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Journals from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

2009-10-01 Arrival

So weve been in Ecuador for a little over a month, and, oh boy, has it been a big adjustment and a great learning experience. Always communicating in Spanish made my head hurt for the first few days, but it has made my Spanish improve drastically. Another adjustment I have faced here has to do with transportation; learning how to take the buses was an interesting experience. The buses here have routes that they follow, but the majority of them lack specific stops. When you want to get on a bus you have to stick out your hand and hopefully the bus stops; if not they just slow down and you have to jump on. To get off you have to say gracias and hopefully they will stop, but maybe they will wait a few streets to stop. Also in Ecuador the cars and buses rarely yield to pedestrians. The other big adjustment that I have faced is living with a host family. My host family is awesome; I have a 19-year-old brother, a 27-year-old host sister, and a mom and dad. Adjusting to living in a host family again has been interesting. My host mom thinks its her job to cook all of my meals, change my sheets, and wash my clothes, etc. I consider myself a typical American in the fact that I like to take care of myself, so coming here and having someone want to do all of those things made me a little uncomfortable at first. But now it is better, after talking to her about how I wanted to feel like I was contributing to the family and was used to having to doing things for myself.

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