To Make a New House, Home.

A photo of the main hallway in my house in Quito, Ecuador

Each and every chapter of life has a beginning and an ending; possibly the most potent lesson learned up to this point on my journey. Sometimes these crucial junctions of our lives occur as abruptly as 10 seconds, sometimes we can’t ever tell where one portion of life ends and the other begins. Similar to looking out on a beautiful landscape, not knowing where the world ends and the sky begins.

Now that imagery has been established, these junctions in my life during this trip have definitely been abrupt and rapid. One thing after another, constantly moving and going, but finally I’ve reached a point where I can begin to establish some intimacy with the country I’m staying in. Perú was fun, scary, transformational, and about anything I could’ve imagined. Ecuador seems to be a much better home country for these 4 months.

I arrived to Ecuador on Wednesday, August 17th. Since this day, I’ve begun to develop a love for such an amazing country with the most incredibly scenery. My first impression was definitely my host family, being my mom and brother. They were flexible with my airline troubles and met me at the airport a day after the original date and were very happy to see me! On the 35 minute drive home, we talked about my time in Perú as well as some things I had to look forward to in Ecuador. As we pulled the car into the driveway at home, I immediately fell in love. Walking through the front door, as seen in the picture above, looked more like a book or movie than what’s actually to be my home until December 23rd.

My school, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ).

Finally the part we’ve all been waiting for, I really am in South America to study and learn, so I have to include information about school. As seen in the picture though, this University is very easy on the eyes and in a really terrific part of the city. My host mom brought me to the University before classes began, and showed me how to travel on the buses. It takes me two buses to get to school in the morning, for a total of 45 minutes one-way. Each bus also costs $.25, which means $1 a day commuting to school. I might be able to write an entire blog post on only the bus rides to and from school, and all the interesting things that occur here. Just another part of the study abroad experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

The first week of school went well! I got used to touching about 8 people at a time on the bus, wearing my backpack on my front side, and learning my way around the school. The first weekend was very fun! I made a friend during the first week and was invited to spend the weekend with her and her mom. That Friday, I was introduced to the first breath-taking experience of many during my time in Ecuador.

A panoramic shot of Quito just after sunset. Taken at the Panecillo, underneath the statue of the Virgin.

There is a place called the Panecillo, my new family brought me there on Friday night to my surprise. I was not expecting such an incredible view as well as an incredible story behind the statue. After the Panecillo, we went on to dinner which likewise had an incredible view of the city and the lights that shine at night. I was of course absolutely enamored with this new family, and frankly still am. They understand the experiences I want to have and enable me to live them when I’m not traveling with other international students. I’ve been adopted by a second Ecuadorian family and it’s amazing! We spent the rest of the weekend meeting family and friends alike, and I’ve probably forgot just as many names as I was introduced to.

After the first week of classes, the first weekend experiencing life in Ecuador, I can gladly say I am in this beautiful country for 4 months of my life. This first month has probably been the toughest missing home, family, and friends, and I can almost guarantee that the next 3 months and 3 weeks of my life will go by way too fast. I am excited to experience everything this country has to offer, and thrilled about everything it has offered!

Atentamente (Sincerely),

Sam

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