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Hola from Quito

Friday, June 15th, 2007

I’m here in Ecuador, enjoying one last night of internet, electricity, and the like. Can’t talk long – it’s late. Here is some contact info about me while I’m here.

To see a good breakdown of when I’m where, and a map, log into Facebook, then go to my profile and scroll down to see my ‘Trips.’

I can receive texts for FREE, so send as many as you like. Cell phone signal will be pretty much nothing for 1st two weeks and then every 2-3 days in 2nd two weeks and on Galapagos.
Internet will be accessable at about the same frequency, so send me an email.

If you want to snail-mail me or Fax me, here is the stuff:

HOTEL CONTACT INFO:

DIRECTIONS:
Mail is slow in Ecuador – can take up to 2 weeks to get to Ecuador
SEND AT LEAST 10 DAYS AHEAD
(if in doubt – send it to the next hotel! they can always hold it if I’m coming, but won’t forward it to me if I’ve gone.)
WRITE ON ENVELOPE:
“Please hold for Emma H*dcr*ft with International Student Volunteers.”
You could also send FAXES (make sure to put the above AND put check-in date on them so they’ll hold them)

TIMES/LOCATIONS:

June 15 – June 29
Rodrigo Pineda
Fundación Zoobreviven
Reserva Alto Choco
Imbabura, Ecuador
Fax: ++ (593) – 2 – 2596428

June 29 – July 1
Chalet Suisse
Reina Victoria, Calama Esq ( 24-191 <-- don't know if this number should be on or not)
Quito, Ecuador
Phone: (593-2)-2562700

July 1 – July 2t
Hospedaje Tambopaxi
Hotel Tambopaxi, Cotopaxi
Phone: (593)-9-944-8223

July 2 – July 4
Hotel Sangay
Plazoleta Isidro Ayora #100
Baños
Phone: (593)-3-274-0490
Fax: (593)-3-274-0056

July 6 – July 9
Hotel Cuenca
Borrero 10-69 y Gran Colombia
Cuenca
Phone: (593)-7-2833711
Fax: (593)-7-2833819

July 9 – July 11
Charo’s Hostal
Montanita
http://www.charoshostal.com/
Phone: (593)-09-342-7062
Fax: (593)-09-938-6474

July 11 – July 12
Iguanazu
Cdla. La Cogra Mz.1 Villa 2 (Km 3,5, Av. Carlos Julio Arosemena <- not sure if this is needed)
Guayaquil
http://www.iguanazuhostel.com/
Phone: (593)-4-220 1143
Fax: (593)-9-986 7968

From July 12-20th I am in Galapagos, after that, the UK.

If you want a postcard, make sure I have your address, or else you definitely aren’t getting one!

Wish me all the best… I’ll update if I can about how I’m saving the rainforest and the world all with one finger. : )

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Emma Ecuador England Eggplant

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Yea… So I haven’t been on much. I figured I should post now, while I can. For those of you who don’t know, which is probably quite a few, since I’ve kept this somewhat under wraps, I’m leaving for Ecuador on Thursday. I’ll be going straight from Ecuador to England, and won’t be back from England till August 14th or so. So, if you want to get in touch, please email me. I will be going to internet cafes as much as I can, so I should be in touch fairly ok. Once I’m in the UK (past July 21st) you can also do the usual text/AIM.

Well, how do I feel about this. I do feel a little excited. Mostly I feel scared and unhappy about it. Ungrateful, I know. Save it, I’ve heard it all. Truth is, I was never really into going to Ecuador in the first place. I signed up for New Zealand. They put me in the Ecuador group instead, and I decided I could make it go away by ignoring it and never confirming my plan to go on this new modified trip. Months later I went to check whether they’d given up on me, due to my non-communication. Well, they hadn’t. Now I was past the point of saying no, as well. I’m pretty sure that violates some kind of something – changing a travel destination and not having to get an explicit ‘ok.’ But eh.

So, I’m going. Now, for someone who goes all over the place, I’m really not very good at being away from my parents. Never had to do it much. Everywhere I go in the world they’re there, or not too far away, or it’s only a week, etc. I’ll be gone for 5, and out of the US/away from regular internet/away from my friends for even longer.

Oh well. Mostly that’s what I’ve been doing since January. I’ll just stay in denial until I’m landing in Quito and then see where life takes me.

So I’m all stocked up with more travel gear than you thought was possible. Well, probably not. I’ve got bug-off clothes and rainjackets and camelbacks and filter straws. It’s a pretty back-country trip and I am supposed to be prepared for everything from 40º to 95º F. And rain. And beaches. Yea, no trick or anything. So next to my 3-in-1 Northface rain jacket plus zip-in fleece and gloves I have a lovely Roxy bikini and some shorts.

