Desire to Learn

Jackie Brown - Ecuador


October 2, 2012

I never thought I would wake up every day with my driving motive to get out of bed to be to go to class. Growing up it never seemed to be quite this, and I always I had to find other reasons to peel my eyes open and get the day started. I never minded school but I would find myself sometimes annoyed by the “far” fifteen minute drive to school, the “early” mornings, the lectures, and homework.

I am currently in the capital of Ecuador where I am taking Spanish classes along with classes on culture and others related to my apprenticeship in a school. I wake up fairly early and have the forty-five minute commute to school every morning with the city traffic. I am not able to drive my car to school playing whatever music I want. Instead, I now walk a few blocks and hop on a packed bus. When I say packed, I mean body to body with the driver yelling “Siga” wanting us to continue further back into the bus to make room for even more to join the morning ride. I hug my backpack on my chest aware that any single person on the bus could be trying to pickpocket me, similar to many cities. The sweat drips down my face with the amount of body heat that surrounds me. Once we get to the station, I rush off the bus, wait for the trolley to come and squish in with a whole new group of strangers. My journey ends with a short uphill walk which I always find myself out of breath after due to the change in altitude. Regardless of the difference in travel to school, I do not mind one bit of my morning and instead I have embraced it as a time to prepare myself for the full day ahead of me.

I am anxious to learn more and try to soak in every bit of information around me. Knowledge surrounds me; in all of my classes, from the many intelligent people I have met, and from my host families. After our long talks over dinner with the family I typically go to my room to study my Spanish or research something that I learned about during the day. Let’s be real, I do still have my time where I let my brain rest and am able to just chill out. But since when have I been happy when my teacher gave me homework? I guess the answer is when I got to Ecuador. I am now able to apply everything I am taught immediately in the real world and this has contributed to my greater desire to learn.

I have renewed my love of learning after being a bit worn out from the extensive classes in high school. As I continue to learn, I will spread my knowledge. I have an apprenticeship in a school with children ranging from preschool to thirteen years old. This school is in the small indigenous community of Yambiro where I will be living for the next six months. After visiting the school and community for a week, I have seen the lack in excitement to learn. My mission is to bring the same excitement to the classroom that Global Citizen Year has brought to my learning.

Jackie Brown