(major typo now fixed)
I didn’t want to see another museum or walk around another church. Instead I spent the last few hours of my time in Quito in a huge park near the center of the city. This is where the locals hang out. On a beautiful Sunday, hundreds of people- families, couples, singles, friends, lovers, dogs, young, old, everyone- playing vibrantly, perusing craft vendors, eating street food. And no gringos. The scene was idyllic, and exactly how I’d like to remember this place. This is humanity. This is community. This is what we want, and what we need.

(Family, community, outdoor, fun. Glad I didn’t go to the museum)
Sunday morning I had gotten an email from my brother regarding my upcoming plans and he had some important questions, including “do you have a plan B and C for accomplishing your goal?”. My brother has been one of my strongest supporters during this period of unemployment, and if I walk away with nothing else from this time, a stronger relationship with him will have made all of it (7 months and ~$10,000 spent) worth it. Lately, he’s been more privy than most to my plans and his questions about them have been amongst the most useful.
I’ve spent a lot of my time here thinking about my goals. When I met my friend on the plane in August, one of the most enjoyable parts of the conversation was about our goals, both big and small. I shared a few immediate and practical goals for the next year.
-Get a WFR certification.
-Volunteer for a habitat restoration group.
-Learn to play the harmonica.
-Get on a 5.11 trad climb.
Good goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely), and I’m really excited about the ones above, as I believe they are achievable and realistic this year. Sometimes though, it’s useful to have broader goals, and in response to the question from my brother, it was only appropriate to outline the big goal I’m aiming for next. If I put it on a resume- I want to participate in a locally oriented business that affects local resource consumption towards a more sustainable level.
There are several ways this might happen, and I’m not quite ready to talk openly about them, but biking around gave the time to really hone in on that goal, and once I knew what I was aiming for, and in light of the fact that I wasn’t working towards some of the other goals on my list right now, it only seemed obvious that my bike tour had accomplished it’s mission. I’m sharing my goals here because I hope that all of you can support me in pursuing them, and hold me accountable when I do things that don’t work towards them. Thank you in advance, and for enjoying my last post from South America.

(At the top of the Basilica de Voto, and a last look at Quito)

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