hi from cuenca!
we got to cuenca around 430 yesterday and i met my host mom at cedei. she is soo nice! fernando my brother who is 31 was waiting for us outside in their car, and he drove us to their house. he is super nice as well and i can tell we are going to be good friends. he has been to the u.s. a lot because he works for the ecuadorian government so we had a lot to talk about and he listens to popular music from the u.s. that i know so we were talking about this john mayor concert he went to in washington. their house is really big! it has 3 stories and it is really pretty! the kitchen has a gorgeous view of the new part of the city. i have my own room which is quaint but nice and i have 2 huge closets! i also have my own bathroom!!! i was so excited for my own bathroom bc ive never had my own bathroom before haha. the only bad thing is that they live on calle larga which is the main street in cuenca so its pretty loud and my window is right next to the street so its kind of loud when im sleeping but its okay. they also have 2 birds in a cage in the hallway, but at night they are quiet. and the dogs stay outside all the time. they have 3. when i got there i met my host sister who seems really cool but she was stressed because she was working on a project with her 2 friends from school. they are all architecture majors. then i met romy who is the wife of my host brother xavier who also works in a high position as an engineer for the government and they have 2 babies, one who is a 9 month old boy and vicki who is about to turn 2. then i met marisol who is the wife of my host brother galo antonio and their son mateo. they all dont live at the house though. galo only lives there sometimes bc its closer for work. so they all left shortly. then it was just me and cecilia so i hung out with her and her friends for a while and then my host mom came back and said amy vamos so i went with her and fernando to pick up a pizza. they love teaching me all about the history of the city and they were pointing out all kinds of cool things. there are these sweet incan ruins near my house too. at dinner i met my host dad who is really nice too. me, cecilia, fernando, and my host parents all had dinner together and they were so interested to learn about me and my family! then i gave them their host presents and they absolutely loved them! they were all wearing the hats that say chicago and thanked me a million times and said it was just a gift to have me here.
this morning i had class at 8. my host mom brought fresh bread for breakfast and then walked me to cedei university. it is only like a 5 minute walk! my classes are great but a lot harder than i thought they would be. we have a lot of reading and summaries of the reading to do by wednesday but the classes are super interesting. in my andes culture class my prof taught us how to breathe today and we listened to some sweet andean music.
greeting people here is soo different! every time you see someone you have to touch their right cheek with your right cheek and make a kissing noise and every time you leave a room you do that to everyone! after class i had a great lunch with my host mom…