This One Time in Ecuador…Quito, Fall 2010

It’s only been two weeks since I’ve left Quito, but after being busy at home for 2 weeks straight catching up with friends and the excitement of the holidays, there are moments where my time in Ecuador seems a lifetime away. But the last four months and all the experiences I had are still with me in my everyday life back here in Chicago. Recognizing customs I miss from Ecuador and things I didn’t realize I missed in the U.S and the whole reverse culture shock business (like having water fountains and using credit cards).

People ask me all the time, “how was Ecuador?” (though occasionally it’s Costa Rica or El Salvador), and I don’t even know where to begin or how to explain what my four months there were like. I want to share everything and give them a glimpse into what my life was like, how it was so different yet not always, and how it was exciting and what I learned and how familiar I became with everything, but at the same time, I realize that someone cannot understand what it was like to have been exposed to, and be so involved in, another culture and country unless they’ve experienced it for themselves, no matter how long and elaborately I talk about it.

Despite knowing how hard it is to describe the adventures and feelings I had in Ecuador, I can’t stop myself from talking about it and trying to give some insight into the great times and the things I learned. I’ve caught myself too many times in the last 2 weeks doing the annoying “this one time in Ecuador…” or “yeah in Ecuador they…” every time someone else tells a story that reminds me of something that they do in Ecuador or that happened in Ecuador or that I saw one time in Ecuador. I’ve been working on restraining myself because I know how annoying it can be, but at the same time, my time there is something I can’t (and never want to) forget, it’s a part of me and always will be, so as long as I share in moderation I’ll continue sharing, and allowing other people to see into a world I love so much.

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