Going Down Under

…My life abroad

Apathy October 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 4:57 pm

 (written last night after watching motercycle diaries)

Tonight I realized my worst enemy:  Apathy.

 

See, that’s the problem.  Apathy disguises itself as being acceptable.  It’s okay to not care because at least you’re not doing whatever horrible thing someone else is doing.  You are just living your life; No crime in that.  Besides, how can you possibly be expected to think that the solution to impossible situations has something to do with you?  You are one person.  One person caring is equal to nobody caring.  That is what I tell myself. 

Come to think of it, I tell myself lots of things.

 

I tell myself that if I really researched the war in Iraq, and learned about the injustice of it all, it wouldn’t matter anyways because everybody knows one person can’t stop a speeding train.

 

I tell myself that if I stopped supporting companies like Walmart and Starbucks that are sending third world country’s villages into economic destitution while their corporate executives lean back contentedly in their leather office chairs, that won’t stop anybody else from shopping there.  So I might as well take advantage of better-tasting coffee and cheaper electronics. 

 

I tell myself that supporting a compassion child would be great if I had a steady income.  It would be awesome to pay for a kid’s medical needs and education, but that would make it a little harder for me to go to the movies when I feel like it and keep my shoe collection going.

 

I tell myself that AIDS in Africa is a real shame.  It’s terrible that so many people die everyday from a disease which they do not know how to contain and prevent.  It’s a good thing Bono cares about it but he’s a celebrity so he can do something.  More power to him. 

 

I tell myself that it’s too bad there are elderly people who are suffering from our Medicare system in the US.  Good thing I’m still young and don’t have to worry about that for a while.

 

I tell myself that, after all, racism has diminished in America.  While I go on living blissfully ignorant of it in white suburbia. 

 

I tell myself that it’s unfortunate when people are without homes and sleep in the streets, even during the winter.  Even ten minutes away from my house.  But then I tell myself that giving money to them will probably support some addiction and that if I can find a job, they should be able to.  And I never think twice about the blessing of a roof over my head. 

 

I am reminded of a haunting quote from the film “Hotel Rwanda”.  In the midst of  genocide, someone asks why America is not coming to the aid of Africa.  Another replies, they’ll see it on the evening news, look up, and say, “How awful”.  Then they’ll go back to eating their dinner. 

 

Too often I have pointed the finger at “them”.  “The Man”. 

 

Living in a third world country is starting to make me reconsider. 

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exhausted. October 26, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 9:40 pm

crazy day.  Last night for dad´s last night we went to the most awesome restaurant called Cielo Quiteño (quito sky).  It´s aptly named because from the restaurant you see all of Quito below you, lit up and gorgeous.  Dad treated Sara, one of my best friends here, and her visiting boyfriend Gabriel to dinner.  We had such a great time.  They are an awesome couple and they asked my dad for his entire life story!  Haha!  Their love for Jesus just flows out of them…they are an awesome example to me because it is easy to see that they don´t distract or hinder each other from their relationships with God… rather, they encourage each other and grow together in that.  Just how it should be.

You know, seeing Gabriel and Sarah together is really hard for me.  I didn´t think it would be as hard as it is.  I don´t talk about my relationship with Aaron too much on here…not because It´s not on my mind a lot (trust me, it is haha), but because it´s more personal.  I will say, though, that things are going well.  I worried about how I could ever be in a relationship from so far away.  God has taught me a lot through it.  I think it has been a really good thing.  I´m learning a lot about communication and getting to know Aaron better even though we can´t actually be together.  But as any of you who have walked through that before know, it is so tough to be away from someone you care about.  There are a lot of times when I want to call and can´t, which would be so different in the US.  Seeing how excited Sarah and Gabriel were to be together again was cool, but made me want January to come a little bit faster, haha.  God has been reminding me that there is a season for everything and that this time without Aaron is a part of His plan, as much as I might not be too thrilled about that!  I think that with my dad leaving early this morning, all of the emotions of missing people I care about were a little overwhelming.

