Claire Wohlers

Claire is passionate about art and music, the outdoors, and her friends and family. She was involved in the environmental club and the outing club at her high school. Her goals for the year are making lots of new friends, becoming confident in her Spanish, and exploring Ecuador a bit!


The Market

Ibarra (the city nearest to Zuleta) has, hands down, the most impressive food market I have ever seen. Taking up two sizable city blocks, the market is overflowing with colors and scents unlike any other. From meats, to cheeses, to fruits and veggies, to flours and dried legumes, to eateries, this market has it all….

10 March, 2014

Learning to Teach

Here in Zuleta, one of my jobs is working at a school. I teach a combination of English, P.E., and “danza”, which is a combination of dance and music, neither of which am I particularly qualified to teach. I usually end up teaching the hokey pokey or the macarena, because I teach first and second…

03 February, 2014

Transport Me

At home, I used to avoid the bus. I liked the people-watching, sure, but it was much more convenient driving or  being driven. It would allow me to avoid walking the hills and sitting next to the inevitable cup of unidentified goo on the seat next to me. Here, I have uncovered a new love…

03 February, 2014


Back at home, I know many many people who would describe their parents as mortifying and/or uncool to hangout with. Occasionally, I may even have been known to say this, even though I love hanging out with my parents. In the US, it is social convention for teenagers to hate their parents. To be seen…

24 January, 2014

Living Day-to-Day

Some days here are harder than others. Some days I cry at work, frustrated that the kids make fun of my Spanish or won’t listen to my lessons. Some days, my little brother scares me, and that sets me off in an angry rage of yelling in English. Some days, it’s simply that my dad…

19 November, 2013


I’m sure every Fellow (that wasn’t sleeping) can remember the presentation on Culture Shock‰ã¢ that Andy, team leader from Ecuador, gave one of the final days of Pre-Departure Training. A graph of the process of immersion on the board, an upside-down parabola. The honeymoon phase of cultural awe and giddiness, the slow but relentless awkward…

18 October, 2013

Hola, Zuleta

After a teary goodbye with my Quito host family about 2 weeks ago, I traveled to Imbabura with my cohort. I was met by my new family at the Ibarra Train Station, which, I was told was about 30 minutes from my house. I was greeted by my host mother, father, sister, cousin, supervisor, and…

10 October, 2013

¡Estamos Perdido!

Today, I got lost. Probably the most lost I’ve ever been. After Spanish classes today, we visited the United States Embassy for a security briefing and explanation of what the Foreign Service does here. During the security briefing, we were warned about the dangers of Quito. The taxis, the streets, the evenings, the buses; apparently…

05 September, 2013

Bienvenidos a Quito

“Bienvenidos a Quito and welcome to Ecuador,” the woman working at immigration told me, as she told every other person that walked by her window.  But for me, I was being welcomed to my new home, Ecuador. Because our flight arrived at midnight, I had no choice but to submit to my body’s needs, immediately…

04 September, 2013

Preparing to Leave Everything I Know

40. 39. 38. 37. 36. 35. 34. 34 days until we leave everything we know for something completely new. Excited? Of course! Terrified? Out of my mind. I have a hard time even talking about August 21st for fear of the emotional spew-age (for lack of a better term) that will most likely follow. But,…

19 July, 2013

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Claire Wohlers