Hello there! My name is Rolly Weaver. I'm 17 years old and attend Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Florida. In my spare time, I enjoy doing almost any sports and I like anything that forces me push myself. At school, I play basketball, football, and run cross country and track. When I'm not in school I like riding my four wheelers and climbing (in Colorado and NC).
I live with my mom and step dad and have two sisters, one parrot, 3 cats, 1 1/2 dogs (chihuahua) and 3 horses. I am excited about my senior year abroad, not nervous, although I will probably be when I'm boarding the plane.
August 29 Journal
Wow. I really don't know what to write. So I'll start from the beginning. Finished packing the night before, or rather started packing the night before. Then left in the morning, car ride, Awkward. We couldn't find much things meaningful to say. Then goodbyes to Sister, Joonas (a foreign exchange student staying with my family), and mom who despite her strength during the whole day began to cry. This sounds weird but I wasn't sad. I was like “let's do this.” (yes that exact quote lol ) I kinda felt bad that I wasn't crying or anything. But I was just ready.
In Security they thoroughly searched my belongings to insure that I wasn't a terrorist. After that delay I was off. From Jacksonville I headed to Miami for a very lengthy wait. I think that people thought I worked for the airport because of my blazer of something. Because I would randomly receive questions from people about what terminal is where, or what time flights were leaving. Out of sheer boredom I wandered the Miami airport for what seemed like hours.
Before I left I met up with Zhoe, leaving from Florida to Argentina, and later I met four other exchange students who were also heading for Ecuador, and two others departing for countries.
Plane ride uneventful. I talked with a very funny kid who is going to stay in Quito named Remy, and we attempted to decipher the customs papers that we had to fill out, in Spanish. It was very humorous.
Plane lands, we all go through customs together. Only to be broken apart by the hugs of our host families. My host family is vacationing at the beach so their grandfather and aunt pick me up. To my surprise they were both fluent in English. So I didn't have the opportunity to practice my minimal Spanish. Because of my plane's late arrival, I stayed Quito with my host aunt.
In the morning we left for Ibarra. They had morning Mass, so I decided to join them in the service. Bad idea. Started Mass, everything was perfect, then I began to feel dizzy. I shook it off and ignored it. Later in the service we all stood up to recite some sort of prayer, which I mumbled and acted like I knew the words. At that point I was hit with another spell of dizziness, but this time it was worse, I couldn't hear the priest talking or the people singing, everything began to turn black until I couldn't see. I attempted to murmur some sort of "help me," but the words never came out……… BAM!!!! I hit the floor. Blacked out. A result from the altitude. A couple of minutes later I came to. In the middle of Mass, while the priest was singing there was like twenty people around me spitting words and phrases in Spanish which I couldn't understand, asking me questions, brushing my wet hair from my sweaty face, and elevating my legs to produce blood flow. It was embarrassing. Very very embarrassing.
After my pride was taken I was introduced to my host family. I was met at the door with a big smile by Paul my host dad. He has tan skin, and is full of energy, we play chess, or the game I introduced to them, dominoes, almost every night. I have two host sisters and one host brother. Family is very important in Ecuador.
Since my arrival I have busied myself with varying activities. Four days ago we went to 12,000 ft. and went fishing. The lake is in the middle of nowhere. Hidden by the peaks of the northern Andes. To the left I see snow covered peak of Cayambe, to the right limitless jungle filled with mountains. We pulled the boat into shore, cooked the fish, and loaded them with pounds of salt and ate them. After lunch me and my host cousin had the brilliant idea to go swimming. It turned out to be a very stupid idea. As other people were wrapped in winter jackets and long johns, me and my host cousin were frolicking in the water. At twelve thousand feet the air is cold. At twelve thousand feet the water is colder. After we regained feeling in our extremities, we decided to explore the jungle. After much hiking we stumbled into a very marshy section where with every step we would sink up to our knees in muck. We got lost. My white Nike shox are now black Nike shox.
Besides that I've been keeping myself busy playing basketball, tennis, and swimming. Or doing other various tasks that need to be completed like obtaining my visa, buying books and registering for school, etc. etc.
I start school this Monday. So that should be an adventure. Wish me luck.
Also wanted to thank Jody for giving me a chance.
Until next time.
October 16 Journal
Hmmm. Wow. There is so much to say……I´m writing this during Physics class. I lost total interest after we found the velocity of an object flying from China to France. I'm trying to figure out what to put in here without making it one of those weird 1.000 page Sci-Fi adventure books always read during class by that weird kid that never talks.
Ok now I know…
This is going to be the "I have a test tomorrow and haven’t read the book," Spark Note version of Rolly's trip.
In October we had a bunch of parties here, called the festivals of Ibarra. There was one party with 1,500 people (goodbye personal space bubble). I have also come to the startling discovery that my dancing abilities are lacking….but I make up for it in denial.
I'm learning tons and tons of Spanish every day. I've upgraded from retarded to minor stupidity.
Went to Quito and met up with one of my student exchange friends (Remy). We went to the mall and hung out with another foreign exchange student from Ecuador that went to Germany last year. It was fun, however, Quito is much larger and dangerous then Ibarra.
