Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Do your best


When I was at school and struggling through exams and coursework, I was constantly reminded by my Mum to do my best. That was all she expected of me. She didn’t expect A* grades, she just encouraged me to do the best I could at the time.

I’m still trying to do that. In new ventures and challenges, I’m trying to do my best, that’s all I can do. Sometimes unknowingly I want it to be even better, and to do something to a higher standard than I am able.  It can lead to frustration. Work can seem heavy and burdensome.

I read this blog entry that encouraged me today:

“You can only do the best with what you’ve been given and what you know at the time. Accept your truest identity from the hand of God. And then be honest, remain open, and keep a light heart along the way.

“For the most part wisdom comes in chips rather than blocks. You have to be willing to gather them constantly, and from sources you never imagined to be probable. No one chip gives you the answer for everything. No one chip stays in the same place throughout your entire life. The secret is to keep adding voices, adding ideas, and moving things around as you put together your life. If you’re lucky, putting together your life is a process that will last through every single day you’re alive.”

Monday, 3 September 2012

New blog

It's been so great to blog here and share my journey from England to Ecuador.  However, now I am no longer in Ecuador, but still living a life following God, like I was in Ecuador. I stopped blogging for a while and realised I missed it!

So, you can read more of my ramblings if you go to my other blog:


It is named because my name, Amy, means beloved friend. I like it because it is an instruction… Be loved. I feel it comes from God, telling me to be loved. I am loved by him. I am also extremely privileged to be loved by my family and many friends.

I want to share that. I want others to know they are loved, no matter what. I hope that my blog makes you think, challenges your way of thinking and encourages you.

Thank you for reading…. And keep reading!

Monday, 16 July 2012

To blog or not to blog...?

...that is the question...

I havn’t blogged for a while. Partly because I have not known what to write. I was not sure what the point of my blog was. I had written about my Ecuadorian experiences. It was a way for family and friends at home to catch a glimpse of what I was seeing and experiencing. I then wrote a little about what readjusting back to England was like. However, I didn’t write very much and it does not fully explain how I felt and what I have been learning as I start to “settle” back into an English culture. I have actually missed blogging. I enjoy the way I can write and say what I have been learning. I love sharing, encouraging and challenging. I want to continue that. It makes me feel a bit uncomfortable about doing it and it being so public. However, I still have followers to my blog and so if there is some interest there, why not continue. I may set up a “sister” blog as my writings will no longer be about Ecuador. Or I may just keep this one as Ecuador has played such a big part in my life over the past 18 months.

Let’s see how it goes. But if you are reading this, thank you and watch this space!

Monday, 18 June 2012


The heavy rain flooding the garden
Last week my parent’s house was flooded. The torrential rains and the fact their house is very low meant the ground became a bit soggy underfoot, to say the least. The water table filled up and the water came up from the ground, in the lowest point of the house. 
Fortunately, the damage was minimal; only the carpets and skirting boards. Any damages will be paid for by the insurance. Special hoovers to suck out the water were used. Now the house is drying out slowly, with the help of dehumidifiers. They are calmly humming away in each room, drawing out the moisture from the ground.
It has been a fairly big ordeal; to move all the furniture and wait for the ground floor to dry out before a new floor can be laid. It is an inconvenience but normal life can resume really.

Removing the water from the carpet
The full stream

Floods in Ecuador (January 2012)
 It was made me think of people who get flooded in poorer countries. In Ecuador, in the coastal region, during the rainy season (December to May) there are torrential rains almost daily. Houses do not have flood defences. When houses, streets and towns get flooded, they deal with it the best they can. There is not insurance they can claim on. They will have to pay for any damages themselves. Most of the time, most of their worldly possessions are damaged and lost. In hindsight, I do not feel I have too much to complain about with our flooded house.

How fortunate we are in this Country.

Travelling the Country

I have been “home” now for 6 weeks. I say “home” because not much of that time has been actually spent at home. I have been visiting friends across the Country. It has been amazing. It has been a really special time to see good friends, chat and catch up on a years’ worth of news. It has been so nice to not only hear what friends have been doing but also hear about their hopes and dreams for the future. It has been also exciting to hear how friends are doing on their journey with God. Some are well into that journey and it is going well, others have challenges like cancer in their journey and others are just beginning to walk on that journey and that is really exciting.
Feeling patriotic in London

I have travelled well over 1000 miles and learnt so much on my journey:

First stop to see my Grandad who was in hospital. I selfishly worried that I would not see him before I came home from Ecuador. It was great to be able to see him and talk to him.

Friends visited Emsworth the next day, showing such kindness.

