Sometimes you may be looking, but not really seeing. This was something I had experienced during my first visit to Ibarra, I was here for a week to meet my family, to visit my job, and also to see where I´ll be living over the next seven months, but even though I was in a new place, I wasn’t fully enjoying myself. I was at the bottom of the culture shock “U-curve,” meaning that I was majorly homesick; for the first time, I wasn´t seeing my new friends everyday, or couldn’t get on my laptop to talk to my family and friends back home whenever I wanted to. I felt so alone.
I managed to keep myself together for two days, then I just broke down. I walked to an internet cafe and called my mom, after talking to her and some other fellows throughout the week, I felt better just knowing that I was not really alone and knowing that we were all going through the same thing. By the end of that week, I felt a lot better. We returned to Quito for two more weeks and when we left, I was sad to say bye to those whom I wouldn’t see until Thanksgiving. However, I was excited, confident, and prepared to leave. I was ready to be with my new family.
When I returned to Ibarra, I was finally seeing it for her true beauty and greatness. Everyday, I never tire of staring at the mountains just surrounding Ibarra. Ibarra is set at the base of a volcano and everywhere you look, all you see is green, lush mountains. There were a couple of mornings when I was able to see three different snow caps, one from my bus stop and two from my job at the marketplace. I like seeing the different mix of people everyday, in and around the center of town and just different sights, whether it be goats in front the school or their owner handing out milk, or the donkey pulling the cart to and from the marketplace. Sometimes you just have to take a step back, breathe, and take in what new things you get to look at everyday. Only then, you will really start to see something.