I have a lot of mixed feelings at this point in my gap year and I’ve been trying not to think about the small amount of time left here. I have less than 60 days left in Ecuador, about 50 days left with my host family in Bella Union , and less than 30 days left with my apprenticeship at Daniel Hermida in Santa Ana.
I’ve already been here 5 months. The first two months went by so slow and I had so much free time that I got bored often. I was outside of my comfort zone, living with a family I didn’t know, with a language I barely knew and a culture I was still beginning to understand. Everything has gone by so fast and now I only have 2 short months left. I don’t feel uncomfortable anymore and I’ve developed a new normal. I’ve created habits and routines here and gotten close with, not just the family I’m living with, but with my entire community. This place and this family has become my new normal and I don’t like thinking about the fact that I’m leaving in just 2 short months.
I’ve honestly been trying to ignore the inevitable fact that my time is running out, but I’m starting to accept it and soaking up every moment I can while I’m still here.
Since I haven’t posted in a while I thought I’d update you all with what’s been going on in my Ecua-life!
For Learning Seminar 1, the South cohort went to the coast! We spent about 4 days in Puerto Lopez!
We went to Isla de la Plata or the poor man´s galapagos and saw some blue footed boobies!
After, I did some Independent Travel and went to Ayampe! It was really relaxing and nice to take a break from my Sierra region life and spend some time on the beach.
After I got back, the high school I work at, Daniel Hermida, put on a Christmas program which involved a parade, dancing, giant christmas cards, and a lot of other holiday related activities.
For Christmas I helped my host mom but together goody bags of food to give to elderly in my community.
New Years is definitely one of my favorite traditions in Ecuador. The guys dress up as ‘viudas’ or widows and dance in front of cars asking for money. There’s also festivities like the ‘vaca loca’ which is quite literally a crazy cow full of fireworks and also the burning of muñecas or dolls of people you like to symbolize burning the bad from the past 12 months and bringing in good for the new year. I spent my New Years with my host family and extended family that came in from Riobamba and I definitely started off my 2019 amazing.
Most recently, the South cohort had our Learning Seminar 2 in Vilcabamba in the Loja province. We visited a coffee farm, a yoga hostel and soaked up time together at our last retreat together as a southern cohort.