What do the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Words To Thrive By for World Travellers” have in common?

Words to Thrive By for World Travelers: Ecuador

Words to Thrive By for World Travelers: Ecuador

“Words To Thrive By for World Travellers: Footprints in Ecuador” is coming soon to Amazon! See what Hollywood actor Barry Bostwick, (he plays Brad in the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,”) has to say about my new book:

“If you are looking for a travel guide that explores both the inner and outer landscape of wondrous ECUADOR, you’re in the right place.

Mary Anne Dorward goes traveling in such profound ways, creating a new definition of her self while experiencing the culture of Ecuador in such a fresh and insightful way.

Not only is this a book of practical “how to’s” but even more importantly, many useful “how not to’s.” Mary Anne is a seeker of truth and lives by the motto “Know where you’re going in life, you may already be there.” Then she takes you there, as only a person who’s eyes are open to the clues and mysteries, dangers and joys, of such an inviting culture that is ECUADOR.”

~Barry Bostwick, Actor

“Words To Thrive By for World Travellers: Footprints in Ecuador” will be released in May 2015, in both Kindle and Paperback, by Powerful Voices Press.

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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24 Ways Brilliant Street Artists Are Changing The World

Here are 24 Ways Brilliant Street Artists Are Changing The World all over the world.

http://www.distractify.com/culture/arts/beautify-street-art/

These photos from the link above will delight you in all the joy and whimsy and creative ways artists are changing the world all over the world, including South America,  right in front of our eyes!

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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If you would like to read my First Impressions of Ecuador, please go to: http://wp.me/47vLx

Additional Links:

  • Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador™: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward unless otherwise credited.
  • All photos and writing on Footprints in Ecuador ™ are a Copyright 2014 by Mary Anne Dorward. All rights reserved.

CULTURE SHOCK: What it is and how to handle it

Stained Glass Window: Quito, Ecuador

Stained Glass Window: Quito, Ecuador

I’m almost at the 4 month mark living here in Ecuador and quite frankly, I’m surprised to learn that the feelings I’ve been having since I got here actually have a name: “Culture Shock.”
For real. Culture Shock. I even  looked it up on Wikipedia.
If you are currently feeling a bit of personal disorientation from having moved recently to a different culture or place in the world, then you might find this blog useful.
If you are thinking about moving soon or in the future to another culture very different from your own, I hope that this blog will to prepare you just a little bit.
Culture Shock: What Is It?

Culture Shock is defined as the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country or foreign environment, a move between social environments or simply their travel to another type of life.

Culture Shock Has 4 Distinct Phases

Culture shock can be described as consisting of at least one of four distinct phases:

  • Honeymoon
  • Negotiation
  • Adjustment
  • Mastery

Most Common Symptoms Of Culture Shock

The most common problems I’ve experienced include: a sense of information and new stimulis overload, stress of trying to learn the new language fast enough, homesickness for my friends and family and my familiar routine and even dealing with my own boredom at times.

There Is No Way To Prevent Culture Shock

Apparently, there is no true way to entirely prevent culture shock. And it’s also good to learn that individuals in any society are personally affected by cultural contrasts differently.

My dear friend Laurie, who had spent seven years in Holland as an Ex Pat had warned me about this but I thought she was making more of it than was necessary or that I would personally experience everything differently than she warned. Wrong

 The Four Phases of Culture Shock

1. Honeymoon Phase

During this period, the differences between the old and new culture are said to be “seen in a romantic light.” For example, in moving to Ecuador, an individual such as myself might love all the new food, the slower pace of life and observing the locals’ habits different from my own.

During the first few weeks, most people are fascinated by their new culture. For me at first, there was so much new stimulus coming my way, I hardly knew where to focus next. There was so much new to learn and see and experience! I was, except for the hundreds of mosquito bites and one bad jelly fish sting, just delighted to be here.

And, like most honeymoon period, this stage eventually ends.

