Que Bestia Como Ha Pasado el Tiempo….

Kristi Ch
November 6, 2013

How crazy the time has passed.

This phrase has been resounding in my thoughts the past few weeks here in Ecuador. It´s hard to believe that in a few short weeks I´ll be returning home to family, friends, and normal university life after almost 7 full months of international travel.
Staying long-er term, living, in a different country does things to you. Good, difficult, challenging, wonderful, and well worth it things. The day to day can sometimes feel mundane, unadventurous, unconsequential, as is the case with most day to day lives. But looking back on the relatively short three months that I´ve been here so far, I can´t help but marvel at the journey that I´ve been on, the longest abroad experience that I´ve had in one country, and definitely the most formative. I´ve learned more than I could´ve imagined in these last three months–about myself, about Spanish, about the culture, and about real life. Things I took for granted, or didn´t even note as an item of consequence are now treasures I hold dear. Things such as being able to get in a car and drive to where I want to go instead of strategically identifying the best bus route, walking alone (especially at night), hearing American/English music in public spaces, not having to feel like Frogger every time I cross the street, and even flushing toilet paper again.

Though the journey isn´t over, and though homesickness is still very real, I can´t help but already think about the things that I will miss. I already made a list of things I need to bring home (alpaca blanket, aji hot sauce, dark chocolate, coffee, tea, knockoff Raybans…), but things like fluid conversations in Spanish with my friends and family here, buying a week´s worth of fruit for less than $5, Pichincha volcano towering over every Quiteno landscape–tokens of my time here that I treasure and wish I could bring home with me.  I hope it´s not too early to be getting sentimental.Some of the things I´ve done just this past month:

–celebrated Halloween at a Justin Bieber concert (What?? for the record, I am not, and never was, a Belieber. But I was feeling homesick, tickets were cheap, and hey, Justin Bieber and I were in the same city in South America at the same time…so why not? concerts are always fun!)
–slept at a breathtaking 15,000+ feet in the Andean Paramo, one of the most beautiful places I´ve seen and where there was so little oxygen even toilet paper wouldn´t catch fire (blog post to come)

-made an impromptu trip to the Amazon to see and help with a school building project
-seen and participated in the entire beekeeping and honey harvesting process
-designed a T-shirt line for my internship
and more that I´m probably forgetting.Tomorrow, I´ll leave for the Galapagos on an IES field trip. Words can´t express my excitement over this–it´s been a life long dream since I was about 6 years old to go to the Galapagos, before I even knew it was in Ecuador!

Get excited for that post.

Until then!

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Kristi Ch

<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);">I&#39;m studying studio art, entrepreneurship/social enterprise and international studies at Wake Forest University (Go Deacs!). Born and grew up in Canada by Malaysian born parents, I&#39;ve always had an awareness of other cultures, countries, and customs. I&#39;ve always wanted to travel South America and after spending the summer interning in Lima and volunteering in Kenya, I am excited to stay in one country for a while and live out some new adventures. I enjoy everything about the outdoors--camping, rock climbing, hiking, biking, running, hammocking, and have recently taken up surfing while in Lima. I also love all things art-design, painting, photography, and film, and hope to be able to share my experiences in Quito through my words and images.</span></p>

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