Daily Archives: September 28, 2010

Gone ‘Til November

Life in Quito is about to get VERY busy.

For those of you who don’t know, I am coming home in early November. There is so much more to say about that, but there will be plenty of time to GO THERE, so to speak, later on. All I can say is that, when you decide to come home, everything becomes more wonderful wherever you are about to leave. It’s already becoming bittersweet, and while I don’t doubt the decision at all, I am afraid this next month and a half is just going to FLY…

Ecuadorian woman in indigenous garb. Otavalo Market, Ecuador.

Man, what have I been up to?! SO MUCH!

Over the weekend, I ventured to the famous (and overwhelmingly colorful) Otavalo Market. I am NOT a big shopper, and if I do any kind of shopping, I usually prefer to do it on my own and fast. I have to touch everything, and I’m in and out (uhhh, still talking about shopping here). I especially am not into shopping in the scorching sun (as much as I do love the sun, this whole Equator thing is very real), and I am not into being grabbed and lured into every single little tent when I’m just trying to look around. But, that said, it was a very nice trip and a good experience to get out of the big city and over to Otavalo. I had big hopes and dreams of getting friends and family members all sorts of easily-packable presents, but somehow I ended up with a bunch of random wall-hangings (for an apartment I don’t have, mind you) and one necklace of the Inca sun for myself. Oops!

Pile of Yarn and Gringos. Otavalo Market, Ecuador.

After the Otavalo market, we headed to Cotacachi, a place known as “the leather town” here. Now, I usually just stick to Argentina when I want something made out of leather, but this adorable little town in the middle of the Andes also cast some sort of spell on me. I had NO intention of buying anything in leather there, and only had $60 remaining in my left shoe (I had already gone into the right shoe for my other $60 while in Otavalo). Well, we walked into a store, I immediately saw the kind of leather jacket I’ve been looking for for years (a dark brown leather bomber), I tried it on, it fit perfectly, my friends encouraged me to throw down for it, I said F-it, I’ll take it, and that was that. The owner told me it was $78. I told him I had $60 in my shoe (visiting these places, bargaining becomes like a game). I found a couple more scraps of dollars in my bag, and it became mine for $70. Excellent.

Cotacachi Street. Cotacachi, Ecuador.

With only about a month and a half left in Ecuador, I am going to have to be very productive and efficient. I absolutely cannot leave South America without going to Colombia, and yet how can I leave Ecuador without visiting the Galapagos Islands?! I can’t afford either trip, especially with no job lined up for when I get home (YET! Anyone, anyone?! I’m available and on the hunt!), but let’s be honest: it’s not like that has ever stopped me before.

Here’s a song to match my current mood.

Basically, I’m in a good place. I am feeling great about being 27, about still having over a month of South American living, of speaking Spanish, of putting together an Argentina guidebook before I leave (this involves reading over 900 pages of writing in the next 2-3 weeks and cutting it down to about 600 or so), about things I’ve learned, adventures I’ve had, trips I still plan to take before I go…

Man on a bike. Cotacachi, Ecuador.

Some people have said to me, “I’m sorry it didn’t work out” because I am not staying in Ecuador the entire year. Look, that is absolutely NOT the case! It’s hard to explain this, but all I can say is that this trip has absolutely worked out. It hasn’t been about getting exactly what I want out of it (I didn’t know what I wanted), it’s been about taking everything I DO get out of it along in my little life suitcase. I came here with no idea what to expect, and that is exactly what I got.

With only about a month and a half of Ecuadorian adventures left, I’m going to have to try not to blink. It’s funny how deciding to go home can make you love that you aren’t there …yet.

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