2. Negotiation Phase

After some time (usually around three months, depending on the individual), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create a strong sense of anxiety.

Excitement may then eventually give way to unpleasant feelings of frustration and anger as one continues to experience unfavorable events that may be perceived as strange and offensive to one’s cultural attitude.

Language barriers, stark differences in public hygiene, (such as men here peeing in public without any regard to who is around them?!) traffic safety (See my blog:  Driving In Ecuador: Just. Don’t. Do. It), food accessibility and quality may heighten the sense of disconnection from the surroundings.

Practical Difficulties To Overcome

While being transferred into a different environment puts special pressure on communication skills, there are practical difficulties to overcome, such as

  • Sleep disruption
  • Adaptation of your gut flora to different bacteria levels and concentrations in both food and water
  • Difficulty in seeking treatment for illness, as medicines may have different names from the native country’s and the same ingredients you are normally familiar with might be hard to recognize or obtain without a doctors prescription.
  • Communication: People like me, adjusting to a new culture, often feel lonely and homesick.  I have to admit, I’m not yet entirely used to my new environment and I get tired sometimes dealing with new people and situations every day.
  • The language barrier may become a major obstacle in creating new relationships. It’s actually been exhausting to me to always be paying special attention to my own and others’ culture-specific language signs, my linguistic faux pas, the tone of my and other’s conversation, trying so hard to learn ALL the linguistic nuances and customs. In addition, it’s been difficult to learn that someone who appeared to be my new friend, was, in fact, not my friend at all and actually talking behind my back to boot!

3 Adjustment Phase:

Again, after about 6-12 months, one grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines. One knows what to expect in most situations and the new country no longer feels all that new. One becomes concerned with basic living again and things begin to seem “normal.”
One also starts to develop new problem solving skills for dealing with the new culture and you begin to accept the culture’s ways with a more positive attitude. The culture begins to make some sense and negative reactions and responses to the culture are reduced.
4. Mastery Phase

In the mastery stage individuals are able to participate fully and comfortably in the new host culture. Mastery does not mean total conversion; people often keep many traits from their earlier culture, such as accents and languages. It is often referred to as the bicultural stage.

There are three basic outcomes of the Adjustment Phase:

  • Some people find it impossible to accept the foreign culture and integrate.  They isolate themselves from the host country’s environment, which they come to perceive as hostile, withdraw into a “Ghetto” and see return to their own culture as the only way out. These “Rejectors” also have the greatest problems re-integrating back home after return. Approximately 60% of expatriates behave in this way. I have seen this a lot all over Ecuador where Ex Pats from the US stay in their Ex Pat Communities in walled off compounds. It appears to make them feel safe but it doesn’t stop robberies from happening.
  • Some people integrate fully and take on all parts of the host culture while losing their original identity. This is what is called, “Cultural Assimilation.” These folks normally remain in the host country forever. This group is sometimes known as “Adopters” and describes approximately 10% of expats.
  • Some people manage to adapt to the aspects of the host culture they see as positive, while keeping some of their own and creating their unique blend. They have no major problems returning home or relocating elsewhere. This group can be thought to be somewhat “Cosmopolitan.” Approximately 30% of expats belong to this group.

Culture shock has many different effects, time spans, and degrees of severity. Many people are handicapped by its presence and do not recognize what is bothering them

Transition shock

Culture shock is a subcategory of a more universal construct called transition shock. Transition shock is a state of loss and disorientation predicated by a change in one’s familiar environment which requires adjustment. There are many symptoms of transition shock, some which include:

  • Excessive concern over cleanliness
  • Feelings of helplessness and withdrawal
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Mood swings
  • Glazed stare
  • Desire for home and old friends
  • Physiological stress reactions
  • Homesickness
  • Boredom
  • Withdrawal
  • Getting “stuck” on one thing
  • Suicidal or fatalistic thoughts
  • Excessive sleep
  • Compulsive eating/drinking/weight gain
  • Stereotyping host nationals
  • Hostility towards host nationals

There Is Also “Reverse Culture Shock”

I am going back to the US for a visit in a few months and I was surprised to learn that there is also something to keep in mind that is referred to as Reverse Culture Shock.

