I’m sitting here, looking at all of the bags I have packed – my five months studying abroad in Ecuador, my life in Ecuador constrained to four bags. My room is completely empty – I forgot how bare it was before I, and my mess, moved in. I feel very weird about all of this – I’m operating on auto-pilot. As a countermeasure, I decided to draw my bags.
It feels so weird that my time studying abroad in Ecuador is coming to an end. I feel that I’ve finally gotten used to living here, and settled at a realistic and happy medium where I feel like a resident of Quito. It’s so unnatural, so against this residency I have created for myself, to see my bags piled up, symbolizing my inevitable return to the United States. Ecuador has been my home for five months, and now I have to leave.
This feeling is pretty inexplicable, though I’m sure anyone who has studied abroad would understand. In a word, I feel untethered – though I think that is not completely accurate.
My host parents were kind enough to drive me to the airport. We got my bags in the trunk, and we said our last goodbyes, and took our last photos. As she was getting back into the car, my host mom gave me a quick hug, and said “te quiero.” I was feeling pretty unemotional until that moment, but as I turned to pass through the automatic doors, I felt my throat tighten and my eyes water, and I realized how incredibly lucky I was in having my host family.
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<p>I'm Oonagh (ooh-nah), a junior at Grinnell College, and a Political Science major who fancies herself an occasional artist and a lifelong doodler. I'm very excited and mildly terrified to start my stay in Quito, but I'm very much looking forward to immersing myself in the language and culture.</p>