It’s always easy to say something, but to actually experience and know it is a whole different matter. I came to Ecuador knowing I would experience a different way of life, however, I didn’t realize the extent of the challenge I was taking. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m welcoming the challenges of the coming months and everything they will entail. Already, I have undergone challenges to become accustomed to Ecuadorian life. The foremost of which, has of course, been learning Spanish.
Every day when I wake up, my host mother will ask, ‘¿Cómo amaneciste?’ to which I will most likely reply with a simple, ‘Bien gracias, ¿y tu?’ This simple exchange is how I start each day. Afterwards, I try to talk to my host mothers or at least listen to their conversations. At first, I didn’t have much confidence in speaking, but after a few days, I gathered the courage to speak up as much as I could. Now, I am unafraid to look like a gringo, y cuando yo soy equivocado, I simply take my mistakes in stride, and learn from them. However, it has not been simply passive listening that spurred me to speak, but it has been the adventures I have taken over the course of the past week or so. From journeying to La Mitad Del Mundo with a friend while talking mainly in Spanish, buying manqueños at a market, as well as talking to taxi drivers, I embrace every opportunity that may improve my speaking skills.
Whatever challenge may be next, bring it on Ecuador. I may not be totally prepared, but I’ll sure give everything I have.