Reverse Culture Shock (a.k.a. “Re-entry Shock”, or “own culture shock”) may take place after returning to one’s home culture after growing accustomed to a new one. This “reverse Culture Shock” can produce the same effects as outlined above.

The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with than the original culture shock. This phenomenon, the reactions that members of the re-entered culture exhibit toward the re-entrant, and the inevitability of the two are encapsulated in the saying first coined by Thomas Wolfe in his book ” You Can’t Go Home Again.”

Thanks Wikipedia for your help in explaining all of this to me!

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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Related Links:

More on Culture Shock: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_shock

Living In The Tropics: How Do You Handle The SUN?

It’s HOT here in Ecuador. How do you handle the sun? I have one product that I swear by. It’s Doc Martin’s of Maui for sunscreen.

Doc Martin's Sunblock

Doc Martin’s Sunblock

 

SUN BLOCK

Doc Martin’s sunscreen, developed by Maui Dermatologist George M. Martin, M.D., is the result of over two decades of product research and development. It is superior because of the unique agent which bonds directly to the skin (epidermal cells) creating an armor of protection from damaging rays of the sun.

As an avid surfer himself, Dr. Martin has worked with other surfers, windsurfers, swimmers, cyclists, tennis and golf players in creating “Doc Martins of Maui” to the specs of that active lifestyle. The results represent some of the most significant advances in sunscreen technology in recent years. Even after hours in the water, it does not have to be re-applied, and it will not run into the eyes no matter how hard you sweat.

From tow surfing giant waves all day at “Jaws” off the coast of Maui, to climbing Mt Everest, Doc Martin’s sunscreen is specifically formulated to protect. Doc Martin’s sunscreen is heralded by enthusiasts from extreme athletes to concerned Moms and skin cancer survivors.

TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF

So with the Doc Martin’s sunscreen, you should be able to live here at the Equator quite comfortably and take good care of yourself. You can protect and restore both your skin and your body from the harsh UV rays of the sun by using both these wonderful products!

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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Related Links:

 

DOC MARTINS SUNSCREEN:

http://www.docmartinsmaui.com/store/

 

 

ECUADOR: A Trip To Baños

Baños: Baños, Ecuador

Baños: Baños, Ecuador

Baños Ecuador is nestled in a valley about 2 hours south by bus from Quito. It’s known for it’s extreme sports activities and it’s Holy Water pools that are said to be healing and also blessed by Mother Mary.

Adventure. Rest and Diversion:Baños, Ecuador

Adventure. Rest and Diversion:Baños, Ecuador

The ancient Holy water comes out of the mountains and flows into hot and cold water pools and hot and cold water showers. It is quite an experience to go from the VERY HOT pools to the VERY COLD showers of fresh water coming straight out of the mountain!

Baños Holy Water: Baños, Ecuador

Baños Holy Water: Baños, Ecuador

Baños, Ecuador

Hot and Cold Water Pools:Baños, Ecuador

Hot Holy Water Pools: Baños, Ecuador

Hot Holy Water Pools: Baños, Ecuador

Cold Holy Water Showers: Baños, Ecuador

Cold Holy Water Showers: Baños, Ecuador

After a refreshing time in the holy water pools, you can even walk over to the Virgin Mary Grotto next door and take some Holy Water home with you. So be sure and bring a container with you when you go as they re not sold there at the Holy Mary Grotto.

