Alicia, Student Blogger: Week 2, Part 2 in Ecuador

Day 13

This was an interesting day, and another one that made me want to go home.

We had cream cheese for our bread this morning, which was different. We talked about legends/stories in class today.  Ecuador has lots of stories.  For anyone super interested, there are YouTube videos on them.  We discussed: El Gallo de la Catedral, La Casa 1028,  La Leyenda de la Iglesia de San Francisco, Iglesia del Robo.  We also discussed the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, here in Ecuador, as it’s different than it is in Mexico. It’s hard to discuss the United States, because it’s so much larger than Ecuador.  Most of our legends/stories are either local, or stolen/borrowed from other cultures.

After class, Jason and I found the market!  We had awesome (fried?) pork and talked politics.

This is the point in which I’m going to keep most details to myself… I wanted to go to a medical clinic after lunch.  It wasn’t a big deal, but I thought I might need some lightweight antibiotics.  Jason offered to go with me, being the world-class nurse that he is.  It ended up being a really rough, 3 hour, $40 experience.  Without Jason, I’d have absolutely lost my mind.  Clinics are supposedly cheap here, which it was, minus the extra charges they nailed me with, but it wasn’t a good experience for me.  They had no clue what was going on, and tried to prescribe me medications for just about any possible scenario in this situation.  Jason and I talked and, bless this man, we figured out a plan without the doctors.

So, with my being emotional and exhausted and frustrated, it was time for salsa lessons.  This was a good distraction, but I was quite tired.  I was partnered with Jason this time.  I have a bit of salsa experience, and Jason had dance experience and had been to lessons for several weeks already, so we had a blast.  I don’t think the instructor liked us much because we moved on ahead of the class, but we had a great time.

Dinner at the house was good, but it marked the beginning of our complicated relationships with potatoes.  We eat lots of potatoes here, which is lovely, but it can get overwhelming.  Tonight, we had potato soup, as usual.  Then we had mashed potatoes flavored with peanuts, with a boiled egg and some cheese on top.  And juice, of course.  It was great food, but after this meal, all three of us students became very overwhelmed by potatoes.

After dancing, I felt better, but I was incredibly frustrated and exhausted, not to mention that my stomach, while much much better, was still not 100%. I had my mini-trip scheduled for the next week.  Part of me wanted to go, to get out of Quito for a while.  Part of me felt unprepared to leave Quito.  Part of me wanted to go home.  Again, obviously there were no plane tickets purchased this night.

Day 14

NEW FRUIT!  With our bread and ham, we had these strange little fruits today.  They’re small, round, and orange.  They taste like a sour tomato, but it’s not a bad taste… I love all of the different fruits that they have here!  There’s so many, and they’re all so fresh.

In class today, we worked on commands.  I worked on commands very early in my Spanish career, and really haven’t used them except the basic ones that I have memorized.  This is the type of thing I love about my classes here: filling in the gaps.  Technically, I’ve seen all of the tenses, but I sure can’t use or remember them all.  Then we showed each other card games from our countries to practice using the commands.

Jason’s family, that was supposed to arrive last night, was still stuck in Texas.  The weather there has been horrible.  Between that, the icky weather this week, and my stress, we were all pretty worn out and not ready to visit another church or museum.  Instead, we decided to do familiar things today, starting with food.  We went to the Italian cafeteria that we like a lot.  I got pizza, Jason got spaghetti, and Fred got a burger.  Jason and I also got chocolate milkshakes, because why not?  Then we got dessert from the bakery.  Jason and Fred got chocolate bread, I got a fruit tart that was delicious.  We then decided to go to the movies, so we took the bus allll the way to the south of the city, where there is a shopping mall with a movie theatre.  We saw the Jungle Book, El Libro de la Selva, in Spanish of course.  The seats were comfy and it almost felt like home.  It was a lovely way to relax for a few hours.

Dinner at the house was soup with some sort of grain, then fried eggs with rice, carrots and green beans, and a dessert similar to a watery rice pudding.  And, tonight, we finally got our laundry back!!

I also added pictures of my room and bathroom, in case anyone is just dying to know how my room is.




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