I should buy more shampoo

The other night in the shower I thought, “I should buy more shampoo – I only have half left.” The next realization (because we all know the best thoughts happen during the shower) felt like a punch to the stomach… I have less than half of my time in Ecuador left.

There’s this time frame knowns as “the honeymoon stage” and it’s used for just about all situations that are new. When you first take on this new experience, everything seems so great – because it’s new! Just like right after your married and it’s fun to be married. But often, this timeframe fades away and harsh reality starts setting in. Before I left for Ecuador, I read that this often happens to students abroad and I immediately started praying that I would enjoy my entire time in Ecuador and not be effected by “the honeymoon stage”. God listens, people. Here I am, in my 7th week, still loving every moment.

I still love to roll the window down and stick my head out to take in the view; I still find myself randomly smiling when I think about how lucky I am to have this experience; I still look forward to everyday and all the challenges it brings; I still don’t understand everything that’s going on; I still like rice; I still love Ecuador as much as I did 7 weeks ago; and I still don’t want to leave.

Some random thoughts I didn’t share in the last post:

  • I tried Chinese food here – delicious. Not sure why I would expect anything less.
  • I’ve FaceTimed my best friends, sisters and mom a lot lately and I didn’t realize how much I missed them.
  • I have been able to fully teach a handful of classes when my teacher has had meetings or had to leave to play soccer. (I know it sounds crazy, but all the teachers are in different sports leagues representing the school and we play against other public schools).
  • Aitana (my host cousin, you could say) is almost 2 years old and she recognizes me saying “La Ari” whenever we see each other! #accepted
  • I finally ate a hamburger – HEAVEN ❤
  • I’ve eaten peanut butter toast for almost a week straight for breakfast.
  • My family and friends back in The States are going to try a Michelada when I get home: beer, lemon juice, tabasco and a salt rim. There are lots of variations and a friend said he would teach me how to make them as good as the restaurants here.
  • I really want an iced coffee.
  • Currently am learning a dance to perform, with other teachers, in front of the whole school (but it’s a secret to the students, so don’t tell them.)
  • The national “slogan” or “motto” of Ecuador is “ama la vida” which translates to Love Life – HOW PERFECT. 

Today, I visited the Equator with the 10th graders for a field trip. I didn’t even know they were going, but as my host mom and I were walking into the school, she overheard some students talking about it. About 20 minutes later, I was on the bus! I knew Ecuador was named after the Equator but never understood why Ecuador was SO SPECIAL since there’s definitely other countries that the Equator goes through. Turns out, Ecuador is the only place that there is land at the cross section of the Equator (0 Latitude) and the quarter marks of Longitude (90 Latitude – I think). The other three Longitudinal lines cross the Equator in the water. (Sorry for the science lesson.) 

We don’t have school tomorrow, so my family and I are headed to Otavalo which is one of the “must sees” of Ecuador, for a long weekend. I’ll finally be getting some souvenirs!

It truly blows my mind thinking I have only 3 weeks here – I know it’s going to fly by so here’s to making the most out of my time that’s left.

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