27 de noviembre 2008It is a curious thing what the holiday season can bring about.This Tuesday I had an interesting conversation with my host father. All of the members of my family, I would say that I am least close to him, simply because for the majority of the semester I didn´t see him a lot, and he always seemed a bit more reserved than my host brothers and mom. About three weeks ago he had a minor surgery to remove kidney stones, but it turned out to be a long ordeal from which he is still recovering. The surgery was further complicated by the fact that his stomach was removed four years ago for cancer.So after sleeping two hours past my alarm (don´t worry, I was still on time for classes) I found myself sipping café con leche and eating my wonderful morning dose of fresh fruit (I think that day it was papaya and bananas) and talking with my host father, José o Pepé. Read More
I have one more reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving. It was announced officially the day before Thanksgiving break that Bethel was shifting its biannual musical from Children of Eden to Lucas & Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza. The news was greeted excitedly by those already committed to the musical, and we hope we can spread the excitement.There were a number of reasons for the change. Children of Eden is written by Stephen Schwartz: the composer of Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, but Children of Eden is one of his lesser known pieces. The directors of Bethel’s show had become enthused pedagogically with Children of Eden because it dealt with Genesis subject matter that the senior religion classes at Bethel were tackling. We’re a liberal arts college, so that sort of crossover is always cool to us. Read More
(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.
My rafting group in Baños–together in one boat we had representatives from London, England, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ecuador and the United States. Pretty neat diversity.
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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.
The view at Bomboli. We were at the same level as the clouds in the backdrop.
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. Read More
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. Read More
During this week of midterms, I am once again reminded that big projects and tests have an alarming coordination. Every other day, I’ve given a speech, taken an exam, submitted newspaper articles, or completed some other project of similar caliber.Sitting in psychology seminar today, listening to the science faculty outline the research projects they’ve been involved in, struck a related chord. As I listened to the rather impressive list of research papers that have been published by Bethel psychology majors in the past few years and stumbled on the recollection that I will be turning 21 in under a month, I started thinking that college years were the chunk of time that a lot of life’s milestones cluster together. And all of them have an unnerving “adult” quality. Read More
I’ve had a lot of encounters with Alumni of Bethel this week. I’m on a committee that’s planning events for Fall Fest in cooperation with the Alumni Office. I’m working on a story about a family who has been at Bethel in some capacity for five generations now. All of them have fun or significant memories of their time at Bethel, and it makes me wonder…What will I remember?My parents were here in the 70s and early 80s, and they have entertaining memories of atrociously boring convocations being interrupted by a Merry Melodies episode (Looney Tunes for those who don’t remember the program’s name) when someone commandeered the sound booth and switched the “Ascent of Man” video for the cartoon. Read More
This past week was probably the most unnerving and challenging period of time during my stay in Ecuador. Consequently, I’ve learned a lot.Every Tuesday and Thursday I’ve been attending sessions for “Twenty-somethings” at the English Language Fellowship church in Quito. I was introduced to the young adult groups through friends in the BCA program and this church has been a good way to meet and fellowship with Ecuadorians. We speak in both English and Spanish and every last member of the group is so welcoming and kind that I often feel undeserving of such effortless friendships. Read More