First Impressions

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The view from the restaurant window where the IES leaders took us to eat on the first day. Look at those mountains! Too beautiful!

The altitude takes some getting used to, but the view is phenomenal! This season is the rainy season in Quito, so it’s been mostly cloudy (Quito has two seasons: dry and rainy). However, when the sun comes up it gets HOT! I made sure to pack some SPF 50 sunscreen bottles to protect my skin.

So far I’ve met the other students who I’ll be studying with this next semester and the IES program coordinators/directors in Quito. We signed a contract to pledge that we would only speak in Spanish throughout our time here (except for emergencies, etc.) to really immerse ourselves in the language. Luckily for me, I already have a lot of experience con el español, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.

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The main dish at the restaurant on day one: ensalada, pollo, y arroz.
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The rice was in the shape of a pyramid!

Still… there are some words that I don’t understand/use because they are not common in Mexican Spanish. For example, I didn’t know that ñaño(a) could be used in place of hermano(a). That confused me a little. Also, Ecuadorians use the word chévere to describe something that is cool or awesome or great. When I Skype with my parents in a couple of weeks, I’m going to inevitably use chévere in my conversations.

Speaking of Skype, I video-chatted with my parents last night to let them know I got here safely (but I used Facebook Messenger instead). They were super worried that I hadn’t called sooner. Ah, I love my parents, but they worry too much! I told them about the lovely host family who welcomed me with lots of hugs and kisses (I’m not making this up). My Ecuadorian family is super kind and affectionate, as most Ecuadorians are.

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My cozy room in Quito 🙂

I’m excited for this next week since I’ll still be in my IES orientation. They’re taking us to explore Quito and other nearby cities! So until next time, mis amigos. I’ll leave you with this view from the 12th floor of the IES building. ¡Que se la pasen muy chévere!

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Looking west towards the Pichincha Volcano from the IES building’s balcony.

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Brenda Mora

From Holland, MI. Mexican-American studying abroad in a Latin American country. Speaks Spanish/English fluently. Likes nature walks and laughing.

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