As some of you may know, I spent the last week and half being pretty sick, bur FEAR NOT!!! Two clinic visits, two antibiotic series, and one IV later, I’m back to being the picture of health! And I can’t say enough how happy I am to be healthy again, because nothing makes you more homesick than literal sickness. Not that I need to be homesick, seeing as I’ll be home in a number of weeks…BUT NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT LA LA LA.

Instead, a word about our work project. Here’s the thing; I really like it. I do. But I’m wondering how much positive impact we’re really having on the environment versus merely defining the border of our village’s land? We’ve switched activities, so that now we’re trimming the bottoms of pine trees to help them grow taller, and next week we’re supposed to be cleaning up the waterways. So that’s exciting. But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the environment, and our role it in, and I can’t help but wonder if maybe the most realistic way for us to do good is to not actively do harm? The thing is, amazing technological innovations like solar panels and electric cars don’t actually help the environment, they’re just not as bad as traditional products. And so few things actually help rather than minimize the hurt. So what does that say about us? Does that mean that the best we can hope for is for things to stay exactly the same? How can I ask someone to give up a part of their life if I’m hesitant to do the same? Does that make me a selfish person? Can we ever, realistically, enact change on a large scale? WHY ISN’T OUR INEVITABLE PATH TO ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION A BIGGER PROBLEM FOR PEOPLE???

Ahem. Sorry about that. But obviously, I’m still struggling with these things, and it makes me wonder why everyone isn’t aware of what we’re doing to our world. Or if they are aware, why they don’t care.

The homestay is also going well, as we’ve been spending more time with our family and they’ve definitely opened up to us. They are incredibly sweet, and I’m finally improving my Spanish enough to understand most of the conversations with my host parents. My host mom is extremely happy that I’m finally healthy again; she’s been beside herself with concern that I was literally dying, despite my protests. My only complaint would have to be the fact that we literally eat rice and potatoes three times a day, every day. I wasn’t a huge fan of potatoes to begin with, and I think this experience has definitely turned me off them for a while.

But, even with everything that’s happened, I’m still in love with Ecuador, and our beautiful village. Our host dad mentioned that the thing visitors always comment on is the clouds, and I don’t blame them. They sit in the valley below our village, or color the sky as the sun sinks, or sometimes even stroll through the village itself, muting and softening all the edges in town. And our dogs!! Our family has three grown dogs, Chadow, Loba, and Toby (such a cultural name). And the other day, our dad carried home the newest addition in a tiny basket; a teensy puppy named Bobby, who looks like a literal stuffed animal. He’s pretty scared of Julia and I, but we’re working on it.

So that’s pretty much it for me! Oh, yeah, my birthday is this Saturday, and we’re planning on visiting a nearby lake for fishing and horseback riding, so that should be fun. Our group is falling apart a little bit, as Sarah got attacked by a dog, Patty is away getting physical therapy for her knee, and Noah chopped his toe in half with a machete, but we’re holding it together for these last few weeks. I know this post is a little shorter than normal, but that’s probably a good thing?!? I love you all a lot, and shoutout to Godden, Rachel Gold, and Joseph Antony for also being readers of the blog, AS WELL AS anyone else out there reading this!! I’ll see you all very soon. Stay healthy!


In order to save the world, we must first discover it.


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