This is Ecuador (November 2016)
Disclaimer: For those that speak Spanish, this blog may make a bit more sense for you. For those that do not, I will try my best to use my recently struggling English (I seem to be forgetting my words more often and using the wrong ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ which for those that know me know I hate) to describe the amazingness of the people speaking jibberish above. Bear with me.
Day 101 of 235 and 83 days since my last blog. I know I suck, and I apologize. I’ve sat down determined to write a blog more times than I can recall and each time I just can’t seem to find the words to describe what is my life. It’d be near impossible to sum up the last few months, and I know even I would stop reading halfway through if I were to try, therefore I’m going to rely on hoping that most of you reading this are my friends on Facebook and have some basic background to my current situation (if not, feel free to request me and stalk some posts), and continue on thinking as such.
Last week I, along with the entire Ecuador cohort, headed to the coast for our first training seminar. Between catching up with the different regional cohorts, feasting on a delicious friendsgiving dinner and catching some well needed rays of sunshine (for many of us southern fellows at least), I think I can speak for us all when I say we were feeling especially thankful this Thanksgiving. Among the laughing and dancing and eating, we did actually do some work believe it or not, and I nominated myself for the session “This is Ecuador”. For this, I opted to create and present the video you hopefully watched before reading this. Left pretty open ended, I interpreted this project with the question, “What makes Ecuador Ecuador for me?” And with very little thought I knew that Ecuador for me is the amazing place that it is, not because of the amazing (super cheap) food or scenic landscapes that lay outside my front door (Although they’re an added touch), but the incredible people that I’ve met thus far. Ecuador for me is my family and friends, whom without, I would be just a lonely gringa tourist from “alla”. They are the people that make me conflicted daily with feelings of dread for my quickly approaching departure, while simultaneously aching for my people at home. They are the people that challenge so many of the stereotypes of this country and its people, and reinforce others. They are the people that feed me new foods I struggle pronouncing (and usually struggle eating), what seems like daily. They are the people that have more patience than I do with my broken Spanish, and answer my verb tense questions without a complaint. They are the people that have embraced my intrusion into their lives with open arms, and have made me feel more at home than I could ever imagine possible in a foreign country and culture. Although it has only been a few months, this place and these people are really starting to find a place in my heart. The 7 months that once seemed like forever, now doesn’t seem like enough.
While this video is for the most part just talking about the town where I live, Gualaceo, and Ecuador in general, it introduces some main characters in the sitcom that is my current life. I hope that even those that can’t understand it can feel me smiling widely behind the camera, and take that as a blog update all its own.