For weeks, I knew that the hardest thing about leaving for Ecuador would be the goodbyes. My mom is very emotional (and so am I), so there was no way to escape the waterworks as I departed from the airport on my way to Quito.
The Mexican culture is very familial, and my family is, of course, very tight-knit. I care about them a lot, so it was hard to make the decision to travel so far knowing that they would be in a panic with my absence. My parents are “traditional” Mexican parents meaning they are strict and conservative; it was hard for them to see me leave knowing that I will be on my own. The only thing that reassured them was knowing that I was going to be with a Latin American host family, and they assumed their culture would be similar to ours.
I had some contact with my host sister through email a few days before, but I have yet to meet my host parents (and sister) face-to-face. It’s somewhat nerve-wrecking, yet I’m hopeful that my family will be awesome! I already apologized to my host sister about my language goofs because I know that some Mexican-Spanish words don’t translate well in other types of Spanish. No matter how sad I was for leaving my family for the semester, I’m excited to meet new people and gain una nueva familia.
My “new family” won’t simply be my Ecuadorian host family, but also my IES familia. I’ve only met one other student so far and that’s only because she also goes to Hope! I ran into her at the airport in Miami, and I’m positive some of my other future-familia are on the same flight to Quito even though we haven’t officially met.
I’m excited for what’s ahead, yet glad to be taking it one day at a time. I’ve done some extensive research on insects and diseases, and I’m just about over my fears (Quito is a relatively safe city insect-wise). I’m sure I’ll have my surprises though.
My final flight is boarding soon, so until next time! Stay tuned, mis amigos! ¡Nos vemos en Quito!