While I work scrubbing bamboo with steel wool, or staining bamboo with some mixture of gasoline and stain and insect-repellant (I take lots of breaks so as not to inhale the fumes too much), or sanding down wood with sandpaper, I try to listen to Tim Ferriss podcasts because they make the time go by faster (I have 5 hours to burn, after all) and they entertain my mind.  I’ve found music is better for the latter half (or last hour or so) rather than first thing in the morning because I am already awake and ready to engage the mind.  What I’ve done until recently is pre-load, or download, one of his 2 hr+ podcasts (there aren’t many) and then listen to that.

Today the guest was Shay Carl who has a huge youtube following because of his vlogs (video blogs every day documenting his life or parts of his life) and I became inspired to start a video blog and post it on youtube of my Galapagos travels.  So I will start that and since I’m there for two weeks, I can practice doing it and editing it.  Who knows, I actually prefer doing check-ins for the places that I stay on my GoPro anyway, so maybe I’ll just keep it going with where I’m at in the world and what I’m doing, what I’m thinking about, etc.  Also, I can show you where I am instead of just using text!

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to edit videos yet, so I’ll watch some youtube videos that talk about video editing this weekend and then hopefully I can get some experience doing that during my travels!  I also may post some videos of Puerto Lopez and Cotopaxi and Quito as I’ve done these videos alre

ady on my GoPro.

So changing the topic briefly, I was thinking of a different podcast who talked about how one makes decisions for one’s life: for instance, what activities to be involved in, what to say “yes” to, what to say “no” to, what avenues to pursue for one’s business or activities or life.  You could probably guess as to how he bases these decisions on.

One’s identity, of course!

Ugh, I just hate when people are like “you have to first know who you are first and then choices for what to do follow or flow from your identity.  It’s of no help to people who either have a lot of things they’re interested in, or don’t know who they are, or don’t have a very stable unchanging and solid sense of self.  One question that I did find helpful though was “does this action/activity/conference help me or help my tribe?”  And I think knowing if it helps you or your tribe is actually a really great question because it blends service and identity, self and community, and I personally find a lot of satisfaction in co-building something with others, whether it be art, community or friendships, a project at work, etc.

Changing the topic about, I’m sure some of you are wondering – what does Joshua do in his spare time?  I usually finish working at 1, take a shower, then eat from 1:45-2:30. Now it’s not THAT much more spare time than I used to have back in America, though I don’t have any friends lol.  That frees up a lot of time.  So anyway, many times I’ll go to the market and buy fruits or vegetables, also I often run along the beach (usually for 3-4 miles), practice Spanish exercises (shout out to UT Spanish language proficiency exercises!!), try to memorize my Spanish notes from my 2-weeks of language school in Quito or watch youtube videos on the different tenses (omg the subjunctive tense is just killing me), journal, clean the house here, and mess around on my computer.

So what’s next for me?  I’m here in Puerto Lopez through this weekend and then Monday, I’m going to go to Quito because the next day, on Tuesday, I’m flying to Galapagos for two weeks!  And from what I’ve heard, Galapagos has the most life (whether it be plant or animal) that’s ONLY located in the Galapagos Islands.  Yay for enjoying the beach, seeing the most interesting (and rare) wildlife and fauna in the entire world, and making videos of my experiences!

I’m also thinking about volunteering there.  My flights are 2 weeks apart, and I’m saving 8 days for a cruise, so that leaves me 6 days.  Although technically it’s 7 days because the last “day” of the cruise is finished by 10 am.  LOL.  How does that count as a day?  I have no idea.  But anyway, I could just miss my flight and buy a ticket to Quito for a later date…which is like $150.  Right now, I have two options: either stay longer and volunteer or just stick with my plan and spend 2 weeks in Galapagos (1-day diving trip, 8-day cruise, and 6 days to just enjoy myself on the island.  Either way, I’m flying back to Quito and then taking a bus from Quito to the southern parts of Colombia where I expect to have an amazing time.  My friends have all told me that their favorite country so far in South America was Colombia, so I’m really excited.  I can also, again, do volunteering there or just hang out with gringos the whole time.  Still up in the air for me right now. There are parts of Colombia I want to volunteer at (for instance, coffee country), and maybe also in the Caribbean coast?  Or maybe in the Amazon area?  Both would be amazing, I’m sure.

Last thing I’ll mention before I go.  I’ve been getting to know Jose and his family.  Jose the concrete guy, as many of you already know from following me on facebook.  First off, they’re great because as far as I know, they don’t know a single word of English.  Not one.  Really makes me focus on my Spanish.  Also, I guess I’m pronouncing things incorrectly, because the wife had a lot of trouble with understanding me and then the husband says the exact same thing that I said and she’s like oohhhh.  I’d forgotten that feeling – you know, the feeling of “I just said exactly that and you had no idea and now someone says it the exact same way and you get it”.  I guess it goes to show that I didn’t say it exactly that way, but you get the point.  L  Anyway, so much fun!  They’re a great family and it’s fun to watch gender roles play out (only the females cook, clean the table, prepare the table, etc.) Also it’s fun to subvert them – I did the dishes hahaha.  Just seeing how they do the house (the Dad constructed it solely by himself over 15 years), do the trash (the trash truck comes by and yells “hey” and people bring out their trash to him, wash their clothes (they pour water and soap into the washing machine and the washing machine’s only job is to spin lol).  I just learn so much!  It’s really cool to see how everything worked and how he built he house and all that.  It’s fun to hear about someone else’s life, you know?

Anyway, speaking of hearing about someone else’s life, if you have any thoughts or requests on what to show for my 2-week experiment in vlogging, or anything else, please let me know in the comments or elsewhere.




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