Sitting on my connecting flight from Dallas to San Francisco, I frantically glued my eyes to my Spanish survival guide. Trying to sound out the words quietly without looking too weird I asked myself “ what the hell did you get yourself into this time Hillarie? You got yourself in deep, I moving to Ecuador without knowing Spanish ”. The idea of moving to a foreign country seemed intangible just a year ago but now here I am, plan in action, doing it.
After high school, I know I’m in love with two things, being outdoors and farms. Going back into an academic setting right away would not be the best option, I needed time to quench my thirst for new cultures, new people,and a new world.
Pre-departure training in the Redwoods and Stanford has opened my eyes of the importance of Global Citizen Year in indefinite ways. This year is for me to continue learning, perhaps by not a professor in a lecture hall, but by the hands and heart of my host family, feeding me, housing me, and protecting me. I have a chance to learn from the experts themselves, the people of Ecuador.
In the beginning of my application back in November one of my goals was to make a positive change in my community, but now instead my goal is for my host community to make a positive change in me.
I realized at Pre-departure training that this year isn’t going to be a vacation with a “help the orphans” twist, something to write on a college application. I will be a traveler with the intent of staying and have the opportunity to observe and then I can brainstorm how to make a positive sustainable impact.
Yesterday I learned que chevere! Ecuadorian for how cool! I think “I can do this” Spanish is beautiful, it just rolls of your tongue. I know this year is going to be full of challenges, but I can live with that. Tomorrow at 5 am, I leave for Ecuador and In the words said by Joan of Ark “I am not afraid ,I was born to do this”.