I headed to Aylesbury and saw so many people over a week. Lots of cups of tea and coffee, cakes, walking and talking. I felt very at home here and continue to see if this is where I will move back to.

North Devon
A few days in Devon in a beautiful place with beautiful friends, rushed to Oxford for an interview for a job I didn’t get. Loved traveling on the train and people watching. Realised how much as Southeners we don’t talk to each other on trains.

Had a couple of debriefs about my trip to Ecuador. Shared lots of funny stories.
Family BBQ

Caught up with a couple of girls I was in Ecuador with.

More cups of tea and chatting. Bit of time in Emsworth.

Went to Milton Keynes with a Uni friend followed by a BBQ in Salisbury. Ate some Ecuadorian things and had “hora loca” (crazy hour).

Duck racing
Family BBQ, aad a duck race down the stream, ate loads and continued the birthday celebrations throughout the week. Treated my mum to a day in London. Felt very patriotic. Loved hearing some Spanish people talking. Reminded me of being in Ecuador.

Enjoyed some days in Emsworth walking the millpond with friends.

Went to a Girls/Boys Brigade weekend in Hemel, camping. Freezing cold and lots of rain. Felt very British waving my union jack in the jubilee party.

"The public" interactive art gallery
BBQ in Aylesbury, followed by some quality conversations in Birmingham with Uni friends, and visiting crazy interactive art galleries. Time spent with friends little kids who are growing up way too fast.

On the Mersey ferry

Headed to Liverpool, went on the Mersey ferries, realised how much Northeners like talking. Caught up with a friend who I was in Ecuador with.

Headed to Aylesbury for a friends gig followed by Derbyshire for a birthday party with my Uni friends.

Celebrating the Jubilee
The final leg of the journey took me to Emsworth, my home. I had such a sense of peace coming home. I was travelling home to celebrate Father’s Day. I am fortunate to have a loving father. I headed home. Home to a place to get some rest and relaxation and as I explore the next steps.  

I am apreciative of all the hospitality and love I have recieved from the friends and families I have stayed with visited. Thank you.
Beautiful Buckinghamshire

Did you miss me?

Did you miss me when I was away?

I didn’t realise you had.

I genuinely didn’t think about how you might miss me when I was gone.

I left selfishly, without a thought or care about anyone at home.

I wanted to go away, to work abroad.

I wanted to explore some of the World, to have my mind opened to new things, new ways of living.

I wanted to help the poor, the disabled children and share some of what I had learnt about Speech and Language Therapy.

I did not think about you.

I did not know you would find it hard without me here.

It sounds big headed just writing about it.

I missed you but I thought you would not really think of me.

I didn’t realise that when I thought about staying away longer, you found that hard to deal with.

I didn’t think that when I said I didn’t want to come home and leave Ecuador, that actually that might have offended you.

Again, I did not think about anyone but myself.

Now that I am back, I am sorry that I made you feel a bit sad whilst I was away.

I am sorry for being selfish.

I want you to know I missed you greatly.

My mind is still working out where it is and where it should be.

I am now living in a different country, culture and language to where I have been the past year.

Please be patient with me as I adjust.

Please bare with me if I cry, talk a lot or just sit in silence.

Please give me time to work out what I will do next.

There are so many possibilities.

That is an exciting adventure.

I am SO pleased to be home.

I no longer live on a different continent to you.

I love that I can see you all the time.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Broken down

Recently I broke down. Not in my car, but emotionally. It totally caught me off guard. As a saw a photo from Ecuador I became overwhelmed with several different emotions. One of these emotions was a sadness to not be in Ecuador anymore. I miss it. I loved my work and the people I worked with. I miss the family I lived with. However, I know it is so right to be here in England for the next little while. I have loved catching up with friends and I feel safe here. I did not always feel safe in Ecuador which meant I was not so independent. Here, I can walk everywhere I want to; day or night. I love it.

That day my mind just felt so full…full of so many choices to make about what to do next.

I guess I needed time to think and reflect on my time in Ecuador and then, to close that time. Not to forget about it, but to realise that I no long live in Ecuador. I needed time to think about all that I have learnt from it and begin to apply those things to my life in England. It is not easy to finish a chapter, especially if that chapter was really good! I now can start looking ahead to the next stage.

I read something that was really helpful, describing a baton relay race. The relay race I guess resembled the work people do, in this instance particularly overseas work. It talked about everyone having their part to play. I had ran my “leg” (my year in Ecuador) and now I had to pass that baton on to someone else. I am now free to move into the next stage; a very different stage but hopefully equally, if not even more exciting and challenging!