Saturday, May 31, 2008

"What will you do...?"

Every one keeps asking me what I'll do when I get home. All I can say is the following:


My first serious order of business will be a haircut considering I haven't had one since August of 2007. Next, I will buy new sneakers, preferably gray and purple New Balance or Adidas cross trainers. Ten new pairs of Victoria Secret underwear are in order, too. They were the only brand to survive my time here. Call it extravagant, I don't care. You didn't wear the same twelve outfits for ten months straight. Nor did you live off $200 a month as well (when you got paid). I am also going to buy five new bras. Go ahead, keep judging. I'll refrain from commenting on your luxurious lunches while I ate chicken and rice nearly every day.


In addition to the above, I will buy enough Burt's Bees products to fill Mr. Brownie Sundae's second bathroom for two weeks, which he will so graciously allow me to turn into a deluxe mini-spa in July. I plan to take lots and lots of baths.


After I've made myself feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and relaxed, I am going to settle down with a mixing bowl full of blueberries and a quart of reduced fat chocolate milk and read the year's worth of mail and magazines I have waiting for me.


So there you have it.... that is my plan until August. All I can say about the time after that is I plan to spend it with friends & family eating food and having fun. Those are my priorities. I have nothing more planned nor will I until I am good and ready sometime in August. (Allie, Whit, Lo, and Linz, I have a list of fun for us ;))

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pancakes, the ultimate comfort food

"You can eat pancakes any damn time you want!" - Noah's father in "The Notebook"

I have taken this quite literally lately considering my host mom has taken to making the girls cow intestines for lunch. I'll pass thanks, which means I make myself pancakes now. Soon enough I will be in charge of my own food. Until then, pancakes it is.

The Final Month

As the days keep falling off the calendar, I realize I have one month (about) to conquer the following items on my "last days of Ecuador" list:

1. Eat ceviche
2. Finish my picture project
3. Salsa dance until I cannot walk
4. Finish all the book and Spanish magazines in my room
5. Shop for my "to buy" items I would like to bring home
6. Learn the secret of Cyrano bakery
7. Visit the only museum I haven't seen in Quito yet, Of course I have forgotten the name
8. Visit El Jardin Botanico en Parque Carolina
9. Lose the 10 lbs I gained
10. Get my last $10 manicure at the Swissotel - HooDoo VooDoo is calling my name
11. Eat sushi at Tonoshi - apparently it is the best
12. Conquer my 6,000 Spanish word book
13. Play Canasta with Ash, Brook, and Jefe until I get my fill
14. Visit the donut lady in Old City one last time
15. Return to Cuenca for Ella time and arepas
16. Hit the only two beaches I think I will like here
17. See blue footed boobies in Isla de la Plata
18. Go to the dentist
19. Learn to make my Ecuadorian favorites
20. Plan my return vacation to Eucador but not as a volunteer and with spending money.

Galápagos next June anyone?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ramblings

A dear friend recently wrote inquiring why Cupcake hasn't had anything to say so I felt obliged to respond. Lately, I have been extremely unmotivated and grouchy. I believe it's because sleep has eluded me since I returned from the U.S. I fear my five day interlude damaged the eight months of complacency I had constructed to deal with the experience. Now, I feel suffocated and in dire need of some freedom, solitude, a chaise lounge, and a bowl of spicy vegetables. Anxiety has taken a nice firm grip on my mind as I try to piece together the life I will have when I return in July. My financial situation, my living situation, everything looms over my head like the clouds have over Mt. Pichincha since October. Maybe it is the rain, too. There have been maybe ten days of brilliant sun since October. The rest of the time we have encountered endless days of clouds, rain, rain, and more rain. Let's just say the weather here is gross and depressing.

Some days I have so much to write, I am too overwhelmed to sit down at a distracting internet café and let it pour out. But worry not, I have several notebooks and piles of papers full of thoughts from every day of my time here. I've not failed to write at least something about each day. I realize that does no good to those of you without access to them, but it is there- all of it in bright crayola marker or cheap Super Paco pen ink. The mountains of paper and notebooks scare me a little, as I fear I will not be able to organize them once I leave, yet, I cannot bring myself to place them in any order while I am here. Some days, it is a miracle I even find comfort in the awful furniture long enough to write as much as I do.

