I began the new year with hopes of going to Ecuador in July, so I started reading Lonely Planet Ecuador & the Galápagos Islands and another little brochure (This is Ecuador: The Most Complete Guide to Ecuador Since 1968, dated December 2018) that somehow made its way to me.
Since I was hoping to “live like a local,” I started a Spanish class at the end of January. I’m embarrassed to say that I studied Spanish for four years in high school. I had rarely used it, so I didn’t remember much of anything. Thus I started all over at the beginning, at level 100. We started in-person classes, but due to the pandemic, we had to meet online for the remaining courses. The virtual classes haven’t been much fun. I was never crazy about the teacher, who I felt could have given us a lot more practice time. She is also terrible about keeping the class on track. We had our last class for level 200 this past Wednesday, and I’ve decided I will try to study on my own because I hate the Zoom classes. Whenever I am able to go to Ecuador, I hope to take immersion classes in Quito.
For my class, I had to do a Power Point presentation about “Music of Ecuador,” so I learned about the country’s traditional music including pasillo, pasacalle, yarabi, marimba, bomba, and Sanjuanito. I also learned about some Indie rock groups, including Da Pawn and La Máquina Camaleön, both of which I love. I created a short playlist on Spotify: ecuadorian music, which I’ll add to over the coming months.
I found an article that I also read for ideas: culture trip: 12 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Ecuador.
Of course, I always love to read books set in my destination, so I read some of the books below (indicated with stars and ratings). Others are suggested reading; since I can’t go to Ecuador this year, maybe I can read some of the others.
- the queen of water: a novel based on a true story by Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango (YA) ****
- America Was Hard to Find by Kathleen Alcott (currently reading)
- The Panama Hat Trail by Tom Miller
- Our House in the Clouds: Building a Second Life in the Andes of Ecuador by Judy Blankenship
- Cañar: A Year in the Highlands of Ecuador by Judy Blankenship
- Pieces of My Life by Rachel Dann
- Villa Pacifica by Kapka Kassabova
- The Amnesia Clinic by James Scudamore
- City on the Ledge by Philip Kraske
- The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (+ Columbia + Venezuela)
- Fool’s Gold by P.J. Skinner
- Huasipungo: The Villagers by Jorge Icaza
- Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World by Larrie D. Ferreiro
- The Farm on the River of Emeralds by Moritz Thomsen
- Galápagos Islands
- Enchanted Islands by Allison Amand ***
- Floreana by Margret Whittmer
- The Evolution of Jane by Cathleen Schine
- To the Edge of the World by Harry Thompson
- Mr. Darwin’s Shooter by Roger McDonald
- The Origin of Murder by Jerold Last
- Plundering Paradise: The Hand of Man on the Galápagos Islands by Michael D’Orso
- Galápagos Regained by James K. Morrow
- The Voyage of the Beagle: Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Round the World by Charles Darwin (intro. by Steve Jones)
- Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
- The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner
- The Origin: A Biographical Novel of Charles Darwin by Irving Stone
For more international books, see my page: books | international a-z |.
I found movies set in Ecuador, but sadly I haven’t seen any of them. Hopefully, I can find some of these in the coming months.
- Entre Marx y una Mujer Desnuda (1996)
- Proof of Life (2000)
- Crónicas (2004)
- Qué tan lejos (2006)
- Crude (2009)
- Rage (2009)
- Fisherman (Pescador) (2011)
- With My Heart in Yambo (Con mi Corazó en Yambo) (2011)
- The Porcelain Horse (Mejor no hablar de ciertas cosas) (2012)
- The Death of Jaime Roldos (La Muerte de Jaime Roldós) (2013)
- El Facilitador (2013)
- The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden (2013)
- Holiday (Feriado) (2014)
- El Secreto de Magdalena (2015)
- Medardo (2015)
- A Secret in the Box (Un Secreto en la Caja) (2016)
- Translucido (Translúcido) (2016)
- Such Is Life in the Tropics (Sin Muertos No Hay Carnaval) (2016)
- Special Correspondents (2016)
- Alba (2016)
- Snatched (2017)
- Final Minute (2018)
- The Longest Night (2019)
After having read more about Ecuador, I am no longer certain about my plan to stay only in Quito for a month. Now, I want to go to Cuenca (both Quito and Cuenca are UNESCO World Heritage Sites). I would also love to go to Guayaquil, and possibly from there to the Galápagos Islands. Originally, I didn’t think I’d have an interest in going there, but now that I’ve read about it, maybe I will have to visit.
I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go, but I am certain that someday, this pandemic will come to an end, and we’ll all be able to travel again.
I prepared one journal, and depending on how long I end up staying, it’s possible I’ll use two or three.
As always, I created some intentions for my travels.
I still hope to go in July of either 2021 or 2022. My friend Jayne in Jersey, England has said she wants me to come to her 60th birthday next July, which would mean I’d plan to travel somewhere in Europe (assuming Americans are allowed there!). That would put my trip back another year. Someday, I hope! 🙂