On September 17, I was invited by my host cousin to climb a local mountain. Imbabura. I climbed with a local English teacher, from the United States. We had good conversation for the four hour sludge up the giant hill. We finally reached the summit and rested, chasing the fleeting air of 15,000 ft. After two minutes on the summit it began to snow. How serene! No!! After another five minutes the snow turned into hail/ rain / sleet. Upon that I left my jacket and backpack at a lower section of the trail to scale a difficult vertical section of rock. (I was cold…..this is becoming a habit.)
After half an hour a thunderstorm rolled in. In another 10 minutes lightning was striking all around us. When the bolts struck the ground we would hear the echo screaming from the rocks repeating several times before dying. One struck very very close to the three of us, instantly sending a shock through our bodies. We all had major headaches after the experience.
The descent was supposed to take two hours…..LOL…….The trail was a natural slip'n slide from the rain. Water + Dirt= Mud……….. trail filled with mud and water + Foreign Exchange student = Muddy foreign Exchange Student.
We were greeted by four hours of falling………Hard……....Face plants, head over heals, 180 degree spins, failed attempts to retain our balance and pride.
We finally returned, clothes stained, soaking wet from head to toe , cold and prideless having had the most fun weeks.
Random fact…..the garbage trucks have speakers and play music identical to that of the ice-cream trucks in the U.S.……it causes much confusion.
This section doesn’t need much explaining. I ate Cuy= Guinea pig / evil rat looking thing. …… That's all moving on.
OK time for the serious stuff. Chuck Norris and your "momma" jokes aren’t funny here, Don't try…….seriously don’t.
In the morning (4:30….ohh dear Lord) I'm heading to Manabí, for my first Rotary trip.
It's going to be really cool…..
November 18 Journal
Hello.. While reading my journal, think about this…it helps:
¨Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because Chuck Norris only recognizes the element of surprise¨
The day after I wrote my last journal all the Rotary kids went to the beach in Ecuador. It was cool to see all the different countries and personalities mixing.
Recently laety (From France) and I went on a train to a small village north of Ibarra. We were able to ride on the roof of the train. It was fun. It seems that in every one of these journals something happens to me, I somehow figure out a way to injure myself……I didn't disappoint. We were walking to our seats on top of the train and while began to move. I was saying something to laety with my back to the numerous power lines, strategically positioned to take out unsuspecting foreign exchange students. I turned around just in time to be clothes-lined by something like the largest power line you've ever seen in your life. The line caught my neck, and I was flung on my back, slammed on the metal floor, and rose thoroughly embarrassed. But wait there's more. I stood up (with my back to the lines….again) and was greeted by another monstrous reunion with the metal roof. This stuff needs to stop lol.
Also here, two people have attempted to rob me. Lol But they were really crappy robbers. No lie. Truly subpar. I don't think they expected their "victim" to be a foot taller them. Mauhahahaa…I Won
I went to Quito, mainly to eat a BigMac. I did. I wanted to cry. It was amazing. Also there was a birthday for some girl in Quito. All the student exchange kids went. It was so much fun.
I trying to stay busy here…and not miss an opportunity to do anything. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I go to Boxing……………. and the others day I do my homework…. Haha just kidding, or play basketball. I'm experiencing like recession problems without my bike or riding with my team…hopefully my mom is going to bring it in December…… (Hint Mother)
My English is getting a little bad. I think learning this much Spanish causes memory loss, or something even worse than memory loss.
I won the Chess Championship at my school….yea I know I'm cool lol.
Next weekend I'm going to climb Cotocatchi. It's over 16,000 ft. So So excited.
February 9 Journal
I have so much to say. But I think I’m just going to write random things that have occurred to me in the past couple of months.
AKA ... Long. And void of anything useful.
OK my stupid grammar correction thing isn’t working, so brace yourself for horrible English.
A while ago I went to Cayambe to climb. It’s a mountain over 18,000 ft. I went with my family and an English teacher from the U.S. After a couple of hours the Ecuadorians turned around, but Ryan and I went a lil bit further. Two hours later we were ... Very high ... on a slope ... very steep ... in snow up to our waists. We got the hint that this was very dangerous and decided to turn back. We were able to ski down the slope using our boots and backpacks ...
----How I found a way to hurt myself again!--------
I went to the BMX track with my host cousin, ( he is the national champion of Ecuador 8 times.) ... to make a short story shorter ... I fell ... lol ... Broke the collarbone ... second time ... When I fell I thought..."Crap ... I broke my collarbone again.." ... And when my friends came to ask if I was all right I said ... "Crap ... I broke my collarbone again" in English ... They were confused ... I got up and started walking, and everything started to get black ... until I couldn’t see ... But I was conscious and could hear and move and everything ... So I sat there on my back ... Legs elevated to produce blood flow ... Face filled with sweat ... collarbone bulging out of my left shoulder ... And thinking to my self ... "Well, This sucks."
