Going Down Under

…My life abroad

I think everyone should put a large picture of their dog on the side of their home… July 20, 2007

Filed under: Thoughts Before Leaving — Andrea @ 12:46 pm

So I found out something really hilarious about the house where I’m living for the next 5 months.  I put a picture of my host family a couple posts ago so you can see what they look like.  As you can see, they’re an older couple.  Well, their one son and his wife have an apartment in the same building, just on the top floor.  They also host a student.  It’s kind of a cool setup because that way I’ll have another American living in the same building as me and hopefully we can ride the bus together and stuff.  But anyways, Kaelie, my friend who lived with this same family last semester, took a picture of the house.  When I first saw it, I laughed so hard because I could not figure out why there was this huge picture of two cocker spaniels on the front of the house.  I mean have you ever heard of someone doing that before?   I asked my friend Sue about it, who also lived with my host family a few years back, and she said that this couple upstairs is like reaaaally into show dogs.  and get this: They were the first people to bring golden retrievers to Ecuador.  I kid you not.  What a claim to fame! Haha.  But Sue said I should expect to be attending at least one dog show during my stay.  Oh boy.  And we all know how much I love animals…. can you sense the sarcasm here….

I’ll post a picture here so you can see it.

So the next time you think you really love your dog, ask yourself, “How can I do more to show my dog how much I care about it?” and maybe you will find yourself hanging a huge picture of it from YOUR front door. 


Channel 28 July 19, 2007

Filed under: Thoughts Before Leaving — Andrea @ 5:38 pm

About a week ago I got an email from the international student director at the school I’ll be studying at this fall.  He has the sweetest name ever – “Juan Francisco Guerrero”.  I love Ecuadorian names.  My one friend at Messiah who’s from Ecuador is Eduardo Xavier Cardenas.  Say that 5 times fast.  I’m getting off-topic.  So this dude Juan emails me to tell me that I need to take a Spanish placement test online this week, to determine which level of Spanish classes I will be put into.  I guess I shouldn’t be – but it made me nervous!  The last time I had any sort of Spanish class was last spring, over a year ago.  I needed to study – so I did what any diligent student of Espanol would do – I turned on the Spanish Channel.

If you’ve never watched the Spanish Channel, you are missing out.  It’s a riot.  My Spanish teacher in high school (the one who is now in jail for child porn but we won’t get into that right now) used to let us watch it in class but only if their weren’t “abuelas en tube tops” on at the moment.  There’s this one show called “Mujer: Casos de la vida real” (translation=woman: real life cases) that is a must-see.  It’s these over-dramaticized spoofs on women that are having affairs or their children are ruffians or something.  I turned it on the other day to some soap opera and sat there trying to understand what they were saying to brush up on my skills.  Man, if you thought soap operas were bad in English, try that channel.  After about 10 minutes I decided it just wasn’t worth it and went back to Gilmore Girls.  In that moment I realized why Jamie Sebastian reccomended that I bring a couple of seasons of a TV show on DVD to Ecuador, haha.  There is so much I love about Hispanic culture, but their television programming is not one of them.

But yeah… wish me luck.  This test should be a beast.  And no one should have to take tests during the summer.


“What are you still doing in bed? You have to be at work in 5 minutes!” July 18, 2007

Filed under: Thoughts Before Leaving — Andrea @ 5:39 pm

That is how I started my day… a little on the frazzled side. Getting ready in 5 minutes has never been something I was very good at.

Last night I said a few more goodbyes. Kelsey and Riley leave today. I would have gone to lunch with them and a bunch of people from church, but lunch break didn’t allow. It’s always hard saying goodbye to Kels. I don’t get to see her too often and she is so great. I hope everyone finds a friend like her in life – she’s the type of friend where it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since we last saw each other – we just kind of pick up where we left off and go from there. She’s drama-free and challenges me to be better. I appreciate that a lot.

Right before I took my lunch break today, I got an e-mail from Aaron. He encouraged me about tonight, knowing that it’s the last time that I’ll lead worship on a Wednesday night (I think – next week everyone’s at camp). For some reason, reading that email really made me start thinking about tonight and how hard it will be to lead worship for the last time. I’ve done it for so long – since senior year – and it has become one of my biggest passions, despite the stress and responsibility of it. I got kind of teary and went way over my lunch hour sitting in my car trying to ‘pull it together’. I wish I was able to take a personal day but being a workstudy we don’t exactly get those options! The point is, tonight is just another thing that I’ll say goodbye to. I know it’s not like I’m dying or something, there will be many more opportunities down the road, but I can’t help feeling sad about it. Who knows if I will even have access to a piano in Ecuador? Or if when I come back there will be another worship leader in place for the youth?

I know I need to just suck it up and deal with the hard week and a half ahead of me, but it’s easier said than done.


Here I go… July 16, 2007

Filed under: Thoughts Before Leaving — Andrea @ 7:51 pm

Well hello everyone! This is sort of a trial-blog for now. My goal is to have a blog for this whole year of my travels, since I’ll be studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador and Sydney, Australia. I’m toying with doing a blog like Pastor Tony’s but you have to pay a monthly subscription and hey… let’s face it… I’m a poor college student. For the same monthly rate as the typepad blog, 8.95, I could purchase a bus ticket in Ecuador to the beach or two nights of salsa dancing. So for now I will be using the slightly-more-ghetto free site, haha.


I leave in twelve days. I can hardly believe it. The reality of being gone for a year really hit me yesterday when I said goodbye to my cousin and his fiancee whose wedding I will miss while I’m gone. Some days I feel like I wish I was there now. Other days, days like today, I want to chicken out and stay in good ‘ole Mechanicsburg forever. Of course, at the end of the day it’s just a bitter-sweet feeling. Probably many of you can relate to a time when you know what you are about to do will be an incredible life experience, but it’s tempting to avoid the risk and miss out. I know that in the end I will come home a different person but hopefully in a good way. Lindsay put it well one night when we were about to fall asleep on vacation. She thought out loud, “I think that when you come back at Christmas you will still be Andrea – but to like… the 10th power.” Haha. We’ll see.