Stories from Ecuador
Independently Published (2021)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (01/2022)
I love to travel. No, I haven’t been overseas (because it’s not free, as of yet), but the thrill of going to a new location, site, or state is so cool that I take thousands of pictures and enjoy all the tales that I get to tell when I return home from my visit. In fact, there were some places I fell in love with so much along the way (shout out to Dallas!) that I moved away from the snow and sleet of the East Coast in order to live and work there. So when I saw that this book was heralded as a “collection coming from the author’s own travel experiences,” I was overly excited to learn all the cool things that could happen to me and that I could see if I ever ventured to Ecuador.
First off, I don’t know the wanderer personally who wrote this book, but I want to thank him for the slew of pictures that showed some of the most beautiful locales, memorable locals, and cool wilderness/nature scenes that he got to explore and meet along the year-long journey he took. These first-hand accounts make even the most basic sight—such as escorting a backpack-laden mule up a mountain—truly remarkable. The short stories he adds cover every moment imaginable, but is not weighed down by the same old/same old pics of the capital city or restored homes of “great men,” or historical statues and monuments that seem to always be spotlighted in these types of books. No, this is definitely not a “guidebook” to be utilized in Disneyworld or to read “all about the nation’s largest frying pan.” This is most definitely an intricate account that calls out to the reader.
After “wandering” with the author, I could feel the emotions coming from the smiles of the natives he met along the way. How they affected his life in a positive way and how they stood for enjoyment, pride, and introducing this stranger to their country and all it had to offer. Heck, I even fell in love with the mule, but call me crazy. (I heard that!)
Ecuador proved to be a remarkably memorable place for culture and diversity, and the journeyman made sure to narrate it as such. His stories have you awed by the country and the people and will have you laughing, smiling, even saddened when life moves on and things you’ve grown fond of leave the lens. Offering information on his own life throughout, you not only feel energy in the “characters” he meets but also an affinity for Tyrel, himself. You like the way the Minnesota-born and raised young man leaves some of the constrictions of America behind and is able to look at things with a clear set of eyes—a new perspective—and then translate all of this on paper so that the reader can enjoy the year just as much.
From beginning his training to be a teacher of English, he then sets off across the Ecuadorian beauty and offers up details on fun meetings with his eccentric landlord, as well as his jaunts with Nelson, his own brother, as they leave you feeling renewed. Not to mention, leaving you feeling empowered to go to Ecuador as soon as possible.
Don’t miss out on this one. Whether you wish to view this particular country or not, doesn’t matter. The whole point is the colorful enjoyment and adventure you’ll have alongside Tyrel! A definite “5-Star” read!