2018 A to Z Challenge Summary and reflections

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

2018 A to Z Challenge Summary and Reflections



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



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.

2018 A to Z Challenge Reflections

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

2018 A to Z Challenge Reflections


I am a US Expat in Ecuador. I grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. My goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let me know what you would like to read more about!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: