Lily Ann Fouts

What I Do

You know how when you meet a new person, one of the first things they ask is “So, what do you do?”

That's not an easy question for me.

I used to have a simple answer: “I’m a teacher.” How convenient to have one-word answers that everybody understands!

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LojAventura – Outdoor Adventure in Loja and Beyond

“We’ve been told there’s a waterfall up the Zamora Huayco river, but nobody ever goes up there. Do you want to go scout it out with us tomorrow morning?”

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Loja Packing List

What to Pack for a Trip to Loja, Ecuador

Are you planning an exploratory trip to Loja and wondering what to pack?

I’m a nerd when it comes to packing. I’ve honed my skills over the years from my own multiple trips across the globe, beginning early in life as a child fugitive.  I also have many good friends who are avid travelers, and we geek out on this topic.

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Buses in Loja, Ecuador

During our latest trip to Loja, I visited the transportation office and the tourism office, begging for a complete map of the Loja city bus system.

Although the buses run along established routes at regular intervals, no complete map seems to exist outside of an Android app called SITU Loja, but since I have an iPhone I wasn’t able to test it.

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Plaza San Sebastian

33 Things to Do in Loja, Ecuador

I’ve written a lot about Loja as a potential place to live. It’s the main focus of my book on Loja, and will continue to be a major focus in the second edition of the book. But what about the city and province of Loja as a destination for travelers? I’ve explored this theme in more depth in the second version of my book! (CLICK HERE to learn more if interested!)  In this post, I'll share 33 things to do in Loja--both the city and the province (and one thing outside the province, but close to Loja).

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Ecuadorian Residency Header

A Woman Pursues Ecuadorian Residency in Loja

When I found out we would be returning to Loja (unexpectedly, see 2016 Holiday Letter), I downloaded The Visa Chase and Other Fun Stories of Ecuador, by Diana Cevallos to my Kindle.  Diana is an expat from the United States who has been living in Ecuador since 2011 and in Loja since 2012.  She spent the first few years trying to obtain Ecuadorian residency visas for herself and her son.  I had interviewed Diana for my book, Live Like a Local in Loja. She has a wealth of knowledge about the city of Loja and culture of Ecuador. […]

2016 Holiday Letter

Dear Readers, Friends, and Loved Ones,

Happy Holidays from Loja, Ecuador!  When I wrote the first draft of this holiday letter, less than two weeks ago, I had no idea that a few days later I’d be on a flight to South America!   Let me back up to the beginning of the year and fill you in on how we got here. […]

Painful Past

Making Meaning From Your Past – A Toastmasters Speech

Below is the transcript of a basic speech I put together for Toastmasters several months ago.  I plan to expand this speech and mix it up with some other stories and tell it wherever people are interested in hearing it!  If you know of any podcasts or radio shows or audiences who might enjoy an expanded version of this speech, definitely let me know.  I’d like to do a lot more speaking and interviews in 2017.
Making Meaning From Your Past
When I was a small child, my father moved away, visited sporadically, and each time told us he was never coming back. He put all the bills into my mom’s name and rarely sent support. My mom cared for us both physically and financially, but she wanted us to feel connected to our father. She helped us write letters to him and told us often that he loved us. Sometimes she drove us the several hours to his house so we could visit him on the weekends.


Metal Skeleton

The Metal Skeleton in Mexico

What follows is a story from my childhood. The brief background: when my sister and I were six and eight years old, our mother kidnapped us (at our request) to protect us from our abusive father, who had won custody of us. We lived as fugitives for seven years. Five of those years were in Mexico. This story took place during our time in Mexico.

May 1990 – Pátzcuaro, Mexico

“Hey, what’s that?” I asked Rosy, pointing at a curious object propped up on our neighbor’s wall. It looked like a weird, flat metal skeleton. […]

Earthbag house interior

Earthbag House Update: Work in 2016

We’re long overdue for an earthbag house update!  In today’s post, I’ll give an overview of what Keith has been working on this year.  In upcoming posts, I’ll dive into more detail about each aspect of the project.

Last winter, Keith had a job up in North Dakota.  While he worked up there, Lee (Keith’s dad) made arrangements for roofers to come and put the roof on, since the earthbag walls were complete. […]