Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Due to recent events

I now must ask 'Do you speak Portuguese' before I can say the name of my mission.

Turns out, the t sounds like an h or something that, so I feel too stupid saying it in front of people who actually know how it is supposed to sound. I know already that this is setting me up to be one of those missionaries who comes back saying I went to BraSil and having a missionary accent. Whatever, maybe it will be cool by the time I come back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

If one more person says...

that I am going to gain weight on my mission I might lose it. Not that it probably is going to happen, but really, do we need to talk about it before it happens?

So this week as I went to get a good pair of walking church shoes- Here is an actual conversation that happened at the shoe store, with no exaggeration.

me: these are too big
mom: well you are going to gain weight on your mission
me: not in my feet (turn to the sales lady) She keeps telling me I am going to gain weight.
sales lady: (looks me up and down) you probably will.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

No need for pity

So it has recently come to my attention that people 'feel bad for me, for living at home and all.' No need for that, I am still doing all sorts of exciting things before shipping off to Brazil.
-Going to St. George with the family for the Red Rock Relay. quite enjoyable
- Mission Prep at both my ward and the Sandy institute. Let me tell you, that is quite the experience saying that I am out numbered by 18 year old boys about 10 to 1. No really, its actually pretty entertaining.
-Practicing my Portuguese- Thanks Kimball and Garrison.

Also on that note, Spanish and Portuguese- similar but not the same. Just thought we needed to touch on that because every person has told me how easy Portuguese will be because I 'kind of speak Spanish.' Also, on that note, who are you to be judging my ability to speak Spanish, you've never heard me talk so maybe I more than kind of speak Spanish. Maybe.

-Okay besides that it has been a little slow here at home, but never fear, I make a minimum weekly visit to Provo, where mostly everyone is complaining about school when I am complaining that I don't have school. Also have some fantastic friends in Sandy and sister who is also living at home.

Time actually has gone fairly fast, I am coming up on 2 months til send off.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back again

Well, turns out living on a tropical island is really time consuming and doesn't leave much time for blogging. Thats okay, you will just have to take my word for it that it was really really fun. Also I am a horrible picture taker because there were always tons of people taking pictures so I have only a few photos to show for myself. Also, I got a lot of sun. again no pictures to prove it so you will have to come visit me.

A few people have asked me if I have had culture shock. let me just tell you a little bit about family dinner today.

So, loved the food in the DR but pretty much it was rice and beans every day x2.

So today for dinner my family has a nice welcome home/ birthday dinner for me. I was so hungry... I just started eating. about half way through dinner I had to change out of my dress because it was getting too tight and then about 3 minutes after returning I had to excuse myself because I was so full I felt sick. Apparently eating nothing but rice and beans is far less filling and its been too long since I have eaten food like that. so readjusting to food will be good. haha

Okay, I am going to blog a little about the DR- I am just waiting on some pictures.

Peace out.

For those of you who hadn't heard- I am going to the Porto Alegre North Mission in Brazil. it is 39 degrees F there. I am going to die. but I am actually really excited.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Camp: Day 1

Lesson learned: Team building exercises only work if you work together as a team. Also they are easier to explain if you speak the language. So the human knot game is really really rough in a kids camp in the Dominican Republic just for future reference.

But seriously working at this kids camp has been really great, given today was the first day of camp. I am working with kids who are older but at about a 3rd grade level. They are very energetic but I think that hopefully they will like summer camp. Also my spanish needs to get better so get better it will. Direct quote from one of the teachers- You will be severely blessed for working with these children

These are the cute children right when camp was starting.

Okay, peace out.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life lessons learned through surfing

Hola from the DR! We haven't had tons of time for computering and it doesn't seem like we will have that much time in the future but I am having quite an enjoyable time here. My chaco line is great after only one week.

We also have the chance to go surfing every morning if we want to. I decided to get in on this even though last time I surfed I was not too successful. So the German teacher picked us up and took us to the beach at sunrise. The first thing he did was take us to this bench where the sun was rising and told us to look at the ocean and that we should never be in a rush to get in the water but that we should sit and look at the waves and enjoy it before going into the water.

