15 septiembre 2006

Mi Vida

I have a little more time today, so I will attempt to fill in gaps of the last couple of posts. Some of you might be wondering what is is that I am doing these days. I havent really had the time to explain that yet. So here it is.

Back in July I came upon a website that was for the hostel, The Secret Garden, in Quito, Ecuador. The description and pictures really interested me. I noticed a section that they had about volunteering at the hostel and I thought that it might be a good way for me to transition into living in Ecuador. I wrote the managers at the hostel, told them a little about myself and why I wanted to volunteer there. Long story short--they had a job for me. So for my first month here (now the next three weeks), I am working as a volunteer six days a week, eight hours a day. Its a lot of hours, but its a great experience. During my shift I do everything from checking guests in and out, serving food on the fifth floor terrace restaurant and answer phone calls (there are many other little things that I do also). In exchange for my work I get a free place to stay, freen breakfast and dinner and free spanish lessons. The rest of the foreign staff is made of two other volunteers and two managers plus the couple who owns it (the wife is actually Ecuadorian though). Also, there are several local staff members which is great for practicing my Spanish. I can tell that it is improving so much already.

So that is where a lot of my time is spent. Its a lot of hours, but the work is not hard. Its also a lot of fun meeting all the travelers that come through and hearing their stories. So far England and Austrailia win for having the largest number of people traveling. Its normal for people in other countries to have 6 week holidays. When I tell them that many Americans only get one or two weeks vacation a year, they dont believe me.

Besides work I have been spending my time walking around the old colonial part of Quito. The architecture is beautiful and there are so many people outside walking around. The other day I also had the opportunity to get out of the city. The hostel organizes a few trips to the jungle and on treks up some mountains. I was able to go on a trek up the (still active) volcano called Guagua (Wawa) Pichincha. The owner of the hostel was our guide and he took seven of us to the base of the mountain in his land rover. He even let four of us (including me) sit on the roof while he drove on the curvy dirt roads. It was loads of fun (Im sure all you parents out there are cringing). The altitude really hit all of us and we had to take it pretty slow up to the top. The top was at about 14,000 ft.

Yesterday during my time off, two other people and I went to a Turkish bath. It was definitely needed after the day of mountain climbing. The three of us had the whole place to ourselves. For six dollars we got three hours of a jacuzzi, sauna, turkish bath and pool. Then we went to lunch and had a three course meal for $1.30.

As you can tell Im having a lot of fun. I think that working at the Secret Garden is a great way for me to start my journey because Im saving money, meeting people and getting to know the city. It is, however, very different from how I imagine the rest of my time here. I am planning on finding a job teaching English and living with an Ecuadorian family, or Ecuadorian roommates so that I can really immerse myself in the language and culture. Also, I am currently researching more volunteer opportunities that work with orphans or homeless people.

Thank you all for your comments and for reading, I hope that this post serves to catch you up on what my life here is like so far. It was an overview of what Im doing and in the future I will write more about details of life in Ecuador. It is very different from the U.S.

I have more pictures that I want to post, but for some reason the computer Im on wont let me download them. Ill have more later.

Until next time...Ciao!


Anonymous moms and pops said...

We enjoyed talking with you on Skype! It's fun hearing about your many adventures and we're looking forward to visiting you to see first hand all of the beauty that you are describing. Love you,

6:48 p. m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

Hi pookita! I check your blog everyday. Thanks for sharing. Merci bouquet!!!! Ha!!! Getting you ready for that Frenchman!!! Love ya ! Kiss, Kiss!!!! Rootin Tootin!

6:53 p. m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

Hey Miranda- Neill and I love reading your blog each day. Neill just knew that you would go off and do something amazing and you did. You are in our prayers. Be Safe

Neill and Mary Ann

8:47 p. m.  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I know you can do this on your own, and I'm so excited for you! I'm also fairly certain there is a c of C there that Let's Start Talking teams work with. I'll check on that for you so maybe you can have "family" there too. That's especially comforting when times get lonely, or something goes wrong. If you're looking for an orphanage, check with the Catholic church. In every country I've been in, Sisters of Charity (Mother Theresa's "sect") had an orphanage that was decently run and took volunteers off the street. I volunteered in one in Cambodia. Those nune will put you to work though-washing dishes and diapers by hand...God's work. :) Anyway...I'm so proud of you going and doing! I'll be praying for you, and checking your blog. And by the way, if you ever want to start teaching Bible classes there in a non-intrusive kind of way-I have a couple of great programs you can use. Just ask. Blessings,
Tiffany Dahlman (Mangan) from McKnight in the 80's and 90's

7:26 a. m.  
Blogger Tiffany said...

OK-LST does NOT have a contact in Equador. But I found four churches in Equador, though none in Quito, but I'm not sure how far away they are. Considering how big Quito is, though, I find it hard to believe there isn't a church there. Check out this site (if you haven't already)
http://church-of christ.org/churches/Ecuador/Ecuador.htm
You might want to call one of these churches and ask if there is one in Quito. Have a great one! Tiffany

7:51 a. m.  
Blogger bradfordlstevens said...

Just to keep you posted, the Cardinals lost to Detroit 3-1 last night and the World Series is now even at 1 game for each team. The series moves to St. Louis this week for games 3, 4 and 5! You can wear your red for the Cardinals or Kirkwood!

7:30 a. m.  

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