Looking Back

Jesse Aranda-Comer - Ecuador


April 5, 2017

One of the more memorable moments of my time here came about the first week in my host community. I was sitting down to a dinner of rice and beans, hardly a dinner in retrospect, when I heard my host sister screaming from the other side of the house. To my surprise, I learned that a truck had driven off the mountain and rolled hundreds of feet downhill. My heart pounded as I instinctually began my decent down the mountain; my host brother and father in tow.  As I came upon the area where the car settled, I could hear faint cries. The car was teetering on its side. The passenger side of the car was imploded and there was only one tire left attached to the car. I feared the worst. With the help of my host brother and father we managed to flip the car and pull the surprisingly uninjured men from the car. The stank of tequila was abundant, as was their visible shock. They both cried as I stood back in amazement of what I had witnessed. Never in my faintest dreams would I imagine I’d pull two drunken Ecuadorians from a wrecked car on the edge of a mountain. Let alone my first week in community. I returned to my house shortly after, wondering what else this year would have in store for me. Looking back, I realized how present I was in that moment. I have not since experienced such an event with which raw emotion. 

Jesse Aranda-Comer