Equator Gringos

December 27, 2009

Holiday Newsletter 2009

Filed under: Ecuador — lstollin @ 3:53 pm

Joy & Luke Arrive in Austin (from Joy)

Happy Holidays!

Hope this email finds you and your family happy and healthy.

What a difference a year makes! Last year this time we were hanging out in hammocks on an idyllic Panamanian island – on winter break from school. Now I’m sitting in our cute little house at my dad’s old desk, enjoying the Texas weather.

Rather than extending Luke’s teaching contract in Quito for another year, I convinced him to come home to Austin with me. There were a lot of motivating factors (like the two attempted break-ins at our apartment, the addition of a fourth barking dog by our landlord, and our car being stripped), but the primary reason was that I was ready to go back to work. I loved my time off, but I was starting to get restless (now I’m just impatient –hoping for a permanent job to come through that I applied for months ago)!

We had several milestones this year. Luke turned 47 in March; I turned 40 in May; we paid off our house on my birthday, moved home to Austin from Quito in June, went to my grandma’s funeral in Tennessee and celebrated our 15th Anniversary in July, celebrated Luke’s grandma’s 90th birthday in Pennsylvania in October, and welcomed my mom and step-dad to their new home in Austin in November.

I used some pretty serious bait to get Luke to come home with me: offering him a year off. And he’s been taking full advantage of it! Even though we had pretty good tenants, there were a lot of things around the house that needed attention after two years. So Luke’s been doing dozens of fix-it projects. He’s also been rock-climbing to his heart’s content, hiking, sewing, and taking lots of road trips – putting more than 10,000 miles on his car since we got home six months ago.

We’ve had a big 2009, and hope that we’ll get to see more of you in 2010.


Joy & Luke



  1. do y’all remember where the glass blowing studio is in Ecuador. I’m doing volunteer work down there which involves glass medium. It would be great to be able to visit this place

    Comment by will lange — August 26, 2014 @ 8:56 am

    • I’m very sorry that I never noticed your comment. I do not have that information; however, if you google my old school, Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, and write them, they can probably track it down for you. It was an activity that they did each year in August with the new teachers. That activity may have been led by the previous director’s wife, but the woman who coordinates that orientation should have that information. Good luck, and again, sorry for the delay in responding.

      Comment by lstollin — January 20, 2015 @ 11:59 am

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