Since November, I've imagined my first glass of ginger ale fizzing and bubbling in my airline cup. When I came to Ecuador, I knew my time here would be temporary but some where along the way, it transformed into indefinite because I could not see the end, as it was always a year away. If you asked me where I live, I would tell you en el barrio de la florida en el norte de Quito cerca del aeropuerto... My love affair with Ecuador is coming to an abrupt end as the time is evaporating like the steam off the mirror after a hot shower.

I hope I can make the best of my last month and week here and end the love affair on a bittersweet note...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Quotation of the Day

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” - Albert Einstein

Sunday, May 11, 2008

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you mamitas out there :) I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing day :)

SAVE THE HONEY BEES!!


(from insectidentification.org)

So this weekend, I was reading one of the magazines my aunt or sister sent me and I was very alarmed to discover the plight of honey bees. Who knew they are in danger of becoming extinct and soon. I found this news deeply disturbing. So Let's do something about it:

Haagen-Dazs Website to help save the bright buzzing creatures

Make a difference today or try to imagine the world with one-third less crops because honey bees are the reason for their existence (including apples and cauliflower). Buzz, buzz!!

Pigs, Pigs, and more Pigs

So I walk at least an hour every day with Ash. We pass tens of tiendas with "fritata" just hanging out in the streets. It usually looks like this:



You can imagine my shock when I went to the party the night before the wedding at Justin's parent's house where they had this lovely catered event with a Hawaiian pig roast:



My seriously doubt I will be able to eat much pig from now on. I have so far managed to avoid the animal all together with the exception of maybe once or twice. I ended up eating mostly vegetables and salad while I was home...I look forward to using my "Vegetable Love" cookbook when I return.

Friday, May 09, 2008

More Wedding Pictures


WEDDING CAKE


ROBIN HAVING FUN IN THE LIBRARY


THE OTHER ROBIN HAVING FUN IN THE LIBRARY


ME AND THE ROBINS ROCKING THE GIN

THE GIRLS WITH THE BRIDE

The Wedding

Saturday, May 3, I attended one of my best friend's weddings. The morning was dreary, grey, and completely overcast. I thought for sure it was going to pour and they would have to move the event inside. However, one hour before the ceremony began, the sun came out as if on cue, which allowed the guests and couple to enjoy their big day unencumbered.

As soon as I arrived, I went into the stone building to look for Bethy. For some reason, I just had to see her one last time before she became Justin's wife. I wanted to see her last moments as the Bethy I knew before she embarked on a wonderful life with her new husband. Her sister, gorgeous in her lovely pink dress, showed me upstairs where I found my friend. She was absolutely stunning and calm as a cucumber. I nearly burst into tears when I hugged her. She was jubilant, sure, and as lovely as could be. I wished her luck then returned outside.

The ceremony was near a small pond on a lovely piece of property in Villanova. The landscape was impeccable and gorgeous. The actual nuptials were short and sweet and the bride and groom beamed with joy. I couldn't ask for anything better for my friends. The cocktail hour and reception were equally stunning. The food was good, and I have to admit I am a fan of the stations at weddings. Holding true to themselves, there was a sushi station in addition to the traditional food served up for such occasions. The desserts were absolutely divine and the band was fun. It was such a great evening. Of course they followed up the wedding and reception with a room at the local pub for everyone to enjoy. Unfortunately, I missed Luke Wilson, but some of the other guests were able to sneak a peek. A movie was being filmed in the area and he happened to be celebrating at the same pub. I didn't stay out long because I had to get up early for a flight, but I was able to spend some time socializing before throwing in the towel on my trip to the U.S. I greatly appreciate the opportunity I was given to attend the wedding. It was such a pleasure to be part of Justin and Beth's special day. I hope you guys are enjoying yourselves in Nevis :) Congratulations and best wishes.















Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Congratulations to my friends!!

And the reason for the trip:

True Love



I had four packages waiting for me at Kb's house when I arrived. My aunt had sent them all and took special care with this one. Talk about a box of true love....

First Things First


I take my food and reading material very seriously and when I discovered my favorite candies and English magazines at one stand, I was so excited!





My first restaurant meal. I am definitely certain the Cheesecake Factory serves up amoeba free salads. Que Rico!!




It was good to see the portions haven't changed at all in my absence.




Delicious Yuengling beers....I cannot wait to go back.

WELCOME HOME

I was so excited to see this sign in Houston. Do not take your country for granted people.