The English Language Fellow program generally has a 2-year limit, which I have now reached. But I let the Embassy know that I wanted to stay in Ecuador. And the Embassy wanted to keep me. So they found funding, worked up a contract through the Fulbright Commission, and now I’m here 6 more months. HOORAY!! Besides allowing me to keep my awesome job a little bit longer, and extending that job until the summer (so I’ll be back on a regular academic-year cycle for finding new employment), it’s also buying me a little more time to accomplish a few more goals in Ecuador. This year’s list includes:
1. Go to all of Ecuador’s 24 provinces.
I’ve already been to 19, so I only have 5 provinces to go (Cañar, Carchi, Los Rios, Morona Santiago, Sucumbios). This may be a little tricky. The Embassy advises against travel to one of those provinces because of border activity. One province has no attractions and isn’t even listed in my travel guidebook. The others are just a little far or inconvenient to travel to from Quito. But I will not let any of this stop me!
2. Further improve my Spanish. There’s always room for improvement.
3. Further improve my salsa dancing. There’s always room for improvement.
4. Learn to make fanesca. (Rolled over from last year.)
5. Go to a professional soccer match. (Rolled over from last year.)
6. Make a LIST of “things sold on the street.” I wanted to make a photo album of this last year, but it didn’t happen. I am often without my camera, or not in a position to photograph the street sellers hawking their wares. But a list? That I can do.
7. See a bomba performance. The Afro-Ecuadorian community in the Chota valley (a few hours north of Quito) has a musical/dance tradition called bomba. I’ve never seen it. I would like to.
8. Find a new job. When my contract ends in July, it would be nice to be gainfully employed for the rest of the year. Stay tuned for where and what that employment might be…
HERE WE GO!!!