For the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring the tourist side of Quito, of Ecuador; people do not expect me to be more than a gringo, a passing white visitor. My past blog posts (actually all of them), have strictly been about my personal experiences. However, Even if I don’t like being seen as a tourist, I have to admit it’s been a lot of fun, and also non-avoidable. I’ve been making jokes about it with my host family, laughing with them, fully acknowledging my North American origins. They’ve been so kind and welcoming, especially my host parents: they treat me as one of their sons and I even have a personalized handshake with my host dad! I swear, if people in the western world were as kind and warm-hearted as the people from this country, we wouldn’t have any societal problems. It was hard leaving them, even after only a little three weeks, but I’ve felt more welcomed there after that short span of time than ever in my entire life: Amos, my home town, and Pearson College included.
And now, I’ve transitioned to the place where I’ll be spending the next seven months: El Juncal, in the province of Imbabura. This place is literally the heart of Ecuadorian football: the current second best football player in the world trained here! People are even nicer than in the capital. Fun fact: kids here start playing football at the age of 5. You hear that? They are the best players I’ve seen, at their age. Imagine when they grow up! Family is also an even more important nucleus here, with the community being involved in the raising of everyone’s children. This trust and connection between people makes this village vibrate as a single entity. This culture is so inspiring and contributes to makes this second new home within Ecuador as welcoming as a place can be.
Tomorrow morning I’m starting my apprenticeship, but I still feel like an adult stuck in a child’s mind: it is incredibly hard, but humbling, to have to communicate in a third language at an infant’s level. Over the upcoming months, I’ll be perfecting both my language (and miming) skills, as well as my football abilities, if any there is. I sometimes fell lost, but at the same time I don’t, because there something undeniably, humanly familiar to this culture, something that reminds me of the hospitality of people back home.