Ten minutes later I could see again, and went to the hospital ... Surprise ... My doctor is one of the leaders of Rotary! ... How awkward
About two weeks ago I received a package from Zhoe, In Argentina ...
----------Seriously-------Thank you so much ... That was so nice-------------------
Also my family came from the states. It was cool. But my Family from Ecuador ... No English ... And my family from the States ... Negative Spanish = many awkward situations ... But overall it was really cool.
Also, we went to climb Cotacachi, a mountain close to my house about 16,000 ft. One Word. LONG TRIP ... haha, that was two words ... It was over 9 hours of hiking. We left the house of my host uncle at 4 in the morning. And didn’t arrive at my house until 5 in the afternoon ...
Different ... LOL ... I’m going to do my best to explain this but most likely I'm going to fail miserably.
In Ecuador during New Years, there are guys dressed up like girls, that block traffic, and won't let cars pass unless they give them money ... (Why Not? lol) ... They dance to "Fairy music" like Firgie ... My Humps ... And "Girls just want to have fun" ... And other fairy Latino music ... You Understand ... Right ... Good ...
As I was watching them "Perform" with my family, one of the (we'll call them "guys" to be politically correct) started to look at me while he was grinding on an old Volkswagen, singing, "Puff the Magic Dragon" ... I thought ... "Crap ... he saw me" ... (the "guy" had an incredibly strange resemblance to Fergie and fellow alien Michael Jackson) ... Within minutes, a hoard of Fergie's friends had surrounded me and attempted to drag me into the street to dance with them ... I resisted, but the overall gay-force of five guys was too much.
I looked at the side walk, and was met with the view of over one hundred and fifty non-gay spectators. I was forced to dance ... I decided to play along and made a show of it ... It was so funny ... But somehow I was able to escape Fergie and the love gang, and return to my family un-gayed ...
The situation could be compared to watching Broke-Back mountain ... while eating CheeeesSsits (don’t forget the slur there) and gummy bears ... With Michael Jackson ... With a pink night gown ... yea ... something like that ...
After writing that paragraph ... I really don’t know what more to say.
After the "episode" we went to a party with my sister from the States that started at two and didn’t end until 9 in the morning. I danced ... With Girls ... lol ... It was really cool.
So I got a bike today ... I was so excited ... Finally I can start training ... So I left my house as fast as possible to start riding ... About three minutes into my ride a bus decided to randomly run me off the road ... I was forced to go on the sidewalk at full speed ... inches from getting hit ... But I was able to break my fall with my head ... I look down and noticed that my right pedal was broken off from the impact ... I rode home pedaling with one foot ... My first ride almost reaches the amazing mark of 5 kilometers ... What a great start to training. Lol
Recently I found that in Ecuador we have a holiday, where for one week or so, we throw water balloons at people... You can imagine what me and my friends have been doing. From the third story of my friend’s house, in one afternoon me and my 4 friends went through about 200 balloons, and countless buckets of water ... I don’t want to sound like a really mean person ... I can’t describe the unconditional joy of seeing girls running while being absolutely pummeled by a barrage of water balloons.
Sorry I can't help myself.
Chuck Norris can clap with one hand
Chuck Norris once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. They made him blink.
Chuck Norris invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.
Until Next time
May 21 Journal
It’s been awhile.
Honesty I can’t even imagine putting all the things that I’ve done over the last couple of months in the journal. But I'll hit the important things.
I briefly mentioned the Ecuadorian Carnival in my last post (when we throw water balloons). It was so much fun. 7 angered Ecuadorians pilled into one barely working truck with over 300 water balloons. It’s a formula for utter disaster. We adopted the phrase "No Mercy" … And lived up to it…… We went to the cosmopolitan section of the city, ……… and let loose …… You can guess the result.
I recently competed in a bike race here…I placed second.
Also a couple of months ago we switched families. I’ve had huge luck with my two families.
We went to the Galapagos!! Yes sir….I swam with sea lion looking things. They weren’t scared of us, so they were in the water swimming between our legs, and playing with us. It was awesome…
Surprisingly nothing very bad has happened to me… I fell off my bike a couple of times, and went to the hospital because I had a stomach infection and couldn’t eat food for three days… But now I’m fixed.
Also we went to the Amazon! We went on a ton a walks in the jungle and went floating in a river. While floating in the river two friends from Germany and I found an old abandoned canoe on the shore. We had the marvelous idea to bring her back to her glory days and make it seaworthy again. We attempted to make it float, by putting extra wood in and strapping our life jackets around it. It didn’t work. As it turns out we conveniently ran into a rapid section, and barely made it back to the hotel.
Last Saturday one of my good friends from Quito went home. We would always find stupid yet entertaining things to do, like talking to Ecuadorians that only speak Spanish in our British-Australian-Swahili accents in English…. Or talking about how weird the people from Ecuador can be.
This Friday is our last trip with Rotary. It’s a little sad. The year is ending.
While waiting in the airport we took advantage of the global Flu scare…... For entertainment proposes we decided to ferociously cough on people that walked by. It was so funny. They were really mad and many left running.