How was the surfing you might ask? I got up nearly everytime... with a push from the teacher. A much better experience than last time. Tomorrow's goal: get up without a push.

Then after a brief on land lesson he explained that just like in life, you should never look backwards or sideways- always forward on the surfboard. I quite enjoyed the life parallels. While I am on the subject of life I have an announcement. I was going to wait until I had my call but I was expecting it today and it did not come... I am going on a mission! So I am pretty excited about that.

The spanish is going pretty well. I mean I understand almost everything I just need to work on talking more. I am excited to start camp next week. I will be working with children age 11-14 who are behind at least 2 years in school. The kids are so cute and energetic!

Thats all for now.

PS sorry about there being no pictures... I haven't taken too many and it doesn't seem to be working!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The United States of America

Turns out I kinda like it here. But not enough to stay for an extended period of time. I am over half way done with my time in Utah before I head to the Dominican Republic for 6.5 weeks. I am pretty excited that in 2 weeks I will be living the dream.

You might ask, What have I been doing in my month off?
Please see the list below:

Working an average of 10 hours a day. (note: that is the majority of what I do)
Seeing and chatting with friends in all of my "free time"
Bridal showers. Love 'em.
Being completely crazy in a not-as-funny-as-you'd-think sort of way.
Learning to drive a stick shift. Yeah, turns out that is harder than I thought. I can drive approximatly 1 mile as long as there is less than one stop sign and it is not on a hill.
Driving to provo. love construction.
Running (of course).

Well, I think that about covers it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dear Cuenca: I miss you

Dear Cuenca,

I liked you a lot. You are home to many cool people. Also I enjoyed your not so ancient history (note: Cathedral finished cerca de 1930)and flower market that was just 2 short blocks from the hostel. Your Spanish school was really great and I enjoyed my cultural lessons everyday. 6 hours a day was just the right amount to not make me crazy but also make me learn. I also liked your small quaint streets.

There are somethings that I wont miss about you... Like the scrambled eggs Hostel Castallana served EVERYDAY. The receptionist at the hostel who glared at me every time I walked past her. And last but not least, the lady who sold lottery tickets right under my window.

The view of the street from our hostel room.

Also, one thing I never tried, but wanted to was one of these guys:

But you only sell them by the whole cuy (guinea pig) and some members of this group did not want to try cuy.

All in all, I think you are a pretty great city and hope that you are well without me (though I don't really see how that is possible). Please tell your friend the Amazon that I am looking forward to getting to know them this weekend.

Warmest Regards,

The now, almost conversational in Spanish,
Amelia Wegener

Today we are back in Quito, which I like, but not as much as Cuenca. Tomorrow we are headed to the amazon jungle for the weekend and then it is back to the States for us (for a month!). Also I finally got my plane tickets to the DR. turns out it is super hard to get there from SLC, I am flying on a red eye to atlanta which should be pretty fun.

Also completely unrelated, some people are idiots. I just have to say that to the world. There are very few people who I can't stand, so chances are pretty good that you aren't on the list. But seriously. idiots.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Amelia Wegener: Wild Stallion Tamer

Okay.. Not really. But, we did go horseback riding in the countryside today. It is one of the prettiest places I have been and it was nice because there was no noise/cars.

Also, unlike a lot of tours on horses, it was just us and the guides. Also my guide happened to love galloping (which I found out today, so do I!) So we got to gallop through the green countryside. It was pretty amazing. I think that I am going to be sore for weeks, but I guess thats the price you pay right?

I might have accidentally fallen in love with my horse. Whoops.

Also we got to wear these huge mud/rain boots, which made me wish I lived in a rainy city so I could rationalize buying a pair of rain boots. But it did start pouring mid ride and they kindly provided ponchos for us to wear.
What is the first movie to pop into your head?

The guide (Juan) and I both thought it looked a little Lord of the Rings-esq. Regardless, it was a lovely day, and only rained for a couple of minutes.
Well... Thats all for now.

