(18 de noviembre 2008)
For my first blog post of November, I’m sure you are expecting to hear more descriptions of the places I’ve traveled or some fantastic, surreal experience that I’ve had in Ecuador. But, in contrast to the blue waves of the Galapagos or the wonders of the Amazon Jungle, this month I’ve been surprised by a series of small experiences that are no less important to me than those of extreme grandeur.
During one of the first weekends of November I did decide to take a short weekend trip to Baños, a city about three hours away from Quito that is absolutely full of tourists and outdoor athletic events. On Saturday morning I went white water rafting, the first time for me, but rather than the rafting I was struck by a conversation that occurred afterward.
I have been engaged for all of four days as I write this blog, so naturally I’m finding it hard to think of little else. So you’ll forgive me if I blog out of that excitement.
Getting engaged is pretty exciting at Bethel. On such a small campus, it’s very likely that the people around you are people you know, and are therefore at least somewhat receptive to the overwhelming need the newly-engaged feels to share his or her news. They know you personally, and if your fiance attends too, it’s likely they know him or her too. The celebration that you’re having yourself spreads to the community. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Convocation on Monday with Claudia Rankine, author of Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, was a catalyst for some disconnected thoughts that have been floating around in my head. Her poetry synthesized them into a whole and provoked several meaningful conversations outside of the auditorium, exactly like convocation is supposed to.
The subtitle of her book is “An American Lyric,” and I struggled with that choice for a while after convo. The poetry in her book isn’t what I would call lyrical. It’s a synergy of free verse, formatted and content-driven as an editorial on world events. You could submit her poems to a newspaper and find them in the Op-Ed section, only different for the improved symbolic and aesthetic quality and the occasional stream-of-consciousness style.
25 de octubre 2008 (2 months until Christmas and I have already seen reindeer Christmas lights in Quito. Wow…)
After a day spent in the clouds of Bomboli I began to wonder about my impact on this earth.
I have never considered myself a true environmentalist. That´s not to say I don´t respect those who live in harmony with the earth; I can identify with their causes and the call to live simply, but due to laziness or perhaps hypocrisy, I have never implemented these values into my daily life.
19 de octubre 2008
Qué increíble y qué surrealista. How incredible and how surreal–these are the adjectives that I find myself using over and over again to describe my experiences in Ecuador.
A week ago Saturday I was in the Galapagos Islands, talking a solitary walk along the beach beside our hostel at dusk and trying to absorb the holiness of my experience. There was absolutely no one on the beach (don´t worry mother and father, I wasn´t far from our hostel and it was perfectly safe) and nothing between myself and the ocean. The sun slipped behind las montañas uncovering las estrellas (side note: with the light pollution and pollution in general it is often difficult to see the stars in Quito) and bringing me into a moment of pure joy. I am in Ecuador. I am in the Galapagos. I am surrounded by beauty that is beyond the capacity to be captured by the pixels of my camera or the adjectives and metaphors of any language. I cannot describe why, but all I could do was begin to skip and twirl beside the ocean, splashing the water between toes. I know it seems incredibly silly, but that was really the only way to realize the overwhelming sensation of awe within me.
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