So Sunday is the only day of the week the restaurant is closed and my host family has a day off. Saturday night, they asked me if I wanted to go to church with them and I said yeah because I felt like if I ever needed to refocus my spiritually, seven months in Ecuador would be the perfect opportunity. They told me to be up by 6:30 AM so we could go to 7 o’clock mass. When I woke up, it was 6:50 and I heard no noise in the house so I was 90% sure they left me at home because my lazy ass didn’t want to get up. I went to the bathroom and heard people up and I thought “they’re still here, let me get ready!” I threw on one of my only clean shirts and ran downstairs, wearing basically the same outfit from the night before. I get downstairs and no one is moving and my host mom comes downstairs with the baby saying, “I overslept, you should’ve woken me up” and I’m over here thinking “I wasn’t late, I was early”. We ended up going to 8 o’clock mass and walked around Cuenca for a bit. We took some family photos and went to a few flea markets. My host family wanted me to go to one artisan market in particular because they wanted me to see the indigenous people from Otavalo. They said “they sell all types of crafts and grow their hair long, men and women. They’re a beautiful people”. I thought back to all my history books in the United States where the Native Americans were called “savages” and “immoral” and it was nice to hear people genuinely care about the natives of the land they are on without having to be told to appreciate them.

We ran some more errands and at this point of the day, I was tired as heck and could barely process everything going on. We stopped for lunch in a more rural part of town but the wait and drive were worth it. I smacked on some soup, rice, potatoes, and some grilled porked. I was back from the dead. After that, I went to watch some of my host uncle’s soccer game and then we went home. I washed clothes, which might be the highlight of my day, and just watched YouTube videos for a bit. My host mom asked me earlier, “what do you usually do on weekends?” and I explained to her that I work on Saturdays and then do chores and have family time on Sunday. It felt good to be back in some type of routine. My room currently smells like fabric softener and I couldn’t be more content.

Here’s a song for the culture: