Upon arriving at Ibarra, I felt like we were so privileged. We stayed a
very fancy hotel with a nice buffet breakfast and many facilities. The
rooms were cleaned every single day and I truly believed I was on vacation.
We did all the touristy things such as going to the famous ice cream
places, listening to live music during meals, going on water bikes in the
lake, and going to the museum. Little did I know that my life would change
completely after arriving at my host family.
My host family welcomed me with a dozen of helium balloons and a large
banner saying Beinvenidos a case, meaning welcome to the house! I felt
greatly welcomed in this house of humble means. As I greeted my host
family, supposedly a single mother with 2 daughters aged 5 and 11, many
other people started coming and greeting me! Little did I know that I was
in a family compound composed of 3 related families. I got to meet the
grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles! Moreover, a few cows, pigs,
chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats and dogs came from all corners of the
walled compound to greet me! At that moment, I realised I was living the
life of a local Ecuadorian.