Nathan Edwards - Ecuador

September 13, 2012

Hola mi amigos,

Ecuador!!! I posted some pictures of the soccer game that we attended against Bolivia (Ecuador won 1-0!!!!). What a great experience to go to the game. The atmosphere in the city and stadium was electric before, during, and after the game. Que cheverre!

My host family is a great group of people. I have two sisters (25, 14) and one brother (17) and awesome parents. There was a forest fire close to our house the first day I was with them, and we went to help extinguish the flames in the forest. It was an intense experience trying to tame the flames with cut down tree limbs, breathing in thick smoke, and not being able to see often. I felt like it was almost an initiation to the family, but I think it brought us together very quickly. I have breakfast and dinner with them everyday (often times bread, cheese, and tea) and they’re great to spend time with.

I’m attending language classes every weekday for three hours and then usually have some seminar on local culture or training for the year. Language classes are nice, but I think I learn more hanging out with my family or talking with local shop-owners. The key is practice, practice, practice. I can’t speak Spanish all the time and in the other times, I try to listen attentively. It is sometimes difficult to listen attentively when I’m tired or flustered, and in these times the words go right over my head. I try to listen actively to understand what people are saying, but it can be difficult at times to understand a native speaker who speaks very rapidly. It’s difficult to practice Spanish with the other fellows when were not in Spanish class, but I’m grateful for their company.

This Saturday I will be leaving for my volunteer site (for one week, I will be in Quito for two more weeks after returning). I am placed in Pedro Vicente Maldonado (In the cloud forest), where I will be working in youth leadership, mainly through sports. In addition to this, I will be teaching English, music, and volunteering my time in other areas where there is a need for assistance. I am thrilled with my placement. I have an awesome group leader, and couldn’t ask for a better group of fellows to accompany me to this region. Life is good. Thanks for following, I hope all is well!!!

Tu amigo,

Nathan Edwards

Nathan Edwards