Friday, May 7, 2010

No, I am not catholic.

I am not apologizing for not blogging in forever because it drives me nuts when people do that. I hope that you don't mind but I am going to blog a little more about Ecuador because there is one specific thing that I have been wanting to talk about.
So, I said I had a very unique experience, and I can finally upload the pictures to tell about it.
So we were going to spanish school, and in the evenings they offer cultural classes. We decided to go to the one about the Chamanismos because we knew very little (or some of us, nothing) about it. So we went and learned about the healers in the amazon tribes, called chamanismos. They would diagnose and heal the people in the tribe. They especially were used in "cleaning" of people (mostly children) who had caught bad air.

Our teacher actually had some practice in this sort of cleansing, though she is not a Chamanismo, she is a corendera (women who still practice the cleansing) So at the end of learning about it, she demonstrated on me.

The cleaning consists of using a beautiful bouquet of natural plants.

First, she breaks the plants just enough to release the smell and the person inhales 3 times to help them relax. Then the bouquet is used to hit (for lack of a better word) the patient with bad air, all over the body.

Next they take an egg and rub it all over the body. It is seen as a life, and it is absorbling the bad air out of you. The egg is then cracked in a glass of water to show the condition of the person's spirit. Don't even worry that mine was tranquil. Yeah, what can I say?

After that, they take this water/flower/alcohol mixture and spit it all over you (gratefully for me, I just put flower extract on my hands and ran it through my hair and we called it good)

Finally, to finish up they draw 3 crosses made of ash and water on your forehead, back and stomach. Sorry for the inappropriate-ness, I had to capture the full experience.

Don't worry, we asked and its not dark magic and I am not catholic now (at least not to my knowledge).

I actually really loved getting to expericence this and learn about a whole new culture and way of thinking. Big shout out to the little boy who let me take his picture for this blog. His mom said that he loves to be cleansed and everytime they are in the city he asks to go there.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why my major ruins traveling

Okay, maybe a bit of a hyperbole but seriously. I might be a little obsessed with dietetics, and it may have taken over my life this past year. Still under debate. But I wouldn't change my major for anything. So this is where we come to the problem of it ruining my travels. One word: Food Safety.

I mean I am all about trying new foods. As long as that food hasn't been in the 'danger zone' (41-135 degrees F) for more than 4 hours. I also would prefer if the food was made in a sanitary environment and that the employees washed their hands for 20 seconds with hot water after touching their hair/face or going to the bathroom. I really don't think that is too much to ask.

But apparently it is. In one of my Spanish classes I had to explain what food safety was. I don't know if I could really drive the point home in my broken Spanish.

But every time I sit down to eat I have to think "don't think about how this was made or how long its been sitting out, or how it is probably not the safest thing to be eating, just eat it." And it usually tastes just fine, and so far only a few upset stomachs.

Also a fun little Ecuadorian trend; they don't ask you if you would like potatoes, fries, or rice- because your meal comes with all 3. So when I come back 10 lbs heavier, please don't ask why.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday in Ecuador

I promise not to blog everyday if it is boring but, I don't have a ton of time during the week because of classes and stuff.

So today, less adventurous but still fun, we went and visited some ruins called Ingapirca. It was really cool, apparently right before the Spanish came, many of the Incan rulers moved to Ecuador. In the Incan culture they believed that their leader was God.
This is the religious center of the ruins.

A view of some of the ruins:

On the way we stopped at this cathedral that had literally been built into the side of the mountain. It was huge and looked over this valley.

Notice that they have arches, but they are filled with the stone from the mountain.

Also, we drove by this enormous statue(we didn't get too close to it), that is a 2 hour hike to get to, of a virgin. The people go and pray to her and recieve inspiration. This statue was so big, hard to describe but really cool.

I don't know why but I love looking at any type of religious art, I feel like you can learn so much about how a culture sees the world by studying how they worship. I think it is something that I can feel an immediate connection with the people.

