Monday, September 21, 2015

The Musical Garbage Truck That Talks to You

Hola! It’s me again only this time I am studying not in Athens, Greece the home of my ancestors, I am studying in the country of the volcanoes.
Volcanoes everywhere! 

Maybe that isn’t the official slogan of the country, but when every single day all you hear about is Cotopaxi (for those of you that do not know it is an active volcano in the south of Quito that is due to erupt at any time) and a president that isn’t allowing for information to be let out about said volcano then you begin to associate the country with volcanoes.

Currently I am sitting in my host families house looking out of my giant window at the first real rain shower I have experienced since arriving to Ecuador. The power is out so I am struggling to see with the dim wet grey light that is peaking in from outside. September the 22nd marks one month that I have lived in Quito and I find myself reminiscing on how much has changed since I have arrived to the beautiful country that boasts the catchphrase Ama la Vida.
Just one example of the humming birds

One month ago I was frantically throwing clothes into two suitcases and saying my goodbyes to everyone in Rapid City because the night before I had flown in from an internship in New York. Less than twenty-four hours to pack for four months use to seem impossible, but now I can say that it absolutely is not. However, life is about the adventure. When I boarded my plane in Rapid City, SD I had no idea what to expect when I stepped out of customs in Quito, Ecuador. Looking back I could have prepared myself more, but having no preconceived ideas of what to expect has honestly been the best strategy to enjoying every moment since I have been here. So now I will tell you about my experience since arriving to my second study abroad location.
View of the Old Town Quito

Ecuador is a country unlike any other country in the world. 
From the Andes filled with colorfully dressed indigenous people, to the jungle bursting with more species of humming birds than anywhere else in the world, the beautiful beaches separating the land from the sea, and the volcanoes that are always threatening to erupt there are too many activities to do to ever say that one is bored. One doesn’t even have to leave the bustling crowded city of Quito to find differing cultural experiences. From the old town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site to Quicentro which is the shiny and modern new shopping mall in the center of Quito there is always something new to discover.
View of the River I bungee jumped over

Having traveled to two cities Otavalo and Baños I feel as if there are too many great places in this country to visit that choosing only a few is going to be incredibly difficult. Along with the beautiful scenery are the passionate Ecuadorians that I have met, Ecuadorians much like the Greeks are very focused on family. My host mother immediately took me under her wing and introduced me to the intricacies of life in Quito. However, having to speak Spanish every day is physically draining. I find myself coming home every day from university exhausted both physically and emotionally. Life in Quito is hard, it takes twice the effort to accomplish anything and it’s hard to try and blend in when you are clearly a grienga that is taller than almost everyone. 
Bungee jumping

Having lived in Greece is helping a lot with realizing culture shock and with adapting to another country that functions completely different that the United States. I am also learning a lot about myself since living in Ecuador. First, I should never go into boats or anything floating on water that isn’t a surfboard. Second, I enjoy dancing salsa more than anyone who has never done it before should. Third, Reggaeton is the greatest music to dance to and anyone that tries to argue hasn’t lived. Fourth, planning a vacation within Ecuador is too much work, going with the flow is so much easier. Fifth, the friends you make while studying abroad become your entire life while in the country. Finally, trying to befriend Ecuadorians becomes really hard when you don’t speak fluent sarcasm in Spanish.

Also in case you were wondering about the title, the garbage trucks in small towns play music while picking up garbage and tell you to get out of the way!
Travel with people that are as photogenic as you

I think that is enough with my experience in Ecuador thus far! I hope you enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for my next blog!
Cascada del Pailon del Diablo

View of one of the main squares in Quito


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