So I’m really probably not qualified to write this seeing that I just got to Quito this week, but I guess that’s why it’s called a beginner’s guide and not an expert’s guide. Anyway – here’s a little bit of my experience in the first week of being here!

I’m going to start out by saying it’s totally ok to be nervous before going. On the day I was flying out, my sister asked me how I was feeling. I told her I wasn’t really feeling well, and then I promptly threw up everywhere, so you could say I was a bit nervous. That being said, even one week in I’m so happy to be here!

This is a photo from the Peguche waterfalls. Unlike some waterfalls in the US (but not all), there were no signs or ropes restricting where in the waterfall we could go, so we got to get up very close and personal to the falls.
This is a photo from the Peguche waterfalls. Unlike some waterfalls in the US (but not all), there were no signs or ropes restricting where in the waterfall we could go, so we got to get up very close and personal to the falls.

I spent this week getting used to the country and the altitude since I went from living at sea level to living at over 8,000 feet. I spent many hours learning about the culture and safety here during orientations, and went on a trip to two national parks and a market, which were amazing!

This is Cuicocha, an active crater lake! We went on a boat trip in the lagoon, which was beautiful. We also got to see some wildlife on the way.
This is Cuicocha, an active crater lake! We went on a boat trip in the lagoon, which was beautiful. We also got to see some wildlife on the way.

We also visited the historic center of Quito. It was incredible, especially because the youngest church in the center was built in the 1800s, while the oldest was built in the mid-1500s – way older than almost anything you can find in the US!

This is the Basilica in the historic center of Quito. It's the youngest cathedral in the historic center and also the largest!
This is the Basilica in the historic center of Quito. It’s the youngest cathedral in the historic center and also the largest!

I’ve spent this week getting a broad, but still shallow view of Ecuador. Later, you’ll be able to join me on my journey as I gain a deeper understanding of the country. I promise I’ll talk a bit more in depth about other things – like classes (which have just started) and my host family later, but for this post I just wanted to do a quick introduction to travel and Quito – kind of like what I’ve been experiencing all week!

Published by Kimberly Breyfogle

Class of 2021 IES Abroad Quito, Ecuador Chemistry, Spanish w/ minor in History, Biology

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