I was so tired all day from dropping dad off at the airport at the despicable hour of 4:30 in the morning.  Thank goodness it´s friday.  Tonight my host mom is going to be having 40…. yes….40 cousins over to our house.  It´s a pretty small house and I´m kind of wondering how they will all fit.  They completely re-did the living room for this little shindig.  I can´t imagine having 40 cousins.  Let alone entertaining for them all.  Wish me luck with trying to remember their names and making half-decent spanish conversation with them.  Tomorrow we head to cotopaxi to check out the volcano…

con amor,

Andrea

 

last day with dad October 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 9:23 pm

in about 12 hours my dad is getting on a plane to go back home, and im staying here in Quito.  Its hard, im not gonna lie.

(excuse my bad punctuation…no functioning apostrophe key on this keyboard.  its always something, haha)

But you know, its been such a great visit.  For the last 9 days we have done a ton of fun stuff, and had great conversations.  There was a lot to talk about and catch up on.  Its funny when you realize how things at home just kind of go on even when youre not there.  do you ever think that way – like when your gone nothing should happen without you?  but it makes the thought of going home exciting.  i have two months left.  i think it will go fast, things like this always do.  We are going to the Galapagos Islands next weekend, and that is the trip I have most looked forward to all semester.  You need not wonder if I will take lots of pictures to show you.  Got it covered.

So, what exactly have we been doing?  Well, tonight we are going out to dinner with my friend Sarah and her boyfriend Gabriel, who happens to be visiting her at the same time as my dad is here.  Today dad sat in on my dance class and watched me do my solo presentation…you are going to laugh but for this project I just adapted this old human video from our Mexico trip…the puppet one where you dance like a marionette.  See, missions dramas CAN help you in life.  Im living proof.  it was a big hit.  Today we had breakfast together at the hotel, too and that was really nice.  One kind of weird thing about my host family is that I have the exact same thing for breakfast everyday, so I just about kissed my scrambled eggs and bacon.  Yesterday I took dad to an artisan market and we did some souvenir shopping.  It felt strange to go souvenir shopping at this point in the semester…I dont feel like a tourist anymore, I was telling him.  It is such a tourist-y thing to do.  Then we went to the orphanage and he volunteered with me after we took a tour of the facility.  He just loved it, and as usual, he was a big hit with the kids.  I have been very impressed with my dads ability to connect with the people of ecuador despite the fact that he speaks very little spanish.  he keeps telling me how he wants to learn it now and i think he would be able to pretty easily based on how much hes learned in 9 days.  We both fed special needs children their dinner and we talked about that experience.  I am sure he will talk a little more in his blog about how pivotal that experience was for him yesterday.

The day before, a highlight was that he shared at the bible study i have with about 10 other BCA students.  He talked about the book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, having a dream and going after it as young people.  Again, he was a big hit! I think what he talked about was so appropriate for all of us.  Its so true that we need to be willing to take risks in our walk with God instead of playing it safe.  He told us this great quote which was something like, we should be more afraid of missing out than messing up in our lives, in a spiritual sense.  Anyways, get a recap from him sometime because it was awesome.

Well, I could go on, but thats enough for now.  Know that you are all missed so much and I appreciate you checking this blog… I wish I could call each one of you individually and let you know how much you mean to me and connect with you, but thats not too realistic!  Take care and have a good one…

 

hey from mindo! October 21, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 7:51 pm

Well, I am writing from an internet café in Mindo, sitting next to my dad.  I am still trying to get over the shock/jealousy from reading jamie´s blog to find out she met jennifer garner. 

