The Blues, The Gays and The Night Bus…

Hello All!

So the last few weeks have been interesting, I finally got real homesick (worst feeling ever) and spent a week pretty much like this…

feels-

I’m pretty sure my Peace Corps friends and friends back home got real tired of me feeling feelings since I’m usually like…

crying

Since this is not my first abroad rodeo I realized that it was probably my 3 month slump. I tend to get very homesick around the 3 month mark and that’s how long I’ve been in site so I’m sure that’s what it’s all about.

Fortunately for me though, shortly after my pity party was underway there was also a meeting for the LGBTQ volunteer support group. They had recently opened up the group for allies and as some of my friends know, I LOVE THE GAYS and also everything that this gif represents….

fab

So I joined the group to support my LGBTQ friends and at the same time the group was able to support me through my slump. It was all pretty much like…

pink fluffy unicorns

I love my volunteer family!

So outside of being homesick I also had my first night travel experience!

Recently Peace Corps Ecuador has started to allow the volunteers that are in the southernmost provinces to take night buses for official Peace Corps events. Since I basically live FOREVER away from Quito I decided to take my first night bus…

bad idea

Well, the trip started with all of the tickets being sold out in my site, so I got to travel 4 ½ hours to the nearest big city and catch a bus there. Once I was on the bus they promptly closed all of the windows and turned off the air conditioning so the bus then turned into a mobile sauna, after about 5 minutes I was like…

sweating

The entire time I was thinking about all of the diseases I was probably contracting from my fellow passengers and putting myself into a mini-panic. I was also next to the bathroom and I am a giant human so anytime I finally got to sleep people tripped over me and I was like…

hate

Then my ipod froze… heavy sigh… and THEN we got a flat tire… At this point I was just like…

mad

Oh but it gets even better! Once we arrived at the terminal I got on a public bus that goes about an hour outside of Quito to our training center. There were no seats so I got to stand/fall around the bus with my giant hiking backpack on. All of a sudden I got extremely hot and realized that I was about to faint… so I just dropped my backpack and sat down on the floor very casually, like…

peter-forget-how-to-sit-down-o

I was breathing like…

hyperventilating

And I’m pretty sure I looked like…

panic

And everyone around me was just like…

see

I ended up NOT actually fainting on the public bus and once I FINALLY made it to the training center I was like…

anigif_enhanced-buzz-30630-1366837360-7

And I have decided that I will probably avoid night buses in the future.

Once in Quito, everything was great! I went out dancing with my volunteer friends and got to hang out with a fellow Texan (from Fort Worth!) that works at the embassy here…

small world

So I guess it was definitely worth my most recent near death experience!

Hopefully when I go back to Quito in November it won’t be nearly as traumatizing!

Well, until next time… I hope everything is great in your part of the world!

Peace Out!

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The Gringo Show

Hello All,

Sorry it’s been a little while since my last post. I’ve been super busy and just didn’t have the time… And honestly that’s a good problem to have!

So, in September I got to take my personal days and I traveled to another site for their local festival!

The first night’s festivities consisted of a party with a $5 cover, so basically, a party for the rich people in town. There was a band with chairs set up for the audience and a small dance floor. We danced our faces off and since we were the only foreigners around, everyone was watching us like….

wtf

I’m also pretty sure I was dancing like….

gale

AND one of my friends accidentally tripped and FELL in front of the entire crowd!!! This is how I remember it in my head…

Sal

Sorry, I had to include that because that was the highlight of my trip…

Needless to say, I think it was fair that they were staring and I’m sure we gave the entire town something to talk about for weeks to come.

The next day they had the exact same party, but this time it was in the central park and free so a lot more people were there. I was tired from dancing the previous night so I didn’t really dance that much, but I had fun hanging out and meeting other volunteers that were there.

To be honest, as a new volunteer when I meet other volunteers, on the inside I’m totally like…

fangirling

But outside I’m like….

god-hi

Well, once I got back to site my counterpart and I got started on my Community Assessment Surveys! I have interviewed a few people now and I’m getting some great information. I already have several ideas for projects that I want to work on in the future but I still need to do A LOT more just to get information and to get to know people in the community.

Most people have no idea who I am or why I’m here so right now my interviews are pretty much like….

be my friend

But hopefully soon they’ll be more like…

best friends

Also while doing my surveys I’ve been trying to improve my Spanish skills, but some days I feel that I’m just like….

I-Like-That

And other days I feel that I’m like….

me gusta

I have also realized that because of studying Spanish so much, my English is pretty much like…

english-fail

I’m sure anyone who has studied another language can understand that!

So while I’ve been doing my interviews for the last two weeks, my youth have been on vacation and traveling. My host family also got vacation time since they work at one of the schools. I found out that my host family was planning on going to another city to visit family… That meant I’d get to be home alone for a week…

risky

But then I soon found out that Ecuadorians do not feel comfortable leaving women home alone overnight and they had my host mother stay at home with me instead. I explained multiple times that I am OK to be left alone and that I have lived on my own for the last 10 years of my life in the States. But they insisted on having her stay with me. I was pretty much like…

disappointment

They never directly admitted it was because of me but I talked to my counterpart and he agreed that it was not normal to leave a young woman home by herself.  I felt really bad for my host mom since she didn’t get to travel for her vacation. But, I did go with her to visit her family and she was like…

grinning

I honestly REALLY didn’t want to go since I have a full month of traveling ahead of me but again, she wouldn’t go unless I was going so I had to take one for the team and go on the trip….

shrug nicki

Then after my unplanned vacation we had a cluster meeting for people in and near my province. I had to travel awhile to get there since my site is out of the way OF EVERYTHING (not complaining) but it was totally worth it. I got to meet A LOT of other volunteers and it was great to hang out with everyone. I also got to eat really delicious food…

hoagie

During my time at the cluster meeting, my host mom also got to travel again to visit her family so I was happy about that. The only problem was that she wasn’t back when I got home yesterday and she had put an extra lock on the door so I couldn’t get in. I called her and she was like…

oops

Fortunately my counterpart owns an internet café so I was able to just go and hang out there until she got home.

It has definitely been a very busy few weeks and the rest of the month looks like it’s only going to get busier!

Hope everything is great in your part of the world!

Oh, and if I don’t write before Halloween… Here you go…

0C9wtFA

You’re welcome!

Peace out!