The Final Days

Breanne Ayala
January 3, 2016

        Hi, my name is Breanne Ayala, but most people call me Bre. I am a junior at Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. I am from Medford, New Jersey (right between Philly and the beach). As time is ticking down to begin this amazing experience of studying abroad I am finding myself filled with mixed emotions (eagerness, frightened, excitement, and so much more). Moving all the way to TN from NJ for college was a big adventure, but going to live in Ecuador for four months will by far exceed any adventures I have done so far! I am an ecology and biodiversity major with a business minor. My dream is to help protect endangered animals, which is why this program looked awesome to me since I will hopefully be seeing animals like the giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, many types of fish, and much more while on the Galapagos! The only thing I am very nervous about is the fact that I don’t speak any Spanish, which will probably make some things difficult (like getting around, connecting with my homestay family, and more) but I will be taking the Spanish classes and trying to absorb as much from the people around me that I can, so hopefully it will work itself out.

         There are six days left till I hop on a plane to Quito! I have already packed because I wanted to get it out of the way due to the upcoming celebrations of New Years and my 21st birthday in the week before I leave. Some of my tips for packing are to think about how you want to pack, what to bring, and not to pack too much. I spent a good amount of time in REI walking around and talking to employees for advice. I am also a notorious over packer because, ya know, that dress I haven’t worn in three years could be perfect for an occasion to wear while abroad. I’m forcing myself not to do this. I focused on packing shirts and pants that I already wear a lot already because they go with a lot of different outfits, they are comfy, and are appropriate for the weather. That is really my biggest piece of advice to share. I ended up bringing one big suitcase and a hiking backpack.

~~ My REI Experience ~~


~~ The Finished Product ~~

         Another big way to prepare for leaving for me was to spend as much time with my family and boyfriend before I left because after going abroad for four months, I will then be going straight to my summer internship, which means that I won’t be home for 7 months (the longest I have ever been away.) I hung out with my brother, Ricky, my mom and dad, and my dogs Hobo and Jhin-jhin as much as I could. We had a fun themed taco night dinner, lots of walks, board games, and movies. I am going to miss them a bunch but am so excited to have this amazing experience and to share my stories with my family and friends when I get home.


~~ Taco Night ~~


~~ Some Last Bit Of Puppy Loving ~~

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