Going Down Under

…My life abroad

weekend update September 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 11:12 pm

Well for starters, one thing I haven´t mentioned yet is that on thursday night my group of friends threw a HUGE suprise party for Nadia!  We all went out to one of the hippest restaurants in Quito, Boca del Lobo, and dressed up.  Then a few of the girls went back to nadia´s house for a bit while the rest of us ¨went home¨ to do whatever excuses we could come up with.  It took a lot of planning but it went so well!  We held it at Heather´s ecua-mom´s workplace, which probably sounds strange but it was a really sweet place to have it.  Nadia was so suprised and we had a great night – about 30 or so people came so that was awesome!

Friday and Saturday I went on a retreat with my church.  There´s a lot to say about it… it was really intense.  Let´s just say the format´s pretty different than like 3 messages and free time.  It only lasted for a little over a day and there was 20 ours of powerpoint presentations on different spiritual topics (i.e., armor of God, pride, generational curses, sexual purity…etc), mostly geared towards brand-new Christians.  It was really neat though to see about 100 teenage girls just going after God with everything they had.  They weren´t there to socialize…they were so attentive when I was feeling really ADD.  The weekend made me think about a lot of things.  Why does it seem sometimes like new christians can come to God so much more easily than someone like me who has been a Christian my whole life practically?  It also made me realize how blessed I am.  There is a lot more to tell….but I will have to talk a little later because i am on skype with aaron!!!!  my favorite!!!

 

supermaxi (the grocery store, not the other thing) September 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 9:29 pm

You know it´s a small world when you run into somebody from your high school in a grocery store in Quito.

 Yesterday Arelis, me, and my host mom were doing some leisurely grocery shopping in supermaxi, ecua´s version of giant.  I saw this girl that looked really familiar from the back… like Autumn Hilsinger from my high school.  She was a couple of years ahead of me but I was good friends with her brother.  When I got a little closer, i knew it was her.  I walked up to her and was like… this is gonna sound really weird, but are you a Hilsinger?? She was like, oh my gosh you are Andrea Britton from Mechanicsburg!  I remember you from the musicals!

Apparently she is a nanny for a family in maryland, and the dad was born and raised here in ecuador.  the family decided to visit for a week and brought her along to watch the kids.  we were so suprised to see each other… what are the chances of seeing someone from my high school here that randomly?? 

I mean I normally run into people i know at the cumberland parkway giant, but this is just ridiculous!

Today is Nadia´s birthday – she´s turnin the big 20!  we´re all going out for dinner tonight to celebrate.

 

a retraction

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 4:31 pm

I wrote a blog entry a few days ago about an incident with a volcanology class.  Apparently the account that I heard was not completely accurate and I would like to set everybody´s mind at ease.  Everyone from BCA is fine, and please do not hold the program responsible for it.  It could have happened anywhere at anytime.  My intention was not to make people worried sick or scare Messiah College, and it seems that has happened.  I was simply reacting that day to something I had found out and processing it.  I should not have talked about it and I just want to set the record straight.  In that moment I was thinking of my blog as something between me, my family, and some friends, and not thinking of it as what it is … very public.  Sorry for all the confusion!

 

for those who are interested September 26, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 4:29 pm

Let´s talk politics.

now i am by no means a very politically active person. it´s not really my cup of tea. but politics in ecuador really are fascinating.

for starters, democracy isn´t working so well here. in a recent poll, 50% of the population said they would rather have a dictatorship if it meant having a stable economy. wow. the government is getting more left every day, and the current president, Correa (you have to like majorly roll that r to pronounce it right) is pretty buddy buddy with Chavez. He has some support because he´s young and something new i guess, but people are worried about his decisions. he was reported recently to have called a female reporter a ¨horribly little fatty¨ for saying something he didnt like. Interestingly, he used to be a professer here at USFQ, and some people i know here have had him for class. They havent had good experiences with him.

Voting is not optional here in Ecuador. in order to have a bank account, get married, or do anything else practically, you have to have documented proof that you have voted. Mandatory voting doesn´t seem that democratic to me, but they almost have to do that because of the way they run elections… i´m getting to that.