Maria's Grotto: Baños, Ecuador

Maria’s Grotto: Baños, Ecuador

You can also wash your clothes in the Holy Water as well in the washing stations beneath the baths:

Woman Washing Clothes: Baños, Ecuador

Woman Washing Clothes: Baños, Ecuador

Woman Washing Clothes: Baños, Ecuador

Woman Washing Clothes: Baños, Ecuador

Clothes Washing Station: Baños, Ecuador

Clothes Washing Station: Baños, Ecuador

Baños, Ecuador

Baños, Ecuador

I loved Baños for many reasons. It’s location. The holy water pools. The posts opportunities. Here is a typical board announcing daily sports opportunities for you to do. As you can see there’s LOTS to choose from: Canyoning, Rafting, Biking, Mountain Climbing, Paragliding, Rock Climbing, Bungee Jumping to name just a few!

Sports Opportunities in Baños, Ecuador

Sports Opportunities in Baños, Ecuador

Rafting Adventure: Baños, Ecuador

Rafting Adventure: Baños, Ecuador

And I personally loved the Snowman made out of used tires. As I have said in my previous posts, nothing ever goes to waste here in Ecuador!

Snowman: Baños, Ecuador

Snowman: Baños, Ecuador

If you are making a trip to Ecuador, I would highly recommend a trip to Baños.

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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Related Links and Posts:

Ecuador: My First Impressions: http://wp.me/p47vLx-1Q

Becoming A World Citizen and Why It’s Important Part One: http://wp.me/p47vLx-c4

Becoming A World Citizen and Why It’s Important Part Two: http://wp.me/p47vLx-eN

The Many Faces Of Ecuador: http://wp.me/p47vLx-d5

Tranquility And The Drama In Your Head: http://wp.me/p47vLx-8Q

Moving To Ecuador: Where Do I Fit In As An American Woman?http://wp.me/p47vLx-2v

  • http://www.maryannedorward.com
  • http://www.wordstothriveby.com
  • Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  For more information, to schedule an inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at ma@maryannedorward.com.

ECUADOR: The Fish

Ecuador Fish: Dorado (In the U.S., this fish is called "Mahi Mahi")

Ecuador Fish: Dorado. In the U.S., this fish is often called “Mahi Mahi” In Florida, and Puerto Rico (both were early Spanish territories) Mahi Mahi are known as “Dorado”

If you live in a fishing village in Ecuador, you see a lot of different fish come in off the boats each morning. The fishermen often fillet and wash the fish right on the beach. You can tell when it is an especially big catch when you see the flocks of frigate birds dive bombing the fishermen and their catch.

When a big catch comes in everyone springs into gear on the beach. Trucks appear and tow lines are attached to the boats coming out of the surf in order to tow them out and up on to the beach. Later in the morning, these same trucks will be loaded with the fresh catch of the day, tow the boats up off the beach and then take the fresh caught fish on ice to the fish processing plants or to the airports for export to Europe and Asia.

Early Morning Fishing Boats: Crucita, Ecuador, The Trucks pull the boats out of the surf!

Early Morning Fishing Boats: Crucita, Ecuador, The Trucks pull the boats out of the surf!

 Trucks That Haul Boats and Fish: Crucita, Ecuador

Trucks That Haul Boats and Fish: Crucita, Ecuador

Early Morning fishing Boats: Crucita, Ecuador - Trucks drag the fishing boats up off the beach with a tow line.

Early Morning fishing Boats: Crucita, Ecuador – Trucks drag the fishing boats up off the beach with a tow line.