Tomorrow its back to school to continue learning spanish. We'll be here for another week and a half and then we are going to the Amazon for a few days.
From Cuenca, with no hot water.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Take it easy, Alright?

I have not heard anyone say that as many times as our guide did today. He must have learned his English in Jamaica or something.

Today, we went to a national park here in Ecuador. We signed up with a group and didn't really think much of it... see a couple of lakes and ride around in a van, no sweat.

Well actually... the tour that the agency we signed up with didn't really mention the 4 hour hike that was the main part of the tour. This was actually a pleasant surprise but needless to say a surprise. So we take off.. Not really knowing what to expect. About half way in, I would say, we have to go up this steep slippery mud hill. Yeah, I might have fallen. Several times. But the good news is that Ecuadorian mud is oily (whatever that means) and so it might not come out of my clothes. Please observe: our pants. (I changed jackets by then so you don't get to see the wonderful mud there)

We went through this forest that they sometimes call the Grimm’s Brother forest because it looks straight out of a fairytale. The trees, translated were called paper trees, and their bark was similar to that of an onion skin. Super weird but pretty cool.

The views on the hike were incredible. The hike was pretty agressive, but we enjoyed it. And the nice british man found my mom the walking stick viewed above.

I also decided that I am going to marry a super funny British man. We were with a group and there was a couple there from Liverpool. My mom was joking that since we are from the west in the United States, we talk like cowboys. He immediately piped up and said ‘that’s okay I talk like a pirate.’ So funny because it was true. You might have had to have been there though.

Also while we’re on the subject of foreign people lets discuss something (and by discuss, I mean let me talk about) How come it isn’t more common in the United States to take off a couple of years and travel the world? We’ve met a couple of people from other countries who are doing that and I hear it is a pretty common thing to do. I mean… it seems like an excellent idea to me.

Oh and the internet is working. so life it pretty good.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


So I am at my new home away from home. We are staying in a little hostel near the center of the city and it is pretty cute but we were a little hesitant when we first got here (there were paint chips on my bed and the shelves were super dirty) but after a good nights sleep we were happy with our new abode. Good thing I brought my laptop because the wireless has been down since we got here and so I have not been able to load any pictures up. Unless it starts working (which I highly doubt it will) it might be a few weeks before I get some pictures on here.

But I love it here! The part of the city that we are staying in is in so cool! It is el cuidad viejo (look how much spanish I know!!) and the streets are super narrow and made of cobblestone. There are so many churches and cathedrals that are very beautiful. I have been to the market a couple of times with my teachers; somebody must have told them that the key to my heart is fresh fruit.

This is pretty much what you see in the markets and on the streets.

Its such a different culture here but I like learning about it... I will have to tell you about my very UNIQUE cultural experience when I can get my pictures up here- it definitly needs its own post.

My spanish skills are coming right along although I have a lot more work ahead of me than I thought. Hopefully I´ll survive.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ecuador, here I am!

Thats right, I am here in Quito. We had quite an enjoyable time getting down here. You see, we normally fly coach but by some luck of the draw, we used frequent flyer miles and flew first class. See, I always thought, hmm there cant be that big of a difference right? WRONG. try 2x the foot space and much much better food. I had a salmon salad and an ice cream sundae for dessert. First class coupled with the fact that I slept about 8 of the 10 hours, the flight couldn't have been better. Lets just say the ride in coach on the way home is going to be difficult. But I guess I don't have to worry about that for another MONTH.

So I am realizing that to actually get good at Spanish, I am going to have to make a fool out of my self. repeatedly. Also, I thought I should mention that I did in fact get the brown chacos and I love them so thanks for that.

Well I will try to get some interesting stories. Until then, peace.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Boys will be girls

So here is the thing. I am totally in love with this video, for so many different reasons. Don't we all know someone like this?

Sorry I am not all tech savvy and don't know how to make it appear here so if anyone knows how your help would be appreciated. But seriously watch it. You wont regret it.

