Goodby old friends

Old hiking boots

Old hiking boots

I have purchased new hiking boots.

It is time to throw the old ones away.  I have worn them out.  The treads on the bottom are almost gone, and they are actually a little bit dangerous in the wet.

When I look back on the places these boots have taken me, and the things we have experienced together…


Several Toronto Winters….Walks on the concrete sidewalks of many cities ( Toronto, Vancouver, Tokyo, Seoul, Quito, Loja….) Hikes in the backwoods and trails of 3 different continents, down into the mouth of an inactive volcano, or hiking up the side of another.. walking at night over the continental divide, horseback riding in the andes, exploring caves,wading through streams, hiking up mountains, motorcycle rides, walking on beaches to see the sunset on one side of the Pacific, or the Sunrise on the opposite side…

There are a lot of memories in these boots.

My new boots are lighter, and the treads seem to be more high tech.  It will be interesting to see what memories they will help me create.

Been in Canada for a week…

I arrived back in Canada a little less than a week ago.

I have:

  • Had Tim Hortons
  • visited Home Depot
  • experienced a thunderstorm
  • eaten corn on the cob, and pecan pie
  • Had Canadian Beer ( something with taste)
  • had Pizza with real cheese and crust

The only things on my “list” that I haven’t done is had a piece of Cherry Pie, Butter Tarts  and “real” chinese food.

Waterloo ( city I am staying in) is very clean, green and friendly, but it does have the same urban sprawl that most cities in North America have… you have to drive almost everywhere.  I am concerned about my in vs. exercise.  It was so easy to burn calories in Ecuador when I had to walk everywhere.

Television and the media is worse than I remeber, all about fear hate and war, and selling unneeded stuff.

I am going to be here for a while I think.

It is strange to walk into a store and not be different… I am surrounded by people who look like me, and talk like me… I am not the stranger or foreigner in the crowd.  Having been the “different” one both in Japan and then Ecuador the anonymity is something I will need to get used to.

I have been working on getting myself set-up to teach online.  I am close to working with two different companies, one which deals mostly with China and Taiwan, the other which deals mostly with Japan.  Once I have confirmed these arrangements I will publish details.  I have set up a little teaching “studio” so I can spend the time needed online without disrupting the day to day life of my parents.

Next week I will make my first trip into Toronto to visit friends.  This is a difficult time of the year to make arrangements, since so many people in Ontario take holidays in August.

Stay tuned

Sept 09

Saturday 8 September 2012

It has been a feast for the senses so far this weekend in Loja

Last night I went to a concert by a 60 piece orchestra. They were good… Unfortunately the hall they play in does not match the talent. 

After we went to central park to experience the fireworks. The way fireworks are set off in this festival you don’t just watch them… No matter where you stand there are in front, behind, and above you…. And sometimes beside or below you.

I am now sitting waiting for a show to start at the Loja fair. I am very impressed with the production ( lights  stage and sound) basically as good as or better then you would find at events at Dundas square.

We left the show early… The talent did not match the venue….


Friday 7 September 2012

Today is a football match between Ecuador and Bolivia. It is a big deal!  A major part of the population is wearing yellow… Ecuador’s colour…Ecuador won, on a penalty kick.

sept 07

Friday 7 September 2012

9:54 Just booked my flight to YYZ… now working on my return to GYE
by Glenn Specht via Facebook


I am taking donations of Areoplan points from anyone who has some extra they can’t use before they expire…..



Thursday 6 September 2012

8:15 I had a talk with the boss yesterday. It looks like I have next week off.

The second week I am now supposed to be teaching in Yantzaza… Which is a business and mining town in the Provence of Zamora.

I have never been there, and it is further east , towards the amazon then I have been before. I am looking forward to it.

20:11 Last day of classes for a week, or more.   Really not sure what I will do with the time, but I am sure I will enjoy it

Today, before and between classes, I took some pics of the people getting ready for the fireworks tonight. After class I plan to go photograph the fireworks, which is way different ( and sacrier ) then fireworks in canada

Wednesday 5 September 2012

20:14 Found out I may be teaching for a week three hours east of here ie much closer to the amazon
by Glenn Specht via Facebook

Tuesday 4 September 2012

18:10 I still don’t know what I am doing next week.

I may either be teaching in Zamora or have the week off. If I have time off I am thinking I might explore some more of Podocarpus park. I have been thinking that camping or at least hiking would be cool.

The problem is lack of equipment.

I have started putting together a survival kit.
I usually always travel with a rain pancho I picked up years ago in Vancouver, which is great for wind and rain.  I have used it many time to protect myself or my gear

I also carry a flashlight… Wind up and solar powered.

With this idea I bought a compass today. I used to always have one in my camera bag, but I am not sure where it went. It did set me back $15, but it is worthwhile to have.  I will be practicing it’s use to make sure how to use it if I need it.

20:10 Ah crap.   I just found out claim for my trip to the hospital is being denied… Preexisting condition, hadn’t had my insurance long enough….. This will affect my plans
to head to Toronto.

23:12 2nd of 5 nights of fireworks…. loud in this valley… setting off all the car alarms…oh the sounds of Loja
by Glenn Specht via Facebook

Monday 3 September 2012

10:53 Things I learned this weekend.

Beer mixed with coke doesn’t taste bad… It actually improves the taste of pilsner…the Ecuadorian beer.

Scotch causes heart burn.  I used to have problems with heartburn… Sometimes really badly. Haven’t had this issue for a while. Had scotch on Saturday and felt the burn…and am still feeling it. I guess no more scotch for

11:01 Things are really hopping today in loja.

It is the first day back at school for primary and high school. The centro is filled with kids and parents in their clean uniforms.

In the poorer parts of the country there is a rule that children needs shoes to attend school. There are some gringos who have a project to provide shoes to those who need them. The charity and good works of “some” of the expat population is interesting.