Things the past few days have been interesting, to say the least.  My Dad and I have joked about this trip, because it honestly seems like almost anything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong.  His flight was really delayed, we had to switch him into a hotel because there were teenagers partying outside of his room until the wee hours of the morning two nights in a row.  Then thursday night I was up all night sick and went into the hospital all morning on friday, missing a big lit test.  Then get this…after I get out of the hospital finding out I have bacterial intestinal infection number 2 for this semester, I come down with a head cold the very same night.  I´m like…are you serious?  Then yesterday we went up to the teleferico after wating an hour for the bus and it pours rain, and once we get to the top the clouds are so thick we can´t see a thing.  We just laughed so hard.  Maybe Satan is mad that my Dad is so cool and gets to come visit me and wants to ruin it… well boo on him and I´m not gonna let it stop me!  intestinal infection, cold and all we are still having fun here in Ecua.  I love seeing this place through my dad´s eyes.  He seems to be having a ball and he´s picking up some Spanish, too.  I also gave him a salsa lesson and he did so well! 

Today we went to see the hummingbirds at El Descanso, then to the orchid gardens.  Afterwards we went to this sweet place where you can eat lunch on a table that is a boat on a lake and you paddle yourself around while you eat!  Then we both did a zipline…I happened to bang my head against a tree at the end but you win some you lose some, you know?….and went through a butterfly farm.  We´re taking a little break now before going four wheeling!  Should be a lot of fun.  Tomorrow I´m gonna take him to Old Town and that´ll be really cool. 

Please keep my health in your prayers if you get a chance!  Hope you´re all doing well… enjoying that gorgeous PA fall Ellie raves about…oh PS is it true what I have heard that the leaves are falling from the trees while they´re still green?  i just can´t have that.  later muchachos

 

October 18, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 8:02 pm

It just occurred to me how appropriate my little banana smoothie blog layout is.  I probably eat like 2 bananas a day here.  My host family gives me one every morning for breakfast.  I´m always impressed with the perfect amount of ripeness in the bananas they give me.  Not too green and not too brown and bruisy.  Not that I´m a banana snob, but I mean, the green ones are too moist and not sweet enough and even though i know it can´t hurt me i just don´t like eating those brownish spots on bananas when they´re long past ripe.  Are you one of those people that peels off the little banana strings like I do?  It kind of reminds me of string cheese….

Anyways,

My dad got in last night!  His flight was delayed quite a bit which was a bummer, but he arrived sano y salvo (safe and sound).  It was kind of funny… I was a little over-excited to see him at the airport and in the process of waiting outside the gate I mistook two different men for him from a distance before I got the right guy.  To the one I actually yelled out ¨DAD!¨ to which he gave me a confused look when he got up closer and everyone saw it happen.  He brought so many comforts from home in his suitcase….felt like Christmas a few months early!  Including….salt and vinegar chips, my fleece blanket, some special sauces, a new david crowder cd.  so exciting!  i showed him around the university today and he sat in on one of my classes.  it just so happened that during this particular class this girl was giving a presentation about safety in ecuador – in regards to sex, drugs, and alcohol.  hahaha these are the moments it hits me more than ever that i´m not at messiah college anymore.  at one point she said that she would give the ¨advice¨ to make sure we buy drugs here from ecuadorians that we know, and if we don´t know anyone we can get them from, we can come to her because she´s got connections.  Meanwhile my dad is sitting there…taking all of this in…trying to catch the cognates in spanish as they fly around the room.  The teacher told me to translate to my dad that our class isn´t ALWAYS like that. 

Things are going great and more updates to come as the week goes on!

 

SO excited! October 17, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 6:58 pm

The day has finally come… my dad is going to fly in tonight at 6:30!!

Words cannot really describe how excited I am.  It´s been something I´ve looked forward to ever since I found out a month ago.  I am so happy that God has blessed me with a family I can miss so much!  Even though it stinks to be homesick, I would rather be homesick than not be homesick.  I am really curious to see how my dad will react to my life here… I mean, it is just so totally different.  I wonder if he will be shocked at how crazy different it is.  It will be so weird because he will have to rely on my to translate everything and I know that can be frustrating, but it will be awesome to introduce him to so many people that have impacted my life here.

