Highest heights


We awoke in Quilotoa, a quaint mountain town at the base of what was once a towering volcano, now a breathtaking crater-lake. This stunning sight inspired the Quilotoa Loop— a trek in the sierras of southern Ecuador that takes you winding through Kichwa villages and around the crater we found ourselves prepared to hike. Continue reading “Highest heights”


Beauty in small things

There are some small moments and gifts that I don’t necessarily have a reflection to offer, but news to share…

  • My room is beginning to feel like my room rather than a guest bedroom I am staying in; while I am not sure what initiated this change, I enjoy it immensely.
  • I found a path through the fields that is a shortcut from my home to the soccer field where we exercise- perfect for my morning walk when I am not awake enough to want to greet everyone I meet along the road.
  • I got my first jigger!-a parasite that burrows in your toes and lays worm eggs in a sack- my host sister expertly pulled it out and it was coolly gross. I mistakenly thought I was the first to get one, but once I described it, 3 scholars discovered they’d had one for days.
  • I taught my family my favorite song in Swahili and I hear them singing it throughout the house all the time.
  • I am not shaving my armpits and I thought it would gross me out, but I have been completely un-phased, and deeply appreciate that.
  • One of my scholars brought the syllabus and reading for a sister program that uses the TI model, but with greater theoretical exploration. I am diving into the readings and, of course, loving it as I explore development models and outsiders’ roles.
  • My brother, Jarod, and I have developed a secret handshake. No dance moves in it yet, but perhaps coming soon.
  • When I first arrived, my family had just harvested sorghum and put it out to dry. The house this week is a flurry of activity with them beating it now to sell for grain and beer. In the meantime, we use it as a sort of mat for gymnastics, as our yard is covered in it.

Loving this exploration and all that I am learning about myself along the way…