Welcome, Bienvenidos!

To Hash Brown’s Potatoes, as I would like my blog title to really be–with the apostrophe and the capitalization. Oh well, the internet wins this time!

In college, I have adopted a new name, Hash Brown, that comes from the similar sounds of my full name to a very beloved breakfast potato. Thanks mostly goes to Sally Boggan and Hadley Mowe– what else could we do, sleeping three to a tiny room, but come up with innovative nicknames?!? And, as I am going to the original land of the potato, and hope to eat more potatoes than I can imagine (and in more colors than I can imagine), I’ve decided to monopolize on the starchy foods and name my new blog after this indispensable and delicious food source. Also, the Irish are famous for their potatoes, or lack thereof, and my real name is Irish, so it really all does come together around my various names and adventures.

So, what will my potatoes be? What will I unearth and dig up in this journey I am about to embark on? It’s a question I’ve been dreaming to answer for a long time, especially since I discovered this program (SIT Ecuador: Culture and Development) almost two years ago, perusing Whitman’s study abroad page WAY too early… And it’s finally here!

I do have a few vague ideas about what my potatoes, my fruits, my discoveries and dreams will be.

— To learn to commit to the discovery of more, to embrace the changes that come

–Dedication to language learning, whether it be mastering Spanish or beginning Kichwa, and hopefully both!

–A greater understanding of humanity, and the nature of relationships, through embracing a new culture and way of life.

As these translate into realities, I hope to share and reflect on all the gritty details here, as both a way to document my journeys and stay connected to all those from home, and around the world.

Right now, I sit in the Houston Airport, almost halfway there, reveling in the excess of America one last time… Joking, but sort of. This is Texas. But, after waking up around 3:30 this morning, my brain is still fuzzy, so I’m accepting corporate America and supporting Starbucks one last time. 🙂 Thank you, to Mom and Pops for the predawn airport journey, and to everyone else who has helped me prepare for this journey! With two backpacks stuffed pretty full, I’ll be hobbling around Quito shortly, in around 8 hours. I can’t wait for the heady feeling of discovering, of speaking another language, of uncovering a multitude of worlds. Here’s to all the potatoes I will find!!!

PDX in the AM… sorry Ma! Had to do it 🙂