One of the major things I wanted to work on this semester was becoming a fluent Spanish speaker. Now that I’m almost done, I can’t help but wonder if I actually made it there. I started my Spanish journey in my early teens, and I don’t think that I’ll ever be mistaken for a native […]

Homesickness and the Holidays

So the holiday season has come in the US! It started with Halloween (if you consider that part of the holiday season – I think it kind of counts because so many people celebrate). Next up – Thanksgiving! Not here though. While Halloween exists in a very small way in Ecuador, Thanksgiving basically does not […]

Part of the Family

Now that I’m over two months into my semester abroad (crazy, right!), I wanted to talk about being part of a host family. My host family is made of my host mom and dad, who are about the age of my real mom and dad, as well as a host sister who is a year […]

Social Unrest – Let’s Talk

(I’m going to preface this by saying featured photos are NOT mine – they come from the newspaper El Comercio.) So I’m sure some of you are aware of what’s been going on in Ecuador recently, but in case you’re not, here are the basics: The federal government has been subsidizing gas for years, making […]

Service Abroad

One of the classes I’m taking while in Ecuador is called “Service Learning”. Half of the class is about serving as a volunteer in an organization in the community, while the other half is a discussion on what doing volunteer work abroad is and should be about. The organization I chose to do my volunteer […]

Two Seasons by Vivaldi: “Rain”

Summer is ending for everyone in the US. Technically, it’s the end of summer here too, even though most of Ecuador is south of the equator. Actually, that means that the rainy season is upon us. Since Ecuador is on the equator, it doesn’t really have seasonal variation except in rainfall. It was kind of […]

Eating in Ecuador

So – plantains! They’re just one of the changes between the food here in Ecuador and the food in the US. Here, we eat plantains almost every day. I learned that there are about a million ways to eat plantains including boiled, fried as empanadas, and as “chips”. Also, I learned that there are approximately […]

Chiloe Made Me Fall in Love with Nature

Before you begin reading, I invite you watch this video first. It better explains the title than what I have written below. I always say that a video speaks a million words. I must say that I have always appreciated nature but never was really enchanted as I was by it when I filmed this […]

Resorts, Rest, and Realizations

After all of the adventures that I’ve been on this semester, from snorkeling with sharks to hiking a volcano to bungee jumping, it was okay with me this weekend when we decided to take a break and have a relaxing getaway. This weekend we went to a town called Papallacta which is located in the […]