Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Ecuador - Galapagos
 

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Life Lesson: Write it Down!

Kyle Hayes (June 15, 2008, Quito, Ecuador)—We are at the end of this incredible trip for an evolution class, but this trip has also been one of the best learning experiences I have had about life outside the United States. (Click here for a photo album.)

(See a second photo album here.)

Beyond all of the biology, traveling, hiking, snorkeling, and photography, staying with a host family in a foreign country that speaks almost no English, attending Spanish classes, and spending time with friends, both American and Ecuadorian, I have picked up on even more life lessons.

The one that really sticks out—and that I want to implore others to utilize in their lives—is the skill of journaling.

This was not my first visit to another country, nor my first visit to a Spanish-speaking country, but it was my first time in South America and the first trip during which I have kept a journal. The field notebook was, of course, required for our visits to Tiputini and the Galapagos. But through my journal, I also have a detailed description of what I did during these visits. I was fortunate enough to have quite a few positive experiences outside of the biological trips and to journal about these as well. I know that this will also be beneficial when I want to recall specifics from this month away from home as I am telling stories to other friends and family,

I only wish I would have kept a journal during my other travels. I still have vivid memories and can recall many things about these trips, but I know that the memories are slipping and the experiences are constantly being pushed further and further into the past.

As many people say, hindsight is 20/20. I wish I would have realized this earlier in my life so that I could have kept better records.

I would offer two pieces of advice from this trip. First, take care of the environment. And second, keep a record of your experiences, for these help to define the person you become.

In photo: The Wabash Ecuadorian Study Group at the Galapagos "Post Office", where they left a letter. Click here for more about Post Office Bay.