Arrival of the Birds

Rachel Koltsov - Ecuador


September 20, 2016

I have this nagging suspicion that I am meant to live in the mountains.

 

Yesterday I climbed a dormant volcano, called Pichincha. There’s actually a plume of smoke rising from it now, possibly a forest fire. Could also be a cloud. At this elevation, both are possibilities. The air up here in Quito is very thin and dry and I find myself having to catch my breath very often. I tried to work out. Emphasis on “tried”.

 

The view of Quito (capital city of Ecuador) was beautiful. The entire city is situated in a valley between two mountains. Upon arriving to Quito, as the plane was descending, it felt as if I was in a black hole (minus the spaghettification). Then suddenly,

 

THERE WAS LIGHT!

 

A lot of it.

 

The first couple of weeks have been alternating moments of rough and peaceful.

 

I struggle to communicate in Spanish and there is a lot of charades used to get around that. I worry that I am falling behind my fellow classmates, as they all start college. The feeling of being in a rat race is strong with me. I often find myself in this fixed mindset of stress and frustration.

 

But there are always peaceful and calm moments.

 

When I was sitting cross-legged with my host sister atop a mountain, breathing and just watching the city below. When I was relaxing in the Termas Papallectas, natural hot springs. Our evening marathoning sessions of Harry Potter with Spanish subtitles. Exploring Centro Historico and just listening to relaxing music. A 4.6 magnitude earthquake hitting while my host sister, Tania, and I were marathoning said Harry Potter movies.

 

Life is beautiful.

 

I also highly recommend listening to the song I stole (“borrowed”)  the title name from.

 

Rachel Koltsov