Monday, May 7, 2018

Puerto Lopez, Ecuador A to Z Summary and Reflections #AtoZChallenge



Summary


I survived the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! Throughout April, I wrote about Puerto Lopez, Ecuador, where I live with my husband and cats. This post contains a complete list of April 2018 Emily in Ecuador posts and my reflections on the Challenge.

Links to all April Posts


The 5 most popular are in bold.
  1. Almuerzo - Good Lunch Choice in Puerto Lopez 
  2. Boats in Puerto Lopez
  3. Coconut Water on Puerto Lopez Beach
  4. Dolphins - Puerto Lopez
  5. Emily in Puerto Lopez
  6. Fish Market - Puerto Lopez
  7. Greenery Delivered to Your Door in Puerto Lopez
  8. Hammock Time on Puerto Lopez Beach
  9. Internet Cafes in Puerto Lopez
  10. Javico, A Puerto Lopez Grocery Store
  11. Kayaks, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  12. Lights Reflecting off the Ocean, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  13. Mototaxis, Second Most Popular Way to Get Around Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  14. Nets, Fishing Nets Made in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  15. Oeste de Puerto Lopez (West of Puerto Lopez), Ecuador
  16. Palo Santo Products Made in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  17. Quake: Puerto Lopez two years after a 7.8 rocked Ecuador
  18. Rainbows and the Rainy Season in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  19. Sunrise in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  20. Tiendas, Puerto Lopez Ecuador's neighborhood stores
  21. Ultralight Flight Over Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  22. Visitor Center, Machalilla National Park, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  23. Workout on Puerto Lopez Beach, Ecuador
  24. eXpat Creates Kids Skating Club in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  25. Yellow Orb Over Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
  26. Zapatos in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador


Reflections


Theme


While contemplating a theme, I realized how few posts I had written about Puerto Lopez since I began this blog. Sometimes we forget to write about things in front of us every day and it looked like I had done exactly that.

For the first week, I limited myself to one photo and 26 words. I threw those restrictions out the window for the last three weeks and wrote posts more like my normal ones. One photo and 26 words were not enough for a non-poet. If you decide to do that in a future year, please comment and I will visit.


By the numbers - April


  • 26 posts in 30 days
  • 6362 visitors (compared to 4821 in 2017)
  • On average, 14.38 people commented daily (14.65 in 2017)
  • I read and commented on about 480 A to Z posts  (490 in 2017)
2018 was almost identical to 2017 in all areas except the number of visitors, which was up 25%.


    Lessons Learned


    • One photo with 26 words was too limiting for me. Unless you are a poet, limiting yourself to 26 words is not a great idea, especially when introducing readers to a new location.
    • Changing self-imposed rules mid-challenge is not only acceptable but I encourage it if you are unhappy with your rules. Releasing myself from a 26 word, one photo limit allowed me to write in my voice instead of in short lists and phrases. The changes were well received.
    • As April drew near, I had visions of writing posts ahead of time. Reality often found me finishing posts between Midnight and 2AM. Be flexible.
    • When you are ready to quit, go for a walk.

    The night I considered giving up


    On April 12 at 10:30pm, I had not decided what to write for L, due the next morning. I went for a walk to clear my head. As I stared at the lights reflecting off the ocean it hit me like a brick - I was staring at my post! I went home, grabbed my camera and retraced my steps to take photos for Lights Reflecting off the Ocean, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador.



      Where I go from here


      Puerto Lopez is not only a town but a canton in Manabi province. For this challenge, I limited myself to only the town. Puerto Lopez canton also includes several other towns and a huge national forest I will write about in the future.

      Future posts, like past ones, will be about areas of Ecuador I have visited. I hope you stop by and read more about Puerto Lopez and Ecuador through my eyes. Occasionally, I will even share a recipe, like the one for simple homemade ice cream coming later this month.

      On the last Friday of every month, I participate in the We Are The World Blogfest. We share positive stories from around the world. It is a great way to read about awesome things people are doing that may not make the mainstream news. See my WATWB stories here.  Find out more and join this blogfest on co-founder Damyanti's post.


      Thank you




      33 comments:

      1. Congratulations on finishing! I must say, again, that I really enjoy your posts. so seeyou here from time to time :D

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you, Eva, for stopping by so frequently even though you did not participate in A to Z this year.

          Delete
      2. Congratulations Emily! Your photos and write-ups were fascinating - thanks for the tour.

