Saturday, April 9, 2011


"No vivo ni en mi pasado ni en mi futuro. Tengo sólo el presente, y eso es lo único que me interesa...La vida será un gran festival, porque ella sólo es el momento que estamos viviendo." - El Alquimista

Today I leave for Cuenca, a city in the south of Ecuador, where I will be doing my independent research project for one month. I will be studying hummingbirds and pollination in Cajas National Park (, which very close to Cuenca and is in the highlands of the Andes (3000 - 4000 meters above sea level!).

Leaving a place I have become so familiar with and have come to love is hard. I have been living with an amazing host family who I am going to miss a lot. They have been so caring and loving and want me to come back to visit someday! Quito has become like a home base during this program. We go out on an excursion for a week and come back for two weeks. I know how to take the buses, what parks are the best to run in, where to get the best ice cream and eat the cheapest lunch. Now that I have become familiar with all of this, it is time to leave.

It always seems that way. Once I get used to something, change happens. It ruins the predictability of life and makes me realize that I am not in control of everything. I am so glad that things are changing once again. I am excited, scared, sad, happy, nostalgic and looking forward to what is to come. I want to live in the present, like Santiago in The Alchemist. And then life will be a grand party where I don't know what will happen next, who I will meet or what I will discover.

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