I have a whole little schedule planned out with stuff to do every day.  Tonight my host family is coming with me to pick him up at the airport and we´re having a welcome dinner for him.  kara and her host family from upstairs are gonna eat with us, too.  Tomorrow he´ll get to go with me to the university and sit in on my classes, and after going out to dinner I have planned for all of my friends to go out salsa dancing to the best place in town, so after giving him a little tutorial, he can try salsa with me!  Friday we are gonna go to the movies, which is a special father-daughter thing we have goin on back at home.  And over the weekend I´m gonna take him to Mindo to see the more exotic naturey side of ecuador!  Lots of fun stuff ahead… unfortunately homework is piling up and i hope it doesn´t get in the way!

There´s a bunch of things I have to remember to warn him about…like remembering the ¨ecua-kiss¨ when greeting new people, not assuming that any vehicle will stop for pedestrians, how to keep his wallet safe, etc, but I think he´ll adjust just fine and I know we´ll have a great time.  Keep him in your prayers that all of his travels will go smoothly and that he won´t get altitude sickness or stomach sick!

wish all of you could sneak into his suitcase…

may be a while till i get a chance to write again, so… until then!

 

back to Quito October 15, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 5:00 pm

I know I´ve blogged a couple times already about the beach…i could probably have written 5 more for all the funny stuff that happened to us…but let me finish up with the saga that happened yesterday.

We kind of putzed around all day yesterday because it was raining again and we had to check out and everything.  it had taken us a lot longer to get to the beach than we had thought, so we were a little worried about making it back in time for classes this morning.  we planned to leave at 4.  throughout the day i occupied my time with buying earrings.  haha well not all day…slight exaggeration…but i did buy like 7 pairs of earrings.  one pair is peacock feathers.  they´re kind of outrageous but when you buy earrings for one dollar you can´t go wrong.  i was just gettin´my hippie on.   you know how i do.   HAHA!

well we decided to leave as early as possible, so we started walking out of the town around 4 pm to try to get to the main road and catch a bus to puerto lopez and from there to quito.  but we had no idea what the schedule was.  when we were walking out of the town it was such a surreal experience.  all the shopkeepers and restaurant owners and people we had met like came out to the street and waved at us as we walked out with our bags saying, don´t leave!  come again soon!  straight out of a movie, no lie.  WHAT a weird town.

Anyways, we show up at the main road and see the band from the night before…the sweet regaae-but-can-play-any-cover-amazingly-well band…standing there too.   they tell us how the bus drivers and still on strike but offer us a ride to guayaquil in their PRIVATE BUS.  we´re like…this can´t be happening.  i mean first of all we were kind of acting like star-struck teeny boppers because we couldn´t believe the band was even talking to us let alone offering us transportation.  so we changed plans, piled into the bus like one big happy family, and had an entertaining 4 hour ride to guayaquil.  that´s the biggest city in ecuador, bigger even than quito.  the bus ride was pretty hilarious.  we drove by this huge mountain of salt and the drummer goes, hey look, the world´s biggest mountain of cocaine.  and kara without really thinking about it takes a picture out the window!! hahahahah.  i can´t even really tell you how funny that bus ride was.  oh man.  at one point i asked everyone in the van to say what they had just been thinking about out loud after like 10 minutes of silence.  you should have heard some of the stuff.  i was thinking about how hard it is going to be to remember to put toilet paper in the toilet when i get back home and how embarrassing it will be when i forget and people find unpleasantries in their trash cans.

so when we arrive to guayaquil our chummy band friends help us find the bus terminal and buy tickets to quito.  which was wicked nice of them considering how lost and confused we would have been otherwise.  then we board THE WORST bus of our lives.  for those of you who were there for the infamous honduras bus experience, this gives it a run for its money.  the driver drove like such a maniac that we got to quito 2 hours earlier than we should have.  the whole time the bus felt like it was going to fall apart and i was shaking just as much as when jon krebbs comes up to me at church and shakes me like he always does.  oh dear.  then we get back to quito and our host family changed the locks and forgot to tell us so we´re waiting outside at 4 in the morning.   I can only hope we will laugh about this later…

actually i´m laughing already.

dad comes in 2 days!!!!!!!  AAAH!