return the histories that the doctor(s) saw that day back to their proper place. 

Each of those binders holds 200 histories.

I sit behind that nice little window for a good chunk of the day and sort through histories, greet patients, and do all of the paperwork that needs to be done before the patient sees the doctor (which simply includes finding the correct history or making a new history if the patient is new to the clinic).

I check vitals before the patient sees the doctor(s) -- height, weight, blood pressure, etc.

 I also get to do cool things like cleaning wounds, taking out stitches and assististing/observing the doctor(s).

(Want to see the before and after to this patient? Check it out here.)

I´m getting lots of practice doing what I love, learning new skills and learning new ways of doing things (for example, in my clinic, we don´t get sterile gauze in packages on a regular basis, so we fold the gauze inside of paper and we put them into a machine which sterilizes them).

Next on my Ecuadorian adventure: Vacation to the beach - Video and Photos

Sunday, October 7, 2012

two [really, really exciting] things.

1. I am officially, permanently in Puerto Quito for the next six months.

On my very first day back, I took my dishes to the sink to wash them -- trying to be helpful. In a horrible moment, I dropped my glass cup and it shattered into a thousand little pieces on the kitchen tile.

My family broke out laughing, and shouted ¨¡Bienvenidoes!¨ [¨Welcome!¨] . 

I think I´ll like it here.

2. I now have the opportunity to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when I get home from Ecuador, and I am taking full advantage of that. I´m starting my papers next week. I can hardly believe I´m saying that, let alone doing it.

Next on my Ecuadorian adventure: My Apprenticeship

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

black bean brownies

For sector specific training in the health field, my class made some health[ier] brownies & gave a charla (talk/informal presentation) about why they are better for you than regular brownies!

They taste very similar to normal brownies (I think they taste better), BUT the main ingredients in these brownies is BLACK BEANS.

Pretty legit, if I may say.


  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup white sugar [our class used panella -- less processed sugar]
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (optional) 
1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
2.     Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture [pour the chocolate chips on when the brownies are almost done baking].
3.     Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

a short glimpse into the beginning of my bridge year in ecuador.

(a short glimpse with a very long title)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

a taxi driver.

Since getting robbed in Quito, I find myself a very paranoid person.
So, when my friend and I took a taxi together and, because it logistically worked better, dropped her off first, I was very proud of myself just for allowing myself to be alone in a taxi.
Very proud.
So, for me to, on top of just sitting in the car, to ask the cab driver: " ¿Usted le gusta vivir en Quito?" was a big deal [for me].
Because my spanish abilities are lacking I tend to (possibly foolishly) avoid talking with strangers.
From the first "Do you like living in Quito" -- probably in bad spanish grammar -- I talked with the cab driver the whole fifteen minutes from my friend's house to mine.
That was probably the first real, natural spanish conversation I have had since I've been here.
When I left the taxi, the driver told me "mucho gusto," which means "nice to meet you" and, uncharacteristically of taxi drivers in Quito, he waited for me to get inside my gate before driving away.
My spanish is coming along, slowly but surely. I can talk to more and more people without nerves and talk about more things. (My spanish is getting to a point where I still don't know a lot of words, but I know enough to talk around the word until the person I'm talk to can figure out what I'm talking about.. eventually..)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Puerto Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

This is what I will be doing for the next six months while I am in Ecuador:

Location: Puerto Quito [a small town -- it only has three stoplights -- in the rainforest of Ecuador]

Sector(s): health/education

Fellow's main responsibilites:

  • Work in the subcentro with charlas to the waiting room as well as specialized events
  • Help with hygiene, nutrition, reproductive health, and tropical disease with charlas in the community [charlas are lessons]
  • Observe the working doctors
  • (I will also be able to perform tasks in the health clinic that I'm trained to do as a CNA)

Structure: medium

Next on my Ecuadorian adventure: Quito

Monday, August 27, 2012


I decided to take a bridge year to learn things I can't possibly learn in a classroom. I want to learn about myself, other cultures and, ultimately, the world I feel that I am disconnected from.
So, I'm writing from Stanford University during Fall Training for my program Global Citizen Year.

For the first part of this adventure [aka FALL TRAINING], I am learning about leadership, storytelling, global diversity, mindfulness and MORE. I am learning from amazing people with amazing credentials.

I'm also meeting interesting, diverse, intelligent, and just plain awesome people that I am calling my peers.

(following the Stanford tradition of fountain hopping)

(got to tour Google!)

(my beautiful friend, Talia, with a Google bike)

(more beautiful friends -- Tsion, Fifi & Jojo)

I'll be keeping this blog up to date as I go on my bridge year adventure, so follow it/keep looking back! Also, check out [and follow] my Global Citizen Year website:

One last note: Getting on the plane that took me to San Francisco was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I was sick to stomach with anxieties -- literally sick. 


And I had faith that it would all work out.

And I didn't eat anything..


follow this blog.

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