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
Who says a hurricane can’t come to Kansas?I don’t mean to make light of the damage that Hurricanes Gustav, Hannah, and Ike have done, and presumably more will do. My heart goes out to all of the people who have been forced to leave their homes or worse, have entirely lost their homes. But after wandering around on the Bethel campus for the whole day in incessant rain, I am dripping with thoughts.As I walked to work at the unseemly 8:00 a.m. hour, I surprised myself with a smile when I spotted the pond that grows out of the middle of the green between Voth Hall and Warkentin Court during rainstorms. Over a rainy day, the pond will grow to lake size, eventually flooding the sidewalk between the mods and the rest of campus. People have put goldfish in this monster puddle (they were later rescued). It might even be paddle-boat worthy. I wonder if anyone has tried. Read More
…If you own a guinea pig. That’s right folks. This weekend I had my first taste of cuy, a traditional dish in Ecuador and Perú and it was really quite tasty. The consistency is a little like chicken, but with a lot more bones and chewy skin. However, I couldn’t manage to eat the head of the animal (they serve the ENTIRE guinea pig on one plate. This includes the head, legs and, well, everything.)But this was only a small part of the wonderful experience that I had this weekend in Ibarra, a small city about ten minutes away from Otavalo (the host of Ecuador’s largest indigenous market). It was yet another example of the incredible generosity and kindness of Ecuadorians that I’ve encountered. Read More
Hello everyone my name is Ben Santos. I am a senior this year and a biology major. I also am a part of the football team here at Bethel College as well as the concert choir and track team. We are all excited to see what this next school year will bring and the long lasting friendships we will develop. There are a lot of new faces on campus this year students and staff alike. Fall sports are already underway and I would like to invite all of you to come out and support the football team this year, and I can assure you it will be a fun and exciting season this year. Read More
Written 29 de agostoMost college students are acquainted with the musician Ben Folds; even if they don’t know him, they probably recognize his song entitled “The Luckiest.” True, the song is a romantic expression of love, is perhaps overused, and may not seem to have much to do with my experience abroad. However, tonight the chorus struck a chord (haha, chord. I didn’t even mean to make that joke.) with my journey in Ecuador. I am the luckiest.This week marked the beginning of my studies at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. It was somewhat disorienting to arrive on campus and encounter hundreds of other students–I had become accustomed to the pre-semester courses throughout the month of August with only our small BCA group in attendance.I quickly learned that it is an exhausting thing to listen and speak in español for an entire day. By the time that I arrive home from classes I am incredibly worn out. Thus, I have taken two super-siestas (one was almost five hours long) to compensate. Fortunately, I can already feel my Spanish improving and, in addition, our BCA group has intentionally started speaking in Spanish to each other. It is easy to speak English with all the extranjeros and gringos, but for many of us, increasing our fluency in Spanish is a goal for our stay in Ecuador and we’re working hard to see it come to fruition. Read More
Hi everyone! My name is Aimee Siebert. I’m a junior at Bethel, and one of your new bloggers here at “Beyond the Green.”As one of the millions of people coming up for air (or falling down for sleep) after the Beijing Olympics, I think I have some bloggable thoughts for this entry that have made it past the sleep-deprived hysteria.Since they only come around every four years–I’m talking summer Olympics for now–The Olympics catch you at different points in your life every time they come around. I like to think I’m a pretty different person at 20 almost 21 than I was at 16 or 12 or 8. I know that I’m a much bigger and eclectic sports fan than I was before, so I think I enjoyed this Olympics more than all of the ones that came before. Read More
In an age where even Wal-Mart is trying to sell cloth bags and organic fruit, U.S. society advertises that it is “going green.” Unfortunately, we continue to find new places to drill in the Amazon.My last essay, “Entre dulces y amargos” or, essentially, bittersweet focused on my recent trip to Yachana Lodge in the oriente/Amazon Jungle of Ecuador. I saw the sweetness and beauty of the Amazon, but also experienced the bitter fact that we are destroying it. Read More
Right now I have probably 60 or so exotic bug bites (Amazonian bug bites!) and not a lot of time to write a detailed blog entry. HOWEVER, I will upload some photographs of my trip and write more about my wonderful experience at the environmentally sustainable Yachana Lodge soon.
A group of students in front of a sunset. We hiked to a lookout where we could see the Amazon jungle, volcanoes and the Napo River in the background.
(Written 9/10 de agosto)I know that it’s only been two days since my last blog/journal, but today was so eventful that I feel it’s important to write something.Tonight Ecuador began its celebration of el día de independencia–10 de agosto. The country comes together to remember the batalla de Pinchincha and the events that led to its independence from Spain. There were some 250,000 people in El Centro Histórico de Quito to participate in the festivities which included: free tours into the various cathedrals and musems, free baile, music, dance performances and a firework display among other things. But this blog is more about myself than the festivities–pretty egotistical, right? Read More