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Ecuador Bursts With Brilliance

Tyrel Nelson Author Interview

Stories from Ecuador provides readers with wonderful details about Ecuador and your time spent there. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Moving to Ecuador was life-changing. It was the biggest leap I’d taken at that point, and I sought to capture as much of my time abroad as possible. So I constantly wrote about my adventures in the country. I also composed the pieces almost immediately after they occurred—while everything was still fresh in my head. I didn’t want to lose perspective.

Upon returning to Minnesota, I read the vignettes to reflect on my year in South America. But as I scrolled through the pages, the concept of turning my collection of narratives into a book took shape. I went for it after discussing it with my dad. He was even the person who created the title.

“Stop overthinking it,” he insisted. “Call it ‘Stories from Ecuador’ and move on.”

When I committed to this undertaking, finishing it became more and more important to me. Not only did I wish to achieve the goal of writing a book—something I had never done—but I further wanted to tip my Twins cap to the individuals who enriched my experience along the way.

Is there one location in Ecuador that you highly recommend people visit?

Ecuador bursts with brilliance from the torrid flats flanking the Pacific coast to the lush rainforests dominating the eastern third of the Republic. Although my preference was to explore the tranquil municipalities tucked within its central mountain range, I highly recommend getting off the mainland. People must visit the Galapagos if they can afford the costliness of the archipelago. The exotic wildlife and vibrant colors on the islands are without equal, while the volcanic landscapes take tourists back to prehistoric times.

What is one thing you learned from your time in Cuenca?

I learned how to be a teacher. Aside from the 130-hour TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) workshop in Quito before my arrival in Cuenca, I had no classroom training. I’ll never forget how a teenager capped off one of my first classes at the Centro de Estudios Interamericanos.

“¡Por fin!” he yelled. Finally!

And I couldn’t blame him. I didn’t know how to conduct effective lessons during those early days, so I’m sure the 120 minutes ticked by sluggishly.

Yet after I got some sessions under my belt, I figured things out. I made a lot of mistakes and eventually learned from them. In fact, during my final teaching cycle, a dozen students treated me to dinner at a local restaurant to say thanks. Despite my growing pains in Cuenca, I developed several useful activities (especially group exercises), which I continue to carry out in my Spanish courses in the Twin Cities.

What do you hope is something that readers take away from your book?

I want my book to entertain readers and inspire them to visit Ecuador as well. The country left an enduring impression on me, and I hope the same happens to others.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

In Stories from Ecuador, one gets a glimpse into Tyrel Nelson’s background as well as his life as an English teacher during the 2007 and 2008 school years. They also become familiar with his host community of Cuenca. Through more than thirty illustrative vignettes, the author sprinkles Spanish, photos, and pieces of his personality to set the table for the audience as they meet the neighbors, nationals, and fellow foreigners who enriched the Minnesotan’s 365 days in South America. On hikes, horseback, buses, and boats, readers follow Nelson to popular destinations, not to mention the hidden hamlets that surround his town.

Stories from Ecuador

Stories from Ecuador is a collection of short, well-put-together, and connected stories of the author’s experiences while living and working in Ecuador. The book consists of thirty-four different stories all about the beauty of Ecuador and its welcoming people. It follows Nelson himself as he sets on a journey to work in this foreign country as an English teacher there. He writes about his whole experience from arriving at the airport in Ecuador and needing to quickly switch hostels due to overbooking, to detailed and beautifully explained sightseeing experiences in and around Cuenca, to the everyday life and activities he did and his overall impressions of the country that he got to call home.

One of my favorite stories definitely has to be one of the first stories in the book, where he meets his first friends there, Sheik and her son José. It is a heartwarming story about people instantly coming together and it sets the comfortable and cozy tone for the rest of the book. Nelson did a fantastic job at describing all the beautiful sights you can see and experience in Ecuador.

The book also does a great job of conveying that sense of the unknown that comes with moving to a foreign country and all the love, positivity, laughs and friendships that come with it. In addition to that, the book is filled with pictures of all the people and sights that the author got to meet and see during his stay. This really helps readers to become fully immersed in the authors experiences and understand the beauty with their own eyes.

Stories from Ecuador by Tyrel Nelson conveys all the wonder and joy that comes with traveling and living in a foreign land. It will certainly make you want to visit Ecuador. This is an entertaining and educational book that will transport you to South America as it provides a clear and beautiful view at one persons time in an exotic country.

Pages: 130 | ASIN: B08T9KMFV8

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