An Unconventional Journey

Danielle Twichel
August 24, 2017

I will soon be entering my second week in Quito, and cannot wait to detail my experiences here later on. However, I finally have the chance to describe my unconventional journey of getting to Ecuador. This story allowed me to enter this study abroad experience with some new perspective.

On a Monday evening, I boarded my delayed flight from Miami to Quito, following my red-eye from Seattle and a 12-hour layover in a Florida airport (caramba). As exhauted and exasperated as I was, passing out after takeoff was an easy feat. An hour or two later, I woke to my favorite sound...the snack cart. I looked eagerly towards the flight attendants rumbling down the aisle, distributing drinks and pretzels-  but for some reason, I began to sense that something was wrong.

One of the atendants was not looking so good, and as if out of nowhere, her body launched into a medical episode. In attempting to maintain good taste, I will spare the graphic (and terrifying) details. Essentially, though, she had had both a seizure and a heart attack. Up in the air and in full view of all passengers. At first, it seemed that nobody understood what was going on.

Then, everyone lept into action, shouting for a doctor as if in a movie. By some miracle, one was located on board, and he rushed to her aid. While he kept the woman stable, it was announced that we would make an emergency landing. We had no idea where!

Upon touching down to the ground, we passengers recieved good news on two fronts. First and most importantly, the flight attendant would survive. Sending love and quick recovery to this resilliant woman! Secondly, the landing took place in a country completley new to me. We were in Jamaica!

Since it was so late, and the crew was compromised, we all had to stay the night. As harrowing as the jouney was, my 16 hours in the Carribean became something worthwhile. As startled, overwhelmed, and tired as I was, I still decided to wake early (Note: I did not get to bed until 2 AM, due to the long wait for an open hotel room) and explore the tropical paradise. My illustration below was the view at the beach! 

Overall, I got to excersize my adaptibility muscle, and practice my ability to turn any situation into an adventure. Naturally, it would have been easy to simply maintain my grumpiness all the way to Quito. Instead, I smiled to have a new passport stamp and a new experience. Now, I feel prepared to take on Ecuador with a similarly positive outlook. 

And once again, love and well wishes to out brave flight attendant! 

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Danielle Twichel

<p>I'm Dani - a leftie, a henna artist, and a wannabe world-traveler. My passion for exploring began when I was 10: taking inspiration from Indiana Jones, I fancied myself "Indiana Dani." Ecuador will be my second time studying abroad, as I spent a semester last year in Granada, Spain. I'm hooked, and hope to one day work in this industry!</p>

Home University:
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA
Hispanic Studies
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