Once again, let me say I CAN NOT BELIEVE I ONLY HAVE FEW WEEKS left here in Quito. It makes me tear up for so many reasons:
I have come to love (and dislike at times!) this country.
I am going back to work after one year of doing whatever I want whenever I want.
I have to leave friends and family.
I have to leave E. (Yes, I will see him in Europe somewhere but not on the regular!)
In order to say goodbye to Ecuador properly, I am trying to do a little traveling and see the last few parts of Ecuador that I have not yet visited. This past weekend E and I went to his hometown, Tulcán, which is way up near Colombia – only 15 minutes from the border! We visited an amazing cemetery with beautifully pruned cypress trees that form kind of labyrinth. AMAZING! We ate hornado and tripa mishqui (or tripa mishki – I’ve seen both spellings!) We went to Ipiales, Colombia for the afternoon to do a little shopping. We visited E’s old stomping grounds. It was a fantastic trip. Hopefully next week, we’ll visit a few other places!
In addition to travel, I have been doing lots of fun things before I go. I had a fancy anniversary dinner at Zazu. I took a ride in the teléferico with my friend W and went hiking for a few hours at the top. E and I attended our friend W’s graduation. It was great to see him give a creative and fun speech that celebrated his classmates and their achievement. I saw a few of the teachers with whom I worked last year. They looked so happy too!
I’ve been gathering my things that I’ve acquired over my time here and selling them on a Quito expat Facebook page. I’ve sold my iPods (older and newer), cameras, kindle, etc. Next comes the kitchen stuff and beauty stuff. It feels great to be free of the stuff but really strange and sad to know that I will not need it anymore. I’m looking forward to use the money for summer clothes. Madrid’s climate is pretty nice for quite a long time so I’m going to need to clothes for warm weather. After living in a relatively cool place, I hope I can handle the heat!
I’ve been working on math for the last few weeks and I’ve started thinking about lesson plans as well. I found out I’ll be teaching two sections of Algebra 1, Algebra 2/Trig, and IB SL year 2. I feel like a first year teacher again. I’m really excited about what lies ahead in my professional life.
I made a promise to my friend N that I will be better about blogging in Madrid. There is so much to do and see there that I hope I will have the time. I really do want to be better about it! I have enjoyed reading the blogs of those who have gone there before me! Maybe I will be an inspiration to someone else next year!
The cable man came to fix my internet – Look where he is!
Hiking on Pichincha
Amazing flora on Pichincha
Views from the top!
Is it a vulture?
W’s graduation invite!
W giving his speech at graduation
Random pics taken on the way to Tulcán
Look at that green!
The main Church in Tulcán
Grilling the Tripa Mishqui
Market in Tulcán
The Juice Lady
He got carrot/orange juice and I got strawberry/guanabana! YUM!
One of the cool figures at the cemetery – she had a baby strapped to her back!
E really loved this one!
At the cemetery!
E in front of his old school
The view from E’s old street
SO DELCIOUS! I couldn’t fit all of this into my body!!
Tulcán’s new logo
Salsa documentary and dancing!
I saw this lady walking in the park. She had at least 30 pounds on her head.
So September 1 was the official beginning of my year off. Except…it’s not really my year off. Since I quit my job, I have started taking Spanish classes at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador or PUCE. Every morning I leave the house by 8:25 and get home around 1:00. It is A LOT of work! I am learning the subjunctive again and I think I’m getting it this time around. I am starting to notice when I should use it in conversation and I Continue reading →
July 25th marked the last day of school for me. So for the last few days I have been free!! I spent my first free weekend at E’s house learning how to make quimbolitos from E’s mom, Marcia. Quimbolitos are a sweet cake steamed in an achira leaf – delicious! The next day E had a 7 hour BBQ with his friends which turned out to be a lot of fun too!
So Monday was my first day of vacation with nothing planned. It was amazing. I made a simple green smoothie with chia seeds while I flipped through the Lucky magazine that E had brought from the US for me and watched Live with Kelly and Michael on the internet. So luxurious.
I’ve started running again. I’m on Week 4 of the Couch to 5K. I really, really hate running. I’m trying to push through and find the good but I fight with myself to keep going because I hate it so much. I’ve been trying to find a workout that will give me the same benefits that running will but that doesn’t seem to exist. The words used in their names: blast, explosion, meltdown, insanity – make the workouts sound REALLY violent. I guess running is it for a while!
Stay tuned for more updates! I finally have the time to write some!
I have about two months of school left. (Yes, TWO MONTHS! No more complaining about snow days extending the school year ever again!) I have been working really hard to capture the attention of the seniors. In the last few weeks, the Ministry of Education added two extra weeks onto the end of the year for seniors and announced that the kids would have to take Examenes de Grados. If the kids do not pass, then they do not graduate. Whaaaaa? Yup. True. Aaaaaaand totally ridiculous. ¡Así es la vida!
When I am not planning or grading, I am daydreaming about all of the things I will do once I have the time. Here are my lists: Continue reading →
So after my last post I received LOTS of feedback. All of it positive and kind which was awesome. I heard from people I haven’t spoken to in a long time which was a hoot! I have decided calling it ‘The Year of Megan’ sounds a wee bit too self involved after a few loving jokes from friends. Thanks for keeping me humble, fam. 🙂
In addition, I realized this might be my midlife crisis. I quit my job. I am with the most amazing younger man on Earth. And I moved to a new country. All signs of a midlife….crisis? I don’t think I’m in crisis. I googled ‘other names for a midlife crisis’ and Continue reading →
Most people know that I am not returning to my job next year. The decision has been made. What has not been decided is what the heck am I going to to do! Lots and lots of people have come up to me offering lots of options and I am incredibly blessed to have good people in my life looking out for me. Just today I ran into one of my students from my Continue reading →
On Sunday, Esteban and I went to Parque Metropolitano Guanguiltagua. It was a beautiful day – sunny, warm breezes, and blue skies. We packed a lunch of sandwiches and mandarinas, our new books (mine in Spanish and his in English), and a blanket.
We walked through a lot of the park – which is HUGE – it’s over 1.6 times as large as Central Park in NYC. I was searching for a roving group of llamas that live in the park Continue reading →
…since I wrote a post. In that year a lot has happened. I returned to the US. I went back to the same high school to teach Geometry and Algebra 2. It was both fun and weird to teach the … Continue reading →
So I have been reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business by Charles Duhigg on my Kindle.. It is a fascinating read. I mean really, really good. For so long I only … Continue reading →
I’ve decided to update everyone on my Couch to 5K Cool Running endeavor. I’ve kept up with the plan and today I ran for 20 straight minutes. For some of my marathon running friends, this is nothing. But for me, today WAS a marathon.
Up until now, the plan called for me to run for x amount of minutes, walk for half of that time, and I would have to repeat this process until the workout was complete. Today was the first day that I wasn’t supposed to walk in the middle. I was being asked to increase Continue reading →