Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?

4/12/2005

Sorry for the delayed release of this news. Things have been quite busy around here.

Heaps and heaps of great things have happened to me of late. I’ve gone caving with friends and witnessed a wonderfully colored fall season in the crisp air of the mid-Atlantic. Life at work has been a real joy, and numerous strong friendships have formed with the great people there, not to mention I witnessed a cheetah invasion and got blessed by the Dalai Lama. (w00t!) My music collection has grown by massive amounts and the equipment I use to enjoy it has gotten better and better, rendering the hours of commuting each week a pleasant and relaxing time to catch up on reading. I’ve seen Coldplay and Rufus Wainright and Scythian and rocked out to each. I’ve met a fantastic woman and our time together has brought and continues to bring me immense joy. I brewed up an impressive pot of gumbo and had the pleasure of sharing it with a grateful houseful of new friends for Thanksgiving. Now I find myself in the midst of the holiday season, with Christmas creeping up faster than ever, and it seems that the rich and sweet mug of gourmet hot chocolate that has been 2005 is about to run empty with one last satisfying gulp. What more could I want? What else is there on this Earth that could come into focus and change this time in my life from a pleasing amateur photograph into a fully-realized artistic masterpiece? I’ll tell you in one word:

AVENTURA.

My Peace Corps invitation arrived a couple of weeks ago …

At this point it’s nearly set in stone. I’ll be leaving the country in February for about two and a half years, including eleven weeks of pre-service training. Which nation will benefit (or suffer) from my thoughtful attention, my specialized knowledge, my near-unquenchable thirst for exploring the limits of what is possible, and my hunger for adventure? THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR!

I don’t know very much about it yet, but every day I’m picking up a few more pieces of the puzzle. Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean nations in South America. With a land area only about the size of Colorado, it is comprised of a tropical coastal region, a "topographically complicated" volcanic strip of mountain highlands, and a sparsely populated (by humans anyway) swath of Amazon forest basin. Oh, and about 600 miles offshore lie the renowned Galapagos Islands.

It would be redundant to repeat all of the fantastic information I’m uncovering about this fascinating country here on this page, so I’ll make an effort to present a number of links that will let you explore the Republic of Ecuador – my home starting in February – at your leisure. Enjoy, and of course, if you have friends, family, or illegitimate children living there, please let me know so I can contact them and get cool with the locals!

LINKS TO MORE INFO!!!
-Peace Corps Ecuador Site has info on the country and details about what volunteers do there
-Wikipedia entry with lots of opportunity for e
xploration
-CIA World Factbook, presumably with the most up-to-date information on the government and economy
-Lonely Planet site, includes salient travel advice and a forum for getting the scoop on
what to expect
-Geographia.com has a nice page with an orientation to the different biomes and locations to be encountered in Ecuador. Also check out the other links on the left of the p
age...

If you find some other cool sources of Ecuador info, please send them my way! I've got five more weeks until I'm heading South to get my affairs in order, and my staging events are in the first week of February. Time is ticking!

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