All legs and curiosity.-Brian Doyle

I’m Lizzie Falconer, I just graduated with a Master’s in Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Oregon born, Oregon raised, I am now an aspiring humanitarian aid worker.

All opinions are mine and mine alone. They do not represent those of my employer.

8 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Lizzie,
    I am from Oregon also – Brightwood on Mt Hood – about an hour from Portland.
    I am 64, single and retired. I am living in Cuenca, slowly learning Spanish and love it here.
    A friend in Oregon sent me the link to your blog. I very much am enjoying reading it.
    My hat is off to you for your volunteer work – it is a very good thing to be doing! I will move into volunteer work here in Cuenca after I am finally settled in a permanent apartment and get some more Spanish under my belt.
    If you ever come to Cuenca and need a place to stay, I have a very comfortable couch you are welcome to crash on. We do have some similar life experiences, besides living in Oregon. I grew up living around the world – my father was in the Air Force. Both of my sons also graduated from the U of O. My youngest son was in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and is now second in charge in the Peace Corps office in Colombia.
    I hope to make it up to the Otovalo area at some point – perhaps when I have to go to Quito to complete my Residency Visa and get my cedula. It would be fun to connect with you if that works.
    Be well,
    Many Blessings,

    1. Hi Carol!

      I’m glad you like my blog! How is Cuenca? All we’re hearing up here is that the flooding is horrendous and people are dying.

      I would love to visit Cuenca! Money is a little tight right now, but I would love to make a trip this summer. And I will definitely take you up on that couch offer :).

      And please let me know if you are in Otavalo! My e-mail is: lfalconer418@gmail.com. I would love to meet up and have a meal or even coffee!

      Good luck with your visa!



    1. Hey Jeff, it’s actually Kichwa. All of the Andean indigenous leaders of the area got together and standardized the language in 2007. As it says on the Tandana Foundation website under “Language Lessons”: As the bilingual education movement gained strength, leaders decided to standardize spelling throughout Ecuador (Kichwa Unificado, Shukyachiska Kichwa) in order to facilitate the making of educational materials and strengthen the unity of the movement. Hence the spelling Kichwa, rather than Quichua, which was usually preferred before.”

  2. Hi Lizzie,

    Saw your blog info in the paper Sunday. Enjoyed it.

    Do you have any relatives in Oregon? My husband’s family lives in Gresham but they have relatives in the Bay area.

    My daughter went to Rosario, also, through Portland State. When she was there she dated a guy who had a Falcon which I thought was funny.

    About your Visa problem, can’t you just go to Peru or Columbia and then return to Ecuador to start over on a new 90 day tourist Visa? Sounds easier than your trips to Quito.

    Good luck!

    Nancy Falconer

    1. Hi Nancy!

      Thanks for reading! Glad you like it. I do have family in Oregon. I went to Wilsonville High School, and my parents still live there. My brother, my sister-in-law and my niece live in Sellwood.

      When did your daughter study in Rosario? We have so many things in common! I was there in the fall of 2009. And I had no idea anybody in Rosario had falcons! That’s funny.

      Luckily, my visa problems have been solved! They granted me the volunteer visa yesterday. I was shocked. But although in many countries you can leave and then return for an extra ninety days, Ecuador changed that policy recently. They used to be very relaxed on immigration policy, but a string of human traffiking related incidents changed that. Now you have to apply for the extension, which adds to the back up and general mayhem at the ministerio.

      Again, I really appreciate you reading my blog! I’ll try to keep posting interesting stories and adventures for everyone to enjoy!



  3. Hi Lizzie. I am the Portland woman who wrote about my travels in Ecuador for the March 18 Oregonian Travel section. Compared to my trip, yours is quite an adventure. In my younger days, I would have been right there with you! Since retiring from full time work late last year, I have been consumed with my work as director of Other Mothers Animal Rescue Inc. Traveling in Ecuador, or anywhere else, I always see the way people treat their animals as a barameter of their society. Obviously, the dogs and cats down there were far from the pampered pets here in the SW Portland suburbs but I had a distinct impression of a reverance for animals and nature in general. References to patchamama seemed to permeate so many disparate conversations. And far from the kind of violence against a child that you witnessed, I saw parents who were very kind to and involved with their chldren. Your bookstore anecdote was horrible. I don’t know what I would have done in that situation. Do you have any knowledge of efforts to educate the rural people about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets? Seems to me I didn’t see a single uncastrated dog anywhere. I’m sure there must be some grassroots efforts in that direction somewhere in Ecuador and would love to volunteer to help such a program if I could find one. My bottom line, Lizzie, is that I really appreciated your indepth observations and experiences and the fact that you are willing to put yourself out there to be of help where you can. I would love to hear back from you if you have time to correspond. Linda

  4. liz! i am sitting in my living room with a magazine and classic book (gone with the wind) to my left and a television with any number of channels in front of me and all i can do is sit here and read your blog. i keep looking around hoping there’s more entries every time i come to this page. the way you write about your surroundings makes me hungry for more. i can imagine the places you are in and the interactions you have with your family and others around you. you are a beautiful writer and person. i miss you and i love you! can’t wait for the next entry:)

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