Archive | January 2014

Two Years Ago Today…

we landed in Quito to start our adventure as Peace Corps Volunteers! Now, two years later we are back in the States and reminiscing about the crazy, wonderful, surprising, challenging, and exciting time we spent in Ecuador. Here’s what two years looks like…

Enjoy, Mari & Paul

Our Future

Last Day in Ecuador

Today is our last full day in Ecuador, a place we have called home for two years. It’s hard to believe that our time here is over and that we will be embarking on a new journey in the US and as first-time parents. Who knows what the future will bring or where we will settle down next but until then, here are some final thoughts on our time here in Ecuador.

I will miss…

  • Walking on the beach in Palmar with the sand between my toes, Max chasing birds and Paul’s hand in mine.
  • Juicy mangoes, sweet pineapples, and the wide variety of bananas all available from street and bus vendors for pocket change.
  • Feeling a part of the community – whether it was with the women in San Pablo, the youth group in Palmar, or our best friends from Peace Corps.
  • The clouds in the Sierra.
  • Simple pleasures like taking a hot shower after months of bucket baths, finding a favorite food from the US in the supermarket, or freezing the perfect moment with my camera.
  • Taking my time – to visit with someone, to enjoy a lazy lunch, to spend a day relaxing at home.
  • My host mom’s ceviche.
  • The pescado encocado from Esmeraldas.
  • Taking Max for a walk in Parque Carolina.
  • My amazing doctor here who has held my hand through the first two trimesters of my pregnancy.
  • Having someone to call at the Peace Corps Office when I need help or support.
  • Speaking Spanish regularly (though not on the phone – still hate that).
  • The cost of taxis ($1 to most places) and home-cooked 3-course lunches ($2.50-$3.50).
  • Feeling like my work was making a difference.
  • The thrill at arriving at my destination after a long (8-12 hour) bus ride.
  • The enthusiasm of the elementary-aged kids I taught on Saturday mornings as they learned something new.
  • Learning new things everyday.
  • Being challenged and growing constantly.

Top Twenty of 2013

Here’s a rundown on some of our favorite images from 2013. Just like for 2012, we decided to do the Top Twenty because we couldn’t decide on a Top Ten.

Enjoy & Happy New Year!

Mari & Paul


Best Abstract

Abstract Clouds

Abstract Pants


Best Vacation Postcard

Puerto Engabao

Galapagos Landscape


Best Max

Max Tongue



Best Silly Moment

Mujeres Cambia Fans



Best Mari & Paul Moment

Mari & Paul

Mari's Birthday Kiss


Best Frame

Frankie & Jess in Galapagos

Paul at Guayasamin's House


Best Animal

Galapagos Crab

Galapagos Sea Lion


Best Aerial Photo

Mujeres Cambia Table

Palmar Roof Shot


Best Bird

Galapagos Red Eyed Bird

Galapagos Bird in Flight


Best Interacting with Nature

Paul Cascada

Galapagos Splash

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