August 8, 2012
My first full day of being in Quito Ecuador was today! The culture here is drastically different from America, but only in the best way possible. Some parts, specifically the architecture (or lack thereof) reminds me of better parts of Mexico. I felt bad thinking this initially, however, Ecuador is considered a third world country. On the flipside, though, Quito has some parts the far surpass… Albuquerque, for example, particularly when it comes to the beauty and the beasts.
I had orientation for my classes at PUCE. I love it there! The energy is so different, filled with a curiosity unfounded, trying hard to break free. Maybe that was just my take in the situation, though. Actually, it was definitely. I was surrounded bu people (from Germany, USA, Japan, England, and Norway!) that I just couldn’t wait to meet and ask questions. Everyone (around 40-50 students) attempts to speak Spanish to each other, which makes interacting very challenging, invigorating, and stimulating, of course, stimulating. I’ve decided that campus sill remain my favorite place in Quito. Everywhere else, noises from cars, people yelling, buses blaring and storming, dogs barking, and birds chirping, all exists, but it’s not quote the same on campus. It’s so much more peaceful on campus. It’s also safer there. Regardless, I like Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador very much. I may have spoken to hastily, though, now that I think about it. My favorite place is probably what I call home. My host family is wonderful.
So, today I went to PUCE with César (he took me there actually!) and I reunited with a fellow lobo named Cruz, who’s a pretty cool guy for sure. Then, I met a guy named Jessie, then Stephen. Some other guys; Edward from Norway, Mack from Boise ID, Joseph from Germany, weird (and I mean weird) kid from Pitzer College in California whose name I forgot, and there a few girls, too! Ariti from Germany, Lizzie from England, Mimja (that’s way wrong, but it’s close, I hope) from California, oh! Kylie from Minnesota, and Allie from Illinois! I’m excited to meet more people tomorrow.
Apparently, Ecuador has two of the highest crime rated cities in the world. A secret service-foreign service agent from the US Embassy informed all of us of that “fact.” I don’t believe it, though. Knock on wood that doesn’t jinx me. This guy gave a useful tall, though, while still scaring the room. I just need to stay aware and completely cognizant of my surroundings at all times. Note to self: “do not assist an Ecuadorian with directions in their own (expletive) city.” Thieves apparently throw a drug, whose name I can’t recall, on the map or item and you pass out, get your stuff stolen, and end up in your underwear, under where no one knows. The crazies in this world. Oh, an original passport on the black market of a white person is worth $5000. It’s almost selling my own. A passport of a person of ambiguous ethnicity or of Asia is sold for $10,000. Ridiculous.
Well, I’m pretty beat by now. I’ve stayed up so late these last few nights. It’s catching up to me. Tomorrow, I’m going to reunion with Brianne, Eric, and Kaia for a few days! I’m so excited. Anyway, I’m about to do a few push ups, drink non-tap water – boiled water, and then meditation or yoga! That’s all for now.
Till next time,
P.S. I almost forgot this fascinating detail; I haven’t seen but ONE insect the entire last 20 hours in Quito. I’m going to ask about that tomorrow. It’s so interesting to me.