Monthly Archives: August 2012

One Week to Go!

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Hello again.  Remember the hard work I projected would take place all of last week? (I needed to pack-up my two bedroom apartment that I have lived in for about 8 years.)  About 75% of my packing took place on Friday night, since I was fully aware that friends were coming to load my two storage units on Saturday morning . . . and they probably wouldn’t be too excited to see an unpacked apartment.  Is that procrastination?  Possibly.  However, I like to think of it as pacing myself . . . and then sprinting to the end. 🙂

The friends that helped were completely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Seriously.  They were so good that a neighbor asked for their card because she thought they were an actual moving service.  And, check out the picture of the storage units.  It is hard to believe that 95% of my worldly possessions fit inside of there!

Before the packing began, there was some major doubt about whether my things would fit or not.  Granted, from the picture, you can see that my friend in the black shirt is almost as tall as the unit.  Yes, he is tall, however, the limited space still made packing tricky.  The good news is that we conqurered the negativity and now my belongings are so securely packed inside the two units that nothing should fall over during the transport to the storage facility.  Fitting everything in was kind of like a game of Tetris.

Currently, I am living at my brother and sister-in-law’s house for the next week.  This is my new home for 7 days.  How kind of them to let me stay at their house with my niece and nephew, Addison and Tyler.  Tonight, I have the pleasure of sleeping on the floor in my niece’s room while she sleeps in her bed.  She was excited to have me here and I just couldn’t say no to the offer. 🙂

Next Sunday, I leave St. Louis at 6:30AM and arrive in Miami, Florida around 10:30AM.  From there, I will meet up with some of the other WorldTeach volunteers and we will fly to Ecuador together in the afternoon.  We arrive in Ecuador around 11:30PM.  I found out this week that am the “point person” for WorldTeach in Miami.  This means that I am to make sure that all of the volunteers on my flight arrive on time and that we aren’t missing anyone.  I suppose the WorldTeach office must have looked at my resume and saw that I have taught first and second grade and knew that the ongoing counting of students would come in handy for this task.  I hope I can handle it.

I recently found out a bit more about my orientation in Quito.  It will last about 3 1/2 weeks and my host family will come and pick me up at the end of our first day, Monday, September 3.  Think of me on Labor Day, when you are having a barbecue – I’ll be meeting the family I will have the privilege to live with the next few weeks.  Good stuff.

My dad and I are headed to sell my car tomorrow in Independence, Missouri.  The car has been really fun, but, it’s time to say goodbye.  Here’s a picture of my friend Rob in my car.  Believe it or not, this is the only picture I have of my car!  Sorry Rob, you have to be a model for this one. 🙂

I’m not sure if I have mentioned to you that there will be about 30 other WorldTeach volunteers in Quito with me during orientation.  I am excited to meet so many new people.  However, sometimes I get nervous . . . and quiet.  Argh.

  • What tips/advice do you have for me as I meet so many new people in the coming days?
  • What are things you like to remember when you are placed in unfamiliar situations?

I hope to see many of you this week! 🙂

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Eek!

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Two weeks . . . and PLENTY to do!

I am not really panicked, however I probably should not spend a majority of  my time reading, napping or watching TV these next few days. 🙂  This next week is when I need to get the most hard work done – packing up my apartment, putting everything into a storage unit (with the help of some awesome friends!), and moving to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for my last week here.  Once I am at their house, it should be smoother sailing until I leave on the 2nd.

I found out my teaching city this past week.  Before, I tell you the exciting news, remember I’ll be in Quito for the first 3-4 weeks for WorldTeach orientation and will then travel to the city I will teach in for approximately the next 10 months.  The name of the city . . . Riobamba.  Could there be a more fun name for a city?  Click here to find out a little more about the city.  You can also look for it on the map on the right – click on it to make it bigger.  And, as many of you know, one of my big desires has been to be able to walk to work in Ecuador and I believe this might be possible in Riobamba.  Yay for small blessings. 🙂

You may be wondering about little Hannah since the emotional plea during my last post.  I am excited to say that I found a home for her!  A wonderful teacher (Mrs. Wilson) that I work (or worked) with, her dog-loving husband (Tom), and their super-cute 3rd grade son (Ian) are adopting Hannah during the time I am in Ecuador.  I must say, Tom has shown his loving heart for dogs throughout our communication during the past few months and I feel absolutely confident that Hannah will be loved and well cared for these next months.

One of my hardest upcoming days, however, will be this Friday when I take Hannah over to the Wilson’s house to drop her off to stay.  I’m not sure if it will sink in at the time, but know that after 11 years of loving her, walking her and living with her, it will be a tough adjustment.

It’s amazing how the days are going by so quickly!  As I get a few items for my trip during these next two weeks, something I definitely need to get are two host family gifts.  I will stay with a host family in both Quito and Riobamba.  I need your help in thinking of something to get each of the host families.

  • What would be a great gift to get for my host family that would represent St. Louis or the U.S.?
  • What would you want to get from a visitor from another country?  Why?

I look forward to reading your responses and getting some fabulous gifts.  Thanks again for reading! 🙂

Baby Steps!

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Hello again!  Thank you for those who have chosen to receive email notifications of my posts.  I am excited that people are truly interested in my upcoming journey to Ecuador – and the preparations.  Thank you very much!

Last time I wrote, I mentioned that I had a lot of items on my “to do” list.  While I find it interesting that things continue to get added to the list, I am happy to say that most of the BIG things have been taken care of at this point.  Yay!  I’ve found a storage unit, chosen NOT to purchase international insurance, had a will written, located a place to sell my car, and booked my flight.

The last major item to complete, which has my heart all over it, is finding a foster home for my dog, Hannah.  If you are not a dog lover, you might not truly empathize with this struggle, but trust me . . . it is H-A-R-D.  Let me tell you what I am learning.

Patience.  Trust.  Patience.  Trust.  And . . . patience.

A few years ago, I was reading from Oswald Chambers’ book, My Utmost for His Highest.  Something has stuck with me ever since then . . . gracious uncertainty – click on the colored words to be linked to the website with more about this amazing and encouraging perspective.  I need to remember that uncertainty is not a bad thing.  I can trust that God will provide, and I don’t always have to be completely certain about everything . . . even with my dog. 🙂

This week, I should find out the city where I will be placed to teach while I am in Ecuador.  I am excited to discover which city I will be in so I can begin learning about the area.  And then I can tell you where to come and visit me!

Thanks for the suggestions of “St. Louis Things” do to during my last days here.  I did bike on the Katy Trail, which was pretty great . . . until my bike tire popped.  Yeesh.  I must say though, that day was one of my favorite memories this summer.  It was completely relaxing being out in nature, wonderful being able to talk and laugh with a good friend, beautiful eating lunch outside, and hilarious when the tire-popping incident occurred. 🙂  With the summer officially winding down:

  • What has been your favorite memory from the summer?
  • What made it memorable?  Who were you with?

I’m excited to hear from you.  Thanks again for reading!  Hasta luego.