Public Speaking and Single Parenting

At the beginning of the year I posted a list of upcoming trips we have scheduled. February included a trip to Quito where I was once again asked to speak at the International Living conference. That conference occurred last weekend and I’ll give you a little synopsis of how that went.

I was scheduled to speak on Friday morning, so the family and I headed to Quito on Thursday. While on the bus David received a phone call stating that one of the speakers was unable to make it to the conference and since David covered this speaker’s topic at the conference last year (Operating a Small Business in Ecuador), he was asked to fill in. Unfortunately, the presentation was set for Saturday afternoon and David had to leave Saturday morning for the coast (more on that later). But, since he’s a helpful guy he mentioned that his wife (that would be me) could give the presentation – no problem.

Ummm, sure. So there I was with a surprise presentation and less than 48 hours to prep. Since I was so focused on my original presentation I really didn’t look at this second one until the first was over. Luckily I had access to David’s PowerPoint from last year and it only needed a few slight updates. He did an awesome job of bullet pointing all of the key parts so I was able to just look at the next topic and talk about it a bit. The funny thing is I didn’t feel at all nervous about this one and I felt really comfortable up there in front of the 400+ attendees. I guess I’ll see if I did as well as I think once the video is made available.

pool3In addition to speaking at the conference we were given the opportunity to attend the International Living VIP event on Friday night. We were taken by bus to the Mindalae Museum in Quito’s Mariscal district. We spent about half an hour with a guide who explained the significance of the different items and then another hour or so enjoying cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music, and conversation with potential expats.

Any time not spent at the conference or eating was pretty much spent at the pool. The boys were thrilled to be able to swim again since we don’t have many options in Cotacachi and they were determined to get as much swimming time in as possible. I can’t say I blame them and the pool at the Swissôtel, where we stayed, is pretty darned nice.

All in all we enjoyed our time in Quito, though by the time I returned home on Sunday I was exhausted. Remember when I said David left for the coast on Saturday morning? Well, that’s because he’s conducting a week long intensive Spanish course in the town of San Clemente. It’s a great opportunity for him and he’s having a good time, but I have spent this last week as a single mother.

Actually the single parenting has not been bad; in fact the kids have been great. The exhausting part is being a single pet owner. Having two dogs under a year old means a whole lot of energy is being spent in and around me with no other adult to help burn it off. Yesterday I had a giant German Shepherd tongue all over my face while he tried to climb in my lap. Let’s just say I never want to experience his hot breath up close again….

To top it off we ended up with less cash than I expected so the boys and I have been planning our meals and transportation costs very carefully. We’ve got one more day to go and I think we’re going to make it! It was a relief to find that I had enough of a buffer to buy toilet paper. I have a severe fear of running out of T.P. – don’t ask.

The worst part of this week though is being without my husband. Well, that and my Breaking Bad withdrawal since we promised not to watch until we could see it together again. But today is Valentine’s Day and though we’ve never done much of anything for the holiday it’s tough to see all of my friends on Facebook talking about their special someone’s while mine is a ten hour bus trip away.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the 18th of this month. David will be home, it will be our 14th anniversary, and I should have had the chance to catch up on some sleep!

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