Well, my finals are blessedly over and I’m a free woman for the next two weeks. How have I been spending my buckets of free time? By cooking, of course. In the past two days I’ve made two types of cookies, candied walnuts, bread, pancakes, fresh pasta, and an apple pie, and used up an entire bag of flour in the process. While some of these were just for me (I may or may not have finished off that entire batch of pancakes), much of what I’ve made constitutes my contribution to the big farewell dinner I’ll be having with my host family and my real family.
I’ve written about how food reflects culture in previous entries. This particular dinner is another perfect example – here, in one meal, my host family and I are collaborating to create a fusion of gustatory traditions that brings our two countries together. I myself will represent another point of contact, considering that I will be playing translator for the night. When I leave my host family’s house for the last time, I’ll be leaving them with a little book of recipes I made and my own personal knowledge of Ecuadorean cuisine. That’s just one of the many cultural exchanges we’ve made throughout my time here.
In just a few days I’ll be off to the Galapagos with my (real) parents. The remote location and lack of internet means my last, reflective journal entry will come in the new year, once I’ve arrived back in the States. Until then, I wish you a prevenient happy holidays!