Sick Day

Mila Le - Ecuador


September 10, 2015

Today I stayed home, sick and bedridden. After an episode of constant vomiting, insomnia and headaches, I’ve decided to never eat McDonalds ever again. Laying down with my aching stomach and pounding head, I’ve realized what an important day it was, and what a unfortunate time it was to get sick.

Today was supposed to be the day I find out where I’ll be living and what I’ll be doing for the rest of my stay in Ecuador. I slept and I laid and I drank two bottles of this horrible grape flavored medicine drink through out the day. I couldn’t bring myself up and my stomach rejected anything I tried to put in it. And I was just laying and thinking what a horrible time it was to be sick like this.

After the meds and gross grape drink I was actually feeling a bit better. I wanted to make it to today’s session but I just didn’t have the energy to get up. Again, I would just fall asleep, lay blankly, drink the dread and keep thinking about how everyone was celebrating their new home stays and apprenticeships. I was sulking with a heavy heart. I wanted to be there.

I slept through some calls from staff, I was just assuming they were trying to check up on me, since I was confined to my bed and all. I then received a text saying to call back for some information about my placement. I wasn’t expecting to know until tomorrow and now I didn’t know if I was ready to receive the information that would shape my stay here in Ecuador for the next 7 months. I hesitated, then I called. 

I was greeted with a check up to see how I was feeling. At that moment, I was feeling better, but nervous. The next couple minutes are going to reveal so much. Every thing was finally coming together. The other end asked me if I was ready to hear where I’ll be staying, who I’ll be staying with and what my apprenticeship will me. I said I was ready, not being too sure what ready ever meant. 

The words “You will be staying in…” brought quite the suspense, and then I was welcomed with a big "AZUAY!!!!!!” from my regional cohort. I was up now, forming a smile that was hard to put on just a few minutes ago. My team leader told me I will be staying in a rural community with my new host mom, dad, and two younger siblings. They work with dairy production and have a booming & delicious chicken restaurant. I will also be assisting english classes in a small rural elementary school where I’ll also get to participate in cultural activities. 

It was a lot to take in all at once. I became overwhelmed and tears ran down like spring rain from my eyes. I was still smiling, and I was happy, I was overjoyed and I was content in that very moment. "Will I ever be ready for anything?” I thought. The answer is simply no. My purpose was to never be ready, it is to always have open arms to embrace what was coming to me. It is to be passionate about something and pursue that passion. I came to Ecuador knowing I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for college and I wasn’t ready for Global Citizen Year. I didn’t really know what was next for me, I didn’t know how long I will continue to stress out, I didn’t know when I would stop running into walls , but I knew I was that very one thing in that very moment, and that is gratified. 

College will always be there, and it can wait for me. But what can’t wait is my passion to learn and explore this place I called home, not knowing what was actually beyond where I was. This is my purpose, to be here, to be completely here and to soak it all in. I am so thankful for this year. So very thankful.

Mila Le