You know how we have our constitution – basically it has only been revised a bit, right? Well Ecuador has completely redone its constitution 21 times, and they are about to kick it up to 22. Because of an economic crisis a while ago, ecuador changed its currency from sucres to the dollar because of inflation. this was actually going against its constitution which states they have to have their own currency. so they´re in a bit of a jam. In order to re-write their constitution, they have to elect an assembly just for that purpose. The elections are this weekend. And guess what? there are over 2,000 candidates.

I´m totally serious. These poor people have to choose from that circus of people to write something that could totally change everyone´s life here. Most people i´ve asked about it have no clue who to vote for. How can you properly look into the political platforms of that many people to make an educated decision?

The atmosphere around the city has been interesting. Every day I pass parades of chifas (these party buses that fit like 50 people and play loud music) with flags for their candidates, hooping and hollering. they get their campaign money from the government instead of paying for it themselves. they government does this to try to avoid people being supported by the banks and end up doing corrupt things later.

It is a law here that 50% of the people in the government have to be women. At first it seem like an awesome idea… something that we could learn from in the US. But sadly ecuadorians have told me most people just vote for the women with the prettiest faces and that´s that. So unfortunately, a lot of poorly qualified women get voted in because they´re a little more bonita. Oy vey.

We´ll see what happens to ecuador…

 

!!! September 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 9:22 pm

oh yeah, i forgot to mention,

MY DAD IS COMING TO VISIT ME ON OCTOBER 17th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i´m such a nerd i already have a whole itinerary planned out

 

not feelin the spanish thing today… September 24, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 5:03 pm

It was an awesome weekend, one of my favorites so far this semester. Saturday´s dinner with the Hewes, the missionaries I know, was so awesome. Their home is gorgeous with a great view of the volcano, and Karen cooked us lasagna, salad, and hot fudge brownie sundaes. it may seem stupid but we never get food like that and being with an american family around the dinner table… it felt about as close to home as i could get. i told karen, ¨These brownie sundaes are a MINISTRY!¨ haha because my mom always makes them when we have company. We got to talk about a lot of really neat stuff and Kara and I stayed there until nearly midnight playing cards with them. It was so awesome of them to have us over and we were really blessed by that. saturday i was a little sad because my cousin got married and i really wanted to be there.

Sunday, church was awesome. We had to sit on the floor because it was so packed, but it didn´t matter. After church jose and eduardo organized a futbol game in the park by our house. it was so much fun! running here is crazy because of the altitude.. and well i must have been a sight because i don´t do well with sports at HOME let alone thousands of feet above sea level. i think latin americans come out of the womb playing soccer. we had so much fun though, and afterwards we all randomly played games… you know like the icebreaker games you are forced to play when you´re at some leadership buildling retreat… ahah it was so random.

HOWEVER, the weekend took a turn for the worst at about midnight last night. now you have to understand, i am almost finished with the last season of alias and it´s getting intense. i knew i had some reading for lit that i could do this weekend, but my quiz wasn´t till wednesday, so i kind of just didn´t get the head start i planned to. but just before bed around midnight, i thought it might be wise to check the syllabus just to make sure the quiz was wednesday. to my shock and horror it was actually monday. and i had class at 10 am. i had to try to read 6 short stories throughout the night… looking up every other word in my little electronic dictionary. it´s so frustrating because if it were in english, it would be no problem. but these are written with dialogues with accents… you know how southern accents in english lit change the spelling of words? they do that with the indigenous language in spanish lit so you can´t even look the words up. i only got through 3 and have to leave a bunch of answers blank this morning. i´m so mad at myself and so frustrated that i can´t speak this language. grades always came more or less easily to me and now i have to work so much harder than everyone else just to keep up.

all that to say… next week study time for the following quiz will be better planned and probably take 10 hours, give or take. i need to remind myself that most ecuadorians can´t get this kind of higher education and i am lucky! but i just hate school right now!

 

A few pictures from life lately September 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 9:14 pm

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