Ecuador Didn't Change Me, It Prepared Me for the World.

Tabitha Ato
January 27, 2020

Hola Amigos!

I apologize for this reflection that seems late, but it was actually intentional because I wanted to take note of how interesting adjusted back to the American society would be and account for the many differences in every aspect of my life. Firstly, I would like to thank you for following my journey while studying in Quito and I truly hope that your experience is as personal, life changing and worth while as mine was.

It is now just over a month since I returned back to the United States and I sometimes still cannot believe that I spent just over four months in the beautiful country of Ecuador. However, upon my return back to the United States, I noticed that the adjusting back seemed harder than adjusting to Ecuador when I first arrived in August. As the days go by and I try to back to my normal routine of what my life used to be, I have realized that my life has been filled with numerous changes that the only thing that feels “normal” and not “foreign” are the moments from Ecuador that I sometimes find myself still comparing my home too. My time abroad truly was a time I will always cherish and will cause my gratitude never to cease because I personally found this experience to be perfectly indescribable with words. My post study abroad reflection is simply an ode written in dedication to the different parts of the country and my experience that I will cherish forever.

Mi homenaje para el país hermoso del Ecuador:

To the breath-taking scenery of Quito at sun rise and sun set;

To my wonderful host family;

To the selfless and caring IES Abroad staff;

To mis amiguis por siempre (to my friends for forever);

To the very crowded, yet efficient Ecovia…you taught me the value of fighting for myself by being brave enough to get on the bus.

To the delicious Ecuadorian food: firstly, thank you for teaching me how to appreciate new cuisine and most importantly being so delicious.

Also, to the kind and welcoming students and professors at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

Lastly, to the country of Ecuador and its people, thank you for sharing your culture and way of life. Thank you for challenging me to go out of my comfort zone, to grow, to learn and to have an experience beyond description.

Although my time in Ecuador was not exactly always a bed of roses, it gave me a new perspective of the world, culture, gender, and race and the work that needs to be done towards equality and safety around the world. I am glad that this opportunity allowed me to grow in many positive ways by challenging me to become patient, listen more and also to be confident in myself and abilities. As the day goes by, it baffles me how different aspects of my life here in the U.S. which I have always known tends to seem foreign, making me miss Ecuador everyday.