Leaving Quito

By Bradley Rehak – Guest Blogger studying in Quito, Ecuador
In preparing to leave a place where one has lived for two months, I believe it's good to contemplate a bit on one's successes and failures–in travel and entertainment as well as in language learning. Here, then, are the most prominent points for me.
Failures: As previously mentioned, a family with kids my own age would have been better–there would just be more to talk about, and there of course would not have been hearing problems to deal with. Given the situation, though, I think I found quite a bit to talk about with my family. I completely failed in climbing a volcano, Cotopaxi, due to altitude sickness. As I have learned, it takes many weeks to adjust to altitudes like that of Quito when you have lived close to sea level your entire life. I similarly failed to find a close group of Ecuadorian friends to spend most of my time with. Although I did meet many people, my base group of friends for travel, going out, etc were all European or North American descent. Although I can hardly be blamed for the Ecuadorians going to work during the week and having less money.
Successes: I learned quite a bit of Spanish. My speech has improved significantly (and significantly more after a beer or two) and I have learned a ton of vocabulary. This was exactly what I set out to do. I also met a lot of people–even if I didn't form strong or lasting friendships, I still had many lengthy conversations in Spanish on a wide variety of subjects. I ate a lot of good food, which compliment can be paid directly to my host mom, who almost never repeated meals and kept me well-fed. I managed to avoid being robbed (up until now), having only lost a stocking cap while in Quito. And I took a ton of good pictures, with which to bore my friends and family for years to come. In sum, I believe I can say Mission Accomplished.

Comments are closed.