        ReplyDelete
      3. Congrats on a successful AtoZ, Emily. It was fun taking a trip through Puerto Lopez via your blog. Hope to see you across the blog-o-sphere frequently.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you, Varad! It was my pleasure to introduce Puerto Lopez to you. See you around!

          Delete
      4. I'll catch up on your posts soon :-) Congrats on finishing the challenge.

        Ronel from Ronel the Mythmaker checking out A-Z Reflections: Expectations and Realisations

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. You are not alone, Ronel. I am still catching up, too.

          Thank you!

          Delete
      5. I so enjoyed your posts and I'm delighted that you are going tell us more about Equador in the future. Congrats on increasing your following particularly as there were far less participants this year. I went the opposite way - downhill!

        Reflecting on My Friend Rosey!

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you so much, Keith! You were not the only one who went down - several others have said the same.

          Delete
      6. I'm glad that you didn't give up, but I can understand how you could get to that point. Well done, Emily.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you, Ally! I am glad I didn't, too. It was such a rewarding feeling when Z went live and I knew I finished.

          Delete
      7. I really enjoyed your PL themed A-Z posts. The two that I really, really loved were the expat giving roller skating lessons to PL kids and your ride in the flying kite with all of the airborne pics of PL.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you so much for letting me know your two favorites, DC! I loved both of those, too. They were two of the ones I knew in advance the gist of what I would write.

          Delete
      8. "When you are ready to quit, go for a walk."
        The best tip for everything.
        Cheers for a fantastic A to Z Emily. Your photos and your love for Ecuador made visiting your blog a treat I cherished this April.
        WEll DONE! And looking forward to more. xx

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Walks are excellent for loads of reasons and this is a good one. Thank you so much, Arti, for spending another April with me! Your positive outlook is infectious. See you throughout the year :)

          Delete
      9. Congratulations of making it through the month! I understand your midnight scrambles! Mine were early Monday morning ones.
        Looking forward to learning more about your beautiful country!

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Congratulations on no more Monday morning scrambles, Laura! Thank you for all of your visits :)

          Delete
      10. Well done on making it through the month! I love your L post! Brilliant idea. Reflections on 2018 A to Z Blogging Challenge

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you, Shirley! That walk was exactly what was needed. I thought I was clearing my head but instead I was finding inspiration.

          Delete
      11. Hi Emily - well done on completing the Challenge - I loved learning more about Puerto Lopez ... such a fun series and taught us so much. Glad you joined us again in the Challenge - love being here ... cheers Hilary

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you for always commenting, Hilary, during April and every other month. It was fun that we both wrote about our expat homes during April. See you soon!

          Hope the flowers are all blooming in your corner of Canada.

          Delete
      12. You did such a great job...I look forward to next year (will rename the group for 2019 rather than deleting it like I did in 2017). Double thank you for the mention. It's always fun to support each other along the way and help with any questions, if we can.

        Ya dun gud! ;)

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I agree, it is fun to support each other along the way. Thanks again for everything!

          Delete
      13. I quite enjoyed your posts about Puerto Lopez Emily, and I'm glad you took that inspirational walk at letter L. And no worries, I'll be back for ice cream. :-)

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you, Deborah! See you soon for ice cream :)

          Delete
      14. This was my second year following your A to Z and I loved it! I was very glad when you increased your word count. My favorite post washout the roller skating group.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thank you so much, Heather! And thank you for sharing your favorite - the roller skating group has a special place for me. Watching them grow in confidence while learning is wonderful!

          Delete
      15. I, too, was glad when you upped the words. I get the point but the posts are more fun with more description. More Words!! :-)
        You did a great job and I enjoyed learning more about your new home.

        See ya 'round the blogosphere!

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I complained to myself and anyone within ear shot until I added more words so they were all pleased, too. Thanks so much, Jz!

          Delete
      16. You had a wonderful theme. I think a great many of us enjoy reading about other places. I know I do.

        Great job--again!

        And thank you for supporting A to Z!

        Arlee Bird
        Tossing It Out

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I appreciate you founding this great challenge, Arlee! Thank you for your support all month!

          Delete
      17. Love your blog, and as I don't know very much about Equador I'm going to find it very interesting, and great downtime reading :) Thanks for popping over to my blog Lifestyle Fifty earlier, and I've emailed you to ask if you'd like to be included in my series Women Over 50 who Blog

        ReplyDelete