When I was preparing to study abroad, everyone told me I’d experience culture shock upon arrival. I have no doubt that this is true. But in my first 48 hours I’ve been so overwhelmed with adjusting to conversations completely in Spanish to be concerned about any other cultural differences. My Spanish is okay. It’s actually a lot better than I thought it was before I left 2 days ago, but I’m still struggling to understand others and express myself. My new favorite phrase is “Es bueno.” The food? Es bueno. The weather? Es bueno. The view from my host Mom’s apartment? Es bueno también.
I’m so happy to be in Quito, and I wish I could properly express my excitement to my host Mom. While I’m slowly learning other phrases (es bonita – it’s pretty, es rico – it’s delicious), in the moment I seem to only be able to remember es bueno. Hopefully with a big smile, I am showing my enthusiasm with out words.
And in English I can properly say: My first 2 days in Ecuador have been amazing! The mountains surrounding Quito are gorgeous; the city itself is vibrant; the food is fresh and delicious; and most importantly everyone I’ve meet has been so friendly and patient. I am so fortunate to spend 4 1/2 months in this wonderful city and I cannot wait to explore it more this weekend!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Kate Paladin and I'm an Environmental Studies major, Math minor at Bates College. I am a research assistant studying lake ecosystems, volunteer in an elementary school classroom and perform Bollywood dance. Most people study Spanish and then decide to visit South America, but I did the reverse - after choosing Quito for study abroad, I took my first Spanish class! Although I have just 2 years of Spanish under my belt, I couldn't be more excited to study in Ecuador.</span></p>