7 Months in country

Jesse Aranda-Comer - Ecuador


February 23, 2017

For a good deal of my time spent in Ecuador, I felt a disconnect between that which I set out to accomplish and what actively pursuing those goals would eventually feel and look like. This confusion would play a large role in the way I would go about sharing my experience with others, whether that be through social media, blogs, or even in-person communication. Throughout the beginning of life in Ecuador, I felt an unusual urge to use my bridge year to garner actual space and time from the many quirks of the western world that did not readily exist in Ecuador. For me that meant I was not exactly sure what all these real world struggles were amounting to. What did the daily challenge of living in an profoundly rural community actually mean to me? Was I even enjoying this experience or was it something I was just following through on, given I had accepted my fate in doing so? I was having an existential crisis of sorts. I was unsure of the realness of my reality whether I was living back in my manicured life in Houston or that of the paroquia lifestyle. These confusing questions I was slow to acknowledge compounded by the constant struggle of being properly fed, hydrated, and dealing with rural seclusion proved to be too much to share. How could any of my friends from home relate to this? I do not believe they could or even currently can, but for me, it pushed me to internalize my struggles, triumphs, and my general need to share what was going on. I say this now in an effort to clarify why I have been so absent in post blogs and sharing my experience. I am disappointed of how long it took me to come to terms with my confusion and my inability to use such an effective outlet as blogging. As we are all now starting to wrap up our time here, I think each and every one of us has found a sense of clarity that we did not have coming into this program. For me that means, of the questions I brought along with me on this journey, I now have more. However those that deal less with my past and issues of identity, but now that focus the future and what such immense faith I have in my being really means. This for me is a milestone as it highlights what such an arduous personal venture can expose deep from within you.

Jesse Aranda-Comer