Family reunion

November 18, 2008 - Westfield, New Jersey, United States

I’m writing this update from Westfield, NJ, where I am happily enjoying fast internet service.  The occasion of my being here in the States is unfortunate, but the chance to see family and friends has been invaluable.  I have spent the last few days with my family mourning the death of my grandfather – Grandpa Nehring, and celebrating his life and time with us.

Mom called me with the news Sunday night.  I bought my plane ticket home on Monday.  On Tuesday I was making my way up north to the Quito airport.  And by Wednesday I was in the air.  The whole Nehring clan was able to make it to Connecticut to be with Grammy and attend the beautiful memorial service.

Coming back to the States was a bit of a culture shock for me.  I had forgotten all about water fountains, and upon my arrival at the Houston airport I was quite pleasantly surprised by the magic metal boxes that provide free water to everyone!  Also here people speak English.  I wanted to greet every “hi” or “hello” with a “buenos dias” or “buenas tardes” but remembered right before the words came out that I am now in an English-speaking country.

I was welcomed back to the States by my father and uncle who came to pick me up from the airport, and had ordered me some lovely American pizza.  I had forgotten how big restaurant portions are here – not so much in the amount of food (Ecuadorians eat heaping platefuls of rice at every meal), but rather in the amount of meat.  Though the best meal by far this week was the turkey dinner Mom et al put together Friday evening.  No Nehring celebration is complete without lots of good food.  And good food there was – turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, quiche, salad, even some pomegranates.

This week marked the first time I have been back to the States since I left in February 2007.  It was amazing to see how much my little siblings have grown, who should now be called my "younger siblings" cause they're not so little any more.  And my niece Lisa got to meet her Aunt Anna for the first time.  By the end of the week she was saying "Aunt Anna is my favorite aunt."  It came out more like "ba", but I knew what she meant.

The weekend was concluded by sharing memories of Grandpa – vacations on Cape Cod, chess games, Olympics, walks down Stage Harbor Road, family gatherings, and of course his puns.  Katherine remembered a Grandpa classic, which I will share with everyone, cause it’s just that good...


Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants?






In case he got a hole-in-one.




Ha ha ha ha etc…


November 19, 2008
Although the occasion was sad, it was great to see you & your family! Oh the joy of magic metal boxes sprouting water: I too often take them for granted! And how cool that you can interpret for Lisa Marie:) It's wonderful to see you so happy:) Blessings as you travel back to Ecuador!
February 3, 2009

My name is Jeff and I’m an RPCV from Belize. I am in grad school at the University of Vermont now and am working a group hired by the Ecuadorian Govt to generate some economic development strategies for the country.

I wanted to include an interview with some Ecuador PCVs. Would you be willing to participate by answering a few questions by email? It would really help to have your responses to help us understand the nature of the Ecuadorian economy. If you are willing, please send me an email at: and I’ll send out our interview questions. Thanks so much,

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