Back to the blog game

Ian Herel - Ecuador


March 17, 2017

 

Hey everybody! After taking a 4 month blog vacation I have decided (been requested) to get back into the blog game.

 

My first blog here will be an attempt to explain my blog absence since October, or in other measurements, my first week in homestay. Oh, how so much has changed since then…

 

As a quick recap:

Since October I have experienced my lowest lows and my highest highs. Coming into my homestay, I expected to be working at a museum, which doubled as a local cultural hub, until I exhaustedly welcomed the weekends. I expected to slowly but surely develop relationships with my San Roque host family, until I sadly said my goodbyes in April. I expected to be fully immersed in Ecuadorian culture and my family to the point where my fellow fellows would have little impact on my life. Essentially, I had quite a few expectations coming in to this year that didn’t exactly turn out (sure, I had some expectations fulfilled, but that’s not quite as interesting).

 

Back to Blogs:

To be fair I haven’t been entirely slacking off on blogs. Since my last post I have written two that have been toiled over until I decided to delete them. Part of the predicament in being a voice for Global Citizen is the pressure I feel to speak well for the program, as if for an advertisement. This resulted in some blog posts where I tried to gloss over the major problems I was experiencing while touting the isolated positive moments. Wanting to keep my posts wholly positive got in the way of being genuine about my experience or acknowledging the learning moments that came from struggle. Trying to express these learning moments are yet another struggle as in a lot of ways I can’t pin down exactly how I have changed. I’m sure much will become clear to me when I am out of this experience and can step back look at my experience more objectively (unfortunately my blogs need to be in before then).

 

For me, blogs were meant to be a way to share how I was feeling and all the wonderful things I was doing. But when I can’t quite digest the feelings this experience has brought up or when the most wonderful things in my life are relationships with people I can’t present, I was unsure of what to post for blogs.

 

In the blogs that will be coming soon, I will be trying more to show you things from my life. Hopefully through music, pictures and stories you will be able to get an idea of things I have been doing and feelings I have been feeling, that I otherwise might not be able to express.

 

Food for Thought:

The one thing I will add about the power of this bridge year though, is in ‘stepping of the treadmill’ as they say (of schooling, or life or what have you), I have been forced to open my eyes, to examine myself, my past experiences and what I really desire for my future. Freeing myself up from school and demands of life has given me one very valuable thing: time to think. And while it would be easier to keep my eyes closed and allow life to fly by, my time spent here thinking and examining has giving me a never-before felt self-awareness, and confidence.

Ian Herel