I love myself, I hate myself

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So someone who is kind enough to read my blog asked for more info on Ecuador. And I have to give the the people what they want. By the way, thanks for the comments, I know who my real friends are.

So the plan is the day after finals leave for Quito. I am going with my dear mother. By some random turn of events, we are flying first class part of the way for which I really can't wait. I have only walked past this section longingly and now I get to be in it for 2 beautiful hours, at least.

We are flying into Quito and spending a couple of days there just doing normal touristy things I think. But then the real fun begins, we will be spending most of our time in Cuenca in a spanish immersion school. Hopefully I will come back fluent... or at least conversational. We will be at the school for 3 weeks and don't worry, weekend fun is already planned. Amazon. Ruins. And Who knows.

Also please don't judge me but I couldn't resist. I have fallen into the BYU trap of buying chacos. They are just so practical for this summer.

So all thats left really is 6 finals, 2 presentations, 3 projects, and a paper. Problem? No way.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm the worst blogger ever.

Ha. I knew that the day after I started a blog I would think... "hmmm I have nothing to say that is worth reading." School is ending soon and then I am off on all sorts of adventures. First stop; Ecuador.

I kind of think that I need to go with the theme of the blog and talk a little bit about running. Spring is ideal for running. Just ask EVERY BYU student. Because pretty sure all of them love it. More power to you. This month I did 2 races which were both fine, but the best part was just being with family and not in Provo. So for now, the best thing about running is being able to be with family and get away. Who knows what it'll be next week.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Welcome Back to School

It may seem odd that I am just now getting ready to accept the fact that I am back to school. Unfortunately I have been a little reluctant to get on the Winter 2010 bandwagon. I think I officially jumped on this weekend, when I put most of my assignments into my planner and realized that I am actually going to have 'tests and projects'. Weird, I know- I thought that was just during Fall semester.
As many of the BYU students know, the Clyde building had no power Thursday-Friday. I had the ultimate pleasure of finding this out first hand.
I headed to my 9:30 class on Thursday, just having had a conversation about how I didn't really like the Clyde (no offense, I am just used to living in the Eyring) Anyway, I walk in and it was semi-dark and had a somewhat odd smell and thought- 'man I dislike this building more than I remember.' Needless to say it took walking up one flight of stairs until I realized that, yes indeed, the power was out.
Determined to go to class (yes I am such a good student) I went through the darkness to my class. I sat down with the majority of my class already there in the dark when the fire alarm went off. Whoever thought that strobe lights on a fire alarm was a good idea was seriously mistaken. It makes it 5000x harder to find your way. Anyway, I eventually made it out and class was cancelled. Made my day. I guess the Clyde is somewhat redeemed by providing me with a get out of class free card.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A weekend in the Sun?

So this weekend, I went to St. George, which is supposed to be warmer, right? Wrong. Well unless 42 degrees counts as warmer- Its under 50 which is still cold.
We stayed in this retirement village/towne/development-thing that was pretty nice. Each 'villa' had its own golf cart and like 45892523 pillows on each bed. Even with the clouds and cold weather, my sister and I insisted on driving the golf cart at every possible moment.

I ran a half marathon with my dad and sister, which was amazing, because we usually run the same race but not together. I also had the immense privilege of running with none other than the famous Professor Judd. Yup, we chit chatted it up for about a mile and he even asked me what grade I got in his class. I took the privilege upon myself to shout to the bystanders that he was a professor at BYU. I am not sure he thought it was as funny as I did.

Seriously though, St. George was so pretty because the air was clean and the snow on the mountains around the red rock gave a nice contrast.

I would have taken some pictures but unfortunately my camera was the only camera that made it to St. George and it was dead.

I'm not really sure how to end this blog thing... so I guess I'll just stop typing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Okay. This has been a long time coming but after much persuasion I have decided to join the blogging world. I am a little skeptical about this whole thing but I guess I'll give it a shot. I would like to start with a shout out to Shannan and Annalise who encouraged me to join them in the 21st century. I guess that is all for now, but seriously, welcome me to the blogging world.