You may wonder what culture shock feels like. Let me paint a picture.
It was a weekend, and my girls and I had been invited to a party. We knew that here in this culture people do not show up at parties on time. This is different in our culture. However, I’m pretty late everywhere I go, so I thought that this shouldn’t be a problem.
We were told that the party would be at 7:00, so my girls and I decided that we would wait until 8:00 to go to the party. This is harder than it seems, even for me. I anxiously watched the clock as the time passed by. Finally, the hour passed and we headed to the party. Once there, we were ushered upstairs into the house, which seemed odd since the party was downstairs. Read More
As the sun dips down into the ocean the first baby turtle digs her way out of her sandy nest. Reaching the surface she rests a bit to get her bearings, turning in the direction of the ocean, she starts on her long and dangerous trek to the ocean. We give her words of encouragement as if she understands, and we watch for predators to ward them off so that she arrives at her destination.
When my two girls were little I would read to them a storybook of a baby turtle’s journey to the ocean. As I read this story I thought of how, as we were living in the mountains, we would probably only read about this special event. Now, however, we are living 4,000 miles from home and watching our own little baby turtle make her way to the sea.
There are 4 species of turtles that call Ecuador their home. These turtles are said to be critically endangered. Their nesting sites are being destroyed and the oceans over-fished, depleting the food necessary for their survival. For this reason, Ecuador is making a huge effort to protect the nesting sites by marking them carefully. Volunteers ensure the safety of their journey to the ocean without direct contact, for this would be harmful to the development of the turtles.
It is a special gift to be able to watch baby turtles make their way to the ocean. It is one of the things that makes our move here worth the effort involved. I can’t wait for the next hatching season to begin for another chance to see this special event.
Written by Deborah
On the hunt for cabinet knobs, we were told the company “alcemi” had a good selection. Upon seeing the sign for that company, we went into a store to talk to the lady assisting people. “That company isn’t at this location” she explained in Spanish. We asked “Where can we go to find cabinet knobs?” She replied “Go down this road really, really, really far and ask someone else.” Clearly, we were 4,000 miles away from home.
After decades of living in beautiful South Lake Tahoe, we moved south of the equator, to Manta, Ecuador.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Ashley. My mom is Deborah; my dad’s name is Jason, and I have one older sister named Michaela. My parents were raised in South Lake Tahoe. My sister and I were born and raised there, and we had lived in the same house all our lives. We had a quaint house surrounded by pine trees, it snowed 7 months out of the year, and my grandparents, aunts and uncles lived in the same town. Then, on November 11, 2011 we did a 180 and moved to a hot cemented city. We came to do a volunteer work, and the subsequent adventures, beauty, vexation and happiness are worth being shared.
This blog will take you on the roller-coaster ride of the last 5 years of our lives and, hopefully, will give the tips and confidence you need to start your own adventure.
Written by Ashley