I guess one good thing is that I’m meeting up with a girl in Miami to fly into Quito and spend the first night in a hotel together. She’s very nervous about travelling, and in situations like that I do well at keeping myself calm and straight-minded in order to reassure the less-certain parties of the group. I learned this long ago from having younger siblings, especially while your parents go through messy divorces and arguments. So, hopefully going into the trip with that mindset will stop me from freaking out, at least for a while.

Well, enough writing for now, I have to go pile things up in piles to pack. I’ll post later an itinerary and stuff.
Hasta pronto.

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Pressure – Pushing Down on Me

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Thought I should make a post before I’m off for spring break. I’m going skiing with my dad and sister in Utah. My dad’s flying in today and we’re going up to Utah to pick up Elizabeth tomorrow, then off to some resort, back Sunday. IM the cell phone SN if you need me.

I’m not really looking forward to this little reunion. I don’t know how Elizabeth is doing, and I don’t know what state of mind my dad is in. Historically, the three of us are a volatile little bunch. So we’ll see how it goes. It’s causing me a fair amount of stress already, though for once I don’t think it’s seeped too much into my interactions with people.

I’ve got a few [good] books, my DS, a journal, and my phone, so all should be ok. I’m sure internet withdrawal will get me, at least a bit, but I’ve got AIM and Gmail on my phone, and hopefully that’ll be enough to keep me for the short time.

Urgh. I can’t get rid of these lumps in my stomach. I’m not even completely clear what exactly is stressing me out. Probably mostly just the thought of having to measure up to the expectations of my dad once again. Maybe a few other things. I suppose nothing to do but see how it goes and try and relax.

Well, maybe I’ll try and catch 40 winks (is that expression used in the US?) before my dad calls me and everything explodes. Send me an IM and check I haven’t died of hypertension if you can.

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Goatfell

Monday, July 24th, 2006

I am 20 in 4 days. 4 days!
Two decades. I really think it should be celebrated much more than 21. I mean, two decades! That’s very significant. Anyway, I could do at 18 anything that I want to do. Except rent a car. But that’s like 24 or 25, unless I go work for the govt.

Anyway, I’m on Arran, and climbed Goatfell, the highest point on the island, today. 2654ft or something like that. Anyway, very high, very steep.

My trip with AJ was the best thing ever, ever. It really was. It was so much fun. *sigh*

Got to go now. Send me birthday love for my 20 year-being-alive-anniversary.

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Baby Hang

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Hello people of non-existance.
AJ and I are in Edinburgh (Eh-din-burr-uh not Eh-din-burg) downstairs of a McDonalds on some weirdo internet cafe thingy. I am typing on a grotty grotty keyboard.

Edinburgh is interesting. I have not been in the city for a very, very long time, and it pretty neat. Lots of old buildings, and a very up-and-down city built over this strange valley. It’s very big. AJ and I found a random B&B; that’s very nice (we weren’t planning on spending the night tonight, but decided to) and it has a blue ceiling and a nice bathroom. The man who runs it seems to be Persian and his wife is Scottish.

Yesterday AJ and I travelled to Holy Island. We walked from the A1 just near Beal to the town on Holy Island, carrying our huge-o bags. It took us 2.5 hours. We were exhausted. It was very painful. Our shoulders are still sore. Today we had to walk from the train station to our hotel on Orchard Road, which took over 40 minutes, and started up the shoulder-hurting all over again, though not nearly as bad. Anyway, if anyone wants to figure out how far it is from the A1 at Beal to the middle of the town on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) then I’d be happy to hear your estimate. We are thinking it’s about 7 miles.

Lindisfarne is peaceful. Edinburgh is busy. Aberdeen will be a nice home-stake before AJ has to set off, which is super-sad.

England lost to Portugal on penalties. Portugal sucks. England. I am sad. Everybody is sad. Except here in Scotland, where nobody cares. Poopies.

Well, I guess I should publish before this thing cuts me off.

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Baby Hang

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Hello people of non-existance.
AJ and I are in Edinburgh (Eh-din-burr-uh not Eh-din-burg) downstairs of a McDonalds on some weirdo internet cafe thingy. I am typing on a grotty grotty keyboard.

Edinburgh is interesting. I have not been in the city for a very, very long time, and it pretty neat. Lots of old buildings, and a very up-and-down city built over this strange valley. It’s very big. AJ and I found a random B&B; that’s very nice (we weren’t planning on spending the night tonight, but decided to) and it has a blue ceiling and a nice bathroom. The man who runs it seems to be Persian and his wife is Scottish.

