We had been in Quito for four days and the next day, we were meeting our Quito families, who we would be living with for the next month. The night before and that same morning, we were filled with excitement and nervousness, wondering how our stays would turn out and what living with a family in Quito would be like. That morning we got up, did last minute packing and tried to stay busy as we patiently waited for our families to arrive. Well, the time finally came, we all dragged our luggage to the waiting area and waited as one by one our families started to arrive. Some people had pictures of their host family, they knew when it was them walking up and some of us didn’t, so we started guessing whose family was whose and saying bye to those who were already leaving.
When I looked out the window and saw a family walking up and the first thing I said was “I bet that’s my family,” and five seconds later, I heard Shannah (our Ecuador team director) say that my family had arrived. As I walked up to them, my host sister just grabbed me and hugged me, and said that they were so happy that I was finally in Quito; with that, I felt so much comfort that I was ready to go. We grabbed my things and headed off in their cousins’ car, the first stop is the mall/supermarket, where while my host mom shopped, my sister showed me around, and then we went off to my new home for the next month. When we first got there, they showed me the apartment, my room to set all my stuff in and then we all (my sister, brother, mom and two cousins) had lunch together, and what is the first thing I ate with my Ecuadorian host family?…kfc! That was actually a little funny and unexpected. Then for the rest of the day we just hung out together and tried to understand each other; my sister and brother speak a little English so that helped.
Finally, I have slowly learned things about living in Ecuador, for example there is no heat or AC, my family doesn’t have a car so for transportation you walk, take the bus or a taxi, and to prevent sickness, you don’t walk around barefooted and definitely don’t go to bed with your hair wet. I also learned that while I’m in Ecuador, I will always drink boiled milk (they don’t drink cold milk here, not even in the cereal), which with some chocolate mix tastes just like hot chocolate. So far, I have learned quite a bit here in Ecuador, and I can’t wait to learn more!