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Elizabeth Warren - Ecuador


May 22, 2012

For my last blog I wanted to write on returning to America, saying goodbye to my Global Citizen Year family and being back

in the South. Arriving to America was just unbelievable that we were actually back, getting into a car where we actually had

to wear seat belts and seeing everything as we were driving you can tell we hadn’t slept. We were just randomly yelling out

things like “We actually stop at red lights and stop signs here!” “Look, Home Depot!” It didn’t matter what it was if it wasn’t in

Ecuador we were excited to see it, it was also my first time seeing and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, which I believed to

be pretty cool. We went to where we were staying, which I called “Secluded America,” because yes we were back in the

States but we were in the woods, away from civilization with no TVs or radios, so we didn’t feel the full effect of culture

shock, besides all English all the time. We spent a week there, hanging out, talking about what we did in our different

countries and what will happen after we leave and our futures. The last morning there was sad because these were people we

had became close friends with and now we were separating all over the country, saying goodbye to everyone was really

hard and yet again sad! After being continuously yelled at to “Get on the bus!” we gave in and got on our separate buses

depending on our flights. After going through the airport I get to hang out with some Fellows while we are waiting to leave,

I’m the first to leave so I say bye, give last minute hugs and get on the plane, once I’m on I am all smiles just excited to

finally see my family. 5 hours and 45 minutes on a plane and we are finally landing in Miami where I’ll get on my last flight to

Jacksonville to finally go home, I get off the plane and call my mom to let her know I landed, she tells me my next flight is

suppose to leave in 15 minutes…I’m not even close to the gate. I quickly hang up and start running with my carry-on to the

Skyline I have to take to get the next section, I get off and just start running, I am trying to run down the escalators and just

to my gate because it is at the very end! I get there and I don’t see on any screens the name Jacksonville, I go up to a

counter saying I have to be on that flight, they simply say it’s already closed so they take me over for someone to “help” me

but they are helping someone else and no one can help while I’m trying to explain I have to be on that plane, that my last

flight came in late. I’m on the phone with my mom in panic mode because I just want to go home, that’s when they tell me it

already left and the next available flight is at 7:30 a.m. the next morning! All I could do at the point was just cry because I

just wanted to go home I hadn’t seen my family in 8 months, so I cried for about 5 minutes then figured hey just one more

adventure after my mom and dad talked to me, got my replacement ticket. At that point I was just starving I hadn’t eaten

since 7a.m. that morning and everything was closed, my one attempt of getting food just resulted in getting away from a

creepy guy. I couldn’t sleep so I just did whatever to entertain myself while waiting for 5.m. to get there so I could buy food,

I finally got to eat and then finally got on a plane to Jacksonville, I slept for an all 10 minutes on the plane. We landed and I

was walking very fast and then I finally saw my family, I just took off running where I was tackled by my sisters and my

parents, they greeted me with signs, my favorite snacks and leis for me to wear. I was with my family, we drove 2 hours to

my house where my little sister greeted me with a sign she made, cotton balls that were a replacement for confetti and huge

hug. It was kind of emotional being back home, but I didn’t want to cry in front of my little sister so I held them back, I was

finally home. Being back was pretty weird at first and still kind of is, just seeing people again, driving, I’m already in college

and telling people about my life in Ecuador. It’s been off and on from weird to normal, I miss Ibarra a lot luckily I’m able to

Skype and Facebook my host family in Ibarra and everyone from Global Citizen Year, I am so happy that I was able to have

that experience, Chiefland is my home but so is Ibarra. Home is where the heart is and where you people that love and care

about you, home sweet home.

Elizabeth Warren