Natasha in Ecuador – Blog 4
Hola mi Guinea pigs! ¿Cómo estás? Yo estoy SUPER, HIPER, MEGA BIEN! Welcome to my update on life in Ecuador: so far I have completed almost 1 out of my 3 week Spanish course and orientation in Quito. In total I have been here for only 8 days!! This seriously blows my mind!! I feel as though I have been here for a lifetime. Firstly, because life in New Zealand now seems almost incomprehensible – it’s as though Ecuador is worlds away; everything here is so different. And secondly, I simply feel so at home. Home has always been a funny concept for me; is home England where I was born, and where my family is, or is home New Zealand, or is home even a concrete place at all? After having my life impacted and changed – for the better! – by incredible people along my journey, both travelling and in New Zealand, I have come to the conclusion that for me home is people. The people that shape me, challenge me, inspire me, that ultimately live life with me; and I have already met some pretty crazy amazing people in my journey in Ecuador already.
One in particular is an incredible girl called Lucy, whom I have the pleasure of being hosted with here in Quito. From the outset she is one of the bubbliest, funniest, loving, caring, stunning, and kind girls I have ever met. I feel as if I have known her forever already. Talking with over the top English accents is just one of our new found connections. Don’t you love it when you just click with people? It has made such a large transition seem so natural and easy. Being a bit of a people addict, it is not just the surface that draws me to a person – if I am honest ‘small talk’ drives me absolutely insane – it is their story. Learning where people are from, what they been through, what they love, and what their dreams and hopes are makes a beautiful person all the more beautiful. In saying that I am prepared to be overwhelmed with beauty!!
Entonces (that means ‘so’ for any of you out there with no translator at hand), after 1 week in Spanish school I am totally knackered! It is muy tiring listening and processing another language all day long, however, the effort is worthwhile. After thinking that using Google Translate on my Spanish had backfired and I had been put into the top class – eeeeek – we finally came to the conclusion that that was not the case at all. Phew! We are all just starting in different places. In saying that with a mere 2 weeks experience in Spanish prior to the trip I think I deserve a pat on the back for my progress. At the moment I can understand a lot more than I can say. This is a bit of a problem when talking to local people, as even though I know what they are saying to me or asking, I cannot – in most instances – answer them with more than three disjointed words. This leaves me looking incredibly stupid, when all I want to do is shout at them (nicely, of course) “I UNDERSTAND YOU, I JUST CAN’T REPLY!!.” However, on my quest to make friends, this tactic is probably not the best.
This weekend we crazy volunteers are heading to Banos for Carnaval! With no accommodation arranged and a whole continent celebrating and partying I am sure we are in for an experience. Excitement doesn’t even begin to cover it.