Friday, January 18, 2013

Almost Icarus

(Because I'm so close to the sun..)

We arrived late on Tuesday (and to the apartment on Wednesday, as Sam insistently pointed out).  It was a long day with a lot of luggage, a lot of waiting, a lot of crankiness on all our parts by the end of it all. 

Everyone thinks it's "exciting" to go and settle down in a new country. And sometimes it will be--but it's not this week.  There's a lot of boring stuff that has to be done: groceries to buy, meetings to go to (I am in process of getting set up at the Fulbright Commission), evaluations the kids had to take to get into school, etc.  Plus, 9,000 feet of altitude takes its toll for the first few days--really, it takes about 2 weeks until one feels, truly, like oneself again.  I woke up on Wednesday morning with my typical "Quito headache" caused by travel exhaustion and high altitude. 

But, there are up sides.  The apartment is great.  It's huge and has everything we need in order to work and live comfortably, and it's in a really good location--though one that I need to get to know better.  The views area also spectacular--when there's no fog:

I think we'll be comfortable here. Even though it's way too fancy for our style:

I haven't gotten to the archives yet--too much bureaucratic crap to get done, and too tired still.  But, I hope to jump in on Monday or Tuesday next week.  I did get out to a book presentation/panel last night for a new book of Nela Martinez Espinosa's lettters with her first husband--a source that I have been dying to work with for this new project.  So, while I hope to return to the Martinez-Meriguet archive, even if I can't get in, I have something to work with now!  I also got to spend time with Ximena, and touch base with colleagues with whom I need to talk. 

In short: I suppose that even though I still have zero idea of how to talk to "Important People," and even though the kids are still a bit sluggish and bored, we're off to a pretty good start. 

Next week, the real fun begins!


  1. Hi Erin, aka "Sam's mother". Zareh (aka "Andrew's father) here. Hope you don't mind I signed up to follow your and Sam's blogs.

    Leslie (my wife) pointed out your description to me: "I've been a misfit forever, fitting into neither my blue-collar origins or my current academic world." I'd just recently been bemoaning my own similar experiences. Haven't reconciled those contradiction yet though.

    Anyway, I hope you do all get settled in and can enjoy your experiences in Ecuador. I'm curious to hear more about what your research is.

    We'd love to get together with your whole family sometime -- consider yourself invited over for dinner -- when you're all back in Quin-zee!

    In the meantime, good luck with your research and enjoy the adventure!

    - Zareh

  2. Hi Zareh! I'm always glad to talk with another "misfit" like me...sounds like we will have much to discuss, between the kids and our life/academic experiences, when we are on the same continent.

    The short version of my work: I'm in Quito on a Fulbright to conduct research for my second monograph, on the cultural and political implications of domesticity. Some of this is on political discourses, some of it is on women's roles, some of it is on family relations (or even housing), and then I also seek to understand interethnic relations over domestic issues from the perspective of less-powerful peoples, like domestic servants.

    It's very broadly defined right now, and of course at this point in time I have grand ideas...ultimately, the archives will humble me and I will write about what I find.

  3. Hi Erin,

    I am happy you made it there safe and sound & that the apt is a good space for you all. Pictures can only show you so much so getting there and seeing it will be a nice place had to be a relief - yes?

    Sorry not to have caught you up with an email but I it continues to be a whirlwind. In MA right now and feel like I am coming down with something. oh well...

    Sending good thoughts to you all