Yesterday AJ and I travelled to Holy Island. We walked from the A1 just near Beal to the town on Holy Island, carrying our huge-o bags. It took us 2.5 hours. We were exhausted. It was very painful. Our shoulders are still sore. Today we had to walk from the train station to our hotel on Orchard Road, which took over 40 minutes, and started up the shoulder-hurting all over again, though not nearly as bad. Anyway, if anyone wants to figure out how far it is from the A1 at Beal to the middle of the town on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) then I’d be happy to hear your estimate. We are thinking it’s about 7 miles.

Lindisfarne is peaceful. Edinburgh is busy. Aberdeen will be a nice home-stake before AJ has to set off, which is super-sad.

England lost to Portugal on penalties. Portugal sucks. England. I am sad. Everybody is sad. Except here in Scotland, where nobody cares. Poopies.

Well, I guess I should publish before this thing cuts me off.

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Boy Am I Tired…

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Hello Heverybody.
Well, things got really rushed yesterday, and I didn’t make a last ‘leaving’ post like I normally do and meant to do. Things have been going pretty well, so I’ll give you a quick update:
We left yesterday a little late from DFW but arrived on-time in London Gatwick (LGW). We arrived at 7:20 this morning, and got through passport control pretty quickly, actually. My two checked bags (for the rest of the summer) are checked right the way through to Newcastle, so we didn’t have to worry about them. Once officially ‘in’ the UK, AJ and I dropped off our big clunky hiking bags at a left-luggage claim and took a small bag for the day. We hopped onto the South Terminal Train, then the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station, and we were on our way!

From Victoria Station we walked along to Westminister Abbey, the Houses of Parliment, Big Ben, and the Thames bridge. Also saw the London Eye. Then crossed back over the bridge and headed north, seeing Trafalger square and grabbing a quick sandwich from a little cafe. We finally arrived at the British Museum, which was super-interesting. If only we hadn’t been practically dead on our feet! We got to see the bits AJ really wanted to see, but after I fell asleep after just ‘sitting down to rest for a minute.’ AJ made the call that it was time to go. So we got on a bus back to Victoria, during which it was AJ’s turn to doze, while I stayed awake. He slept on the Gatwick Express back, as well, and we picked up our bags and headed through security to the BA Lounge. We’ve been here for about 3 hours, resting, eating, and taking turns dozing. We’ll arrive in Newcastle around 10:30 tonight… Heh. Then it’s up super-early tomorrow for the train to Whitby!

Brief version of our schedule:
Wed June 28th Whitby
Thurs June 29th York
Fri June 30th York
Sat July 1st Allenheads
Sun July 2nd Allenheads/Newcastle
Mon July 3rd Newcastle
Tues July 4th Holy Island
Wed July 5th Holy Island/Edinburgh/Aberdeen
Thurs July 6th Aberdeen
Fri July 7th Around Aberdeen
Sat July 8th Around Aberdeen
Sun July 9th Around Aberdeen
Mon July 10th AJ Fly Aberdeen -> London Gatwick -> DFW
Emma Fly Aberdeen -> Newcastle

I will return the 4th August!

(For those of you who don’t know – Quakecon reg is Wed June 28th, 9pm Eastern Time)

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You’re Crazy, Crazy

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Well, mostly what I’ve been up to is the final preparations for AJ and my trip. I’m excited and happy. I’ve hoped to show people my ‘other life’, and now I’m getting to. I’m a little nervous, I will admit, about missing a train, or not knowing wtf you do in a hostel where I’ll be sharing a room with 9 complete strangers that are female. (I was going to word that ’9 complete female strangers,’ but that’s just…. yea.) Also about general stuff like getting lost and getting stuff stolen (or lost) and lastly about getting caught in the incoming tide while crossing to Holy Island and drowning/freezing in about 10 minutes the icy cold North Sea.

I am planning on taking lots of pictures, and I will hopefully get to share them with you either upon the completion of the trip or my return to the US. Yey! I will probably not get to update much for the next 2 weeks as I won’t have my laptop with me and I can’t say I’ve ever seen an internet cafe in the UK, though I’m sure they’re around somewhere. Anyway, I daresay that updating my blog will be least on my mind during my exciting adventure!

Here is a short to-do list of what I must get done tomorrow. This is as much for my sucky memory as it is to inform you all:
- Packing
- Get Ziploc, Rice Krispies, and Mentos for dad (yea… weird I know)
- Download pictures from camera
- Get car serviced
- Don’t forget money, Aberdeen key, and map

Now I’ve got to finish this off, Greek-style:
Omega

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