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.

Leaving…. again



It has been a while since I updated my blog…but it is time.

I am leaving again.

I have spent 9 months in Canada, living with my parents, and it is time for me to move on.

The stay here has been bittersweet.

I have had a great opportunity to build an online business teaching English.  This business, with some nurturing, should be able to sustain me and be something I can do just about anywhere.  The big problem with this business is the negative impact I am having on the other people in the house.  They have to change and curtail their activities while I am online.  It is not fair to them, so it is time for me to move to another location.

Teaching online hasn’t reached a level, yet, that it could support me in a high priced country such as Canada … so I need to move to a lower cost country. I do love the country of Ecuador ( where I will be traveling to) so this isn’t a bad thing.

I may have been able to create a life in Canada if I had been able to find a part time or full time employment, but I lost count of the number of resumes I sent out.  This is one of the downsides of my stay, realizing that I have become somewhat marginalized in this country.

The best thing about this stay is my opportunity to reconnect with two people I love.  Living with my parents has allowed me a much better understanding of who they are, and what their life has been like.  It makes me appreciate even more who they are, and how it has shaped me into who I am.

One of the downsides of my stay in Waterloo is I feel like I have lost connections with friends in Toronto as well as friends around the world. Being so close, but not close enough is a strange distance.  Some friends I felt closer to, when I lived thousands of kilometers away, then when I live hundreds away.

I don’t know why.

Now that I am getting ready to go, I will likely update this blog more often…if only to organize my thoughts.

Getting it together

In the past month or two I have been working hard on getting my on-line teaching business going. It has been a bit of a learning curve.

I have made mistakes, I have put effort into the wrong areas.  I have found out things I should not do…. basically I have been learning.

There is an on-line MOOC I have been taking on building your on line teaching business which has helped dramatically. ( a MOOC is a Mulit Open Online Course)  Through this I have started to define my niche and focus my marketing.

This has lead to the creation of my teaching site…

One of the advantages of my present situation is that I can spend the time to set this up properly.  As a new business  it will take time to grow, and I now have the chance to nurture and grow it slowly and steadily… and growing it is.  My on-line teaching income has doubled this month from last.  It has to double a few more times before I can reach my goal but the improvement makes me very happy.


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.