Here are a few photos of the fish I have seen so far, up and down The Coast of Ecuador:

Fisherman and His Flounder: Agangue, Ecuador

Fisherman and His Flounder: Agangue, Ecuador

Sailfish: Crucita, Ecuador

Sailfish: Crucita, Ecuador

A fisherman told me that he could not afford to eat any of the tuna he caught. He sold it for a great price to an exporter and his fish ended up on the tables of people in France and other places in Europe where the fishing has dropped off dramatically:

Tuna: Crucita, Ecuador

Tuna: Crucita, Ecuador

Sharks are often caught off the coast of Ecuador:

Shark: Crucita, Ecuador

Shark: Crucita, Ecuador

Hammerhead Shark:, Crucita, Ecuador

Hammerhead Shark:, Crucita, Ecuador

Fresh Catch Of The Day: Crucita, Ecuador

Fresh Catch Of The Day: Crucita, Ecuador

One fisherman told me that shark fins are sent to Asia to be made into Chinese Medicine that is a great remedy for arthritis and also for the delicacy, “Shark Fin Soup:”

Shark Fins: These Are Exported To China for Soup and Medicine

Shark Fins: These Are Exported To China for Soup and Medicine

Watching the fishermen filet the fish on the beach very soon after being caught was a new experience for me. Those machetes are really sharp and wielded with great certainty and strength by the fishermen who have been fishing for their entire lives.

Machete, Crucita, Ecuador

Machete, Crucita, Ecuador

Sailfish Filet In Process: Crucita, Ecuador

Sailfish Filet In Process: Crucita, Ecuador

Proud Fisherman and His Catch: Crucita, Ecuador

Proud Fisherman and His Catch: Crucita, Ecuador

Related Links and Posts:

~Ancient and Vulnerable: 25 Percent of Sharks and Rays Risk Extinction: http://www.npr.org/2014/01/22/264579513/ancient-and-vulnerable-25-percent-of-sharks-and-rays-risk-extinction?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=DailyDigest&utm_campaign=20140122

ECUADOR: New Years Eve 2013 ~ Monigote Fires and Fireworks

Monigotes Burning A Few Minutes Before Midnight

Monigotes Burning A Few Minutes Before Midnight

A few minutes before midnight on New Years Eve, bonfires began appearing out in the streets and all down the beach. People began throwing their 2013 Monigotes on the fire (See photo above) to officially end “El Año Viejo” or “The Old Year” here in Ecuador.

I had already stuffed “Junior,” my 2013 Monigote, with everything bad that I could think of that had happened in my life during 2013. “Junior” was stuffed to the gills and I could hardly get any more slips of paper into his mouth:

"Junior" Being Stuffed With What I Was Leaving Behind From 2013

“Junior” Being Stuffed With What I Was Leaving Behind From 2013

I took him down to the street just off the beach. There, I was welcomed by the caretakers of my building who generously shared their Monigote fire. Their Monigote’s had already burned so they offered to help me burn mine.

I kicked “Junior” a few times really hard, as is the custom here, to really get any last bit of bad stuff out of my heart from 2013.

"Junior" Lit On Fire

“Junior” Lit On Fire

It was very interesting. “Junior” at first refused to light. It was as if “Junior” was hanging on and 2013 was refusing to go. I took up a stick and began beating “Junior” and he still refused to light.  The Caretakers commented on this and so they took up sticks too to help. They prodded “Junior” as I beat on him. Finally “Junior” caught fire.

Mary Anne Beating On 2013

Mary Anne Beating On 2013

The smoke was huge from the fire. And still,”Junior” took quite awhile to burn down. Most Monigotes take just a few minutes to totally burn down. “Junior” was still flaming after 20 minutes. I guess there was a lot I was letting go of from 2013!!

"Junior" And The Year 2013 Finally Letting Go

“Junior” And The Year 2013 Finally Letting Go

Eventually, “Junior” and 2013 “El Año Viejo” were no more. 2013 was officially OVER for me! Whoo! Hoo!

2013 ~ "El Año Viejo" ~ Is No More

2013 ~ “El Año Viejo” ~ Is No More

There were fireworks for some time up and down the beach along with firecrackers and cherry bombs and lots of other things that went, “BOOM!” in the night:

Monigote Fire 2013

Monigote Fire 2013

2013 Monigote Fire and Fireworks, Ecuador

2013 Monigote Fire and Fireworks, Ecuador

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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