Monday, June 21, 2010

Dusting off the Passport.. the American one

So, I never thought I would see the day…me…blogging. eek. I apologize in advance for the pain you may suffer while reading scattered thoughts, horrible spelling, and my attempt to explain my experiences in Ecuador. But, hopefully as you read my blog, it will stay true to Melanie Forbes (and not some failed dream of being intellectual and witty) and you will hear my familiar voice. (clever, right? ...for those of you who missed that- that's the inspiration for the title of my blog)

Here I am- a week out from my big adventure, and like many of you- I have tons of questions. The most forefront right now is- how often will I be updating this? After all, I will be in the middle of the jungle, without electricity. I will make this promise: every chance I get to a computer- I WILL update my blog, facebook photos, emails, whatever. Those updates will probably be few and far between though. But, why worry about the things I can’t control, let alone don’t know? So, moving right along- I will tell you, my interested reader, a bit about what I will be doing in Ecuador.

Like many recent graduates, the immediate pressure of figuring out my “next step” hit me hard. I am young, ambitious, with the world at my finger tips- which left my options far from limited. With majors in Environmental Science and Spanish, one of my thoughts was to fully develop my Spanish. You would think that taking Spanish classes would keep me from stumbling in basic conversation, but thanks to the structural set-up of classes taught by “doctors” I am more of a listener than a talker (which doesn’t happen often). Needless to say, practice makes perfect- so I might as well practice more. I had bookmarked a web page back in the fall; a few weeks ago I was refreshed as to why- the organization Global Vision International offered a variety of opportunities, long term and short term, in numerous countries. I applied for a 6 month internship in Ecuador that focused on rainforest conservation, and a week later- I got a call saying I had been accepted. Although I was excited, I definitely had some hesitations as well: mainly the time frame. I was accepted June 8 and was told to be in Ecuador by June 28. The past couple of weeks have been hectic with visa applications, hotel reservations, and immunizations…FOUR to be exact- and they were horrible. I will be leaving Raleigh, NC to arrive in Quito, Ecuador on June 28. I will be in the capital for a few days before I’m off to the jungle for 10weeks. I will be in the Yachana Reserve, roughing it without electricity and rocking quick-dry clothing. I will then have a couple weeks off before returning to the reserve for the remaining 3 months, where I will be volunteering at a local high school and interning in the afternoons doing biological surveying.

Anyways, I know its brief- but you will be getting the full details in time. Mom made me promise not to blog anything that would make her worry about me- but that could just about be everything, since I am her baby girl. But, I feel like I would be doing a disservice by not mentioning the random snake I may cross or the local delicacy I probably shouldn’t have tried- so don’t worry, I won’t spare too many details.
Happy reading!


  1. I am so excited for you girl! And yes I will definately read your blog. I may even let my students read it, after I preview it to make sure it's appropriate. LOL Good Luck!

  2. A great introduction. You are a good writer. Who knew? I will definitely follow you into the jungle, feel your pain, share your hunger and thirst... well let's not get carried away. Just tell us about it.

  3. Hahaha- I guess it runs in the family ;-) But thanks for tuning in!

  4. What a wonderfully adventurous, brave girl.
    Wow! If I had it to do over again..... but Mel we will be following your journey into and out of the rain forest and all your other pursuits in Ecuador. Keep us posted. Love,

  5. Mel,
    You are one amazing young woman. I will look forward to each entry and know that you will have an amazing adventure. Now if you just still had that gator lamp I gave you for Christmas years ago.....! It surely would have come in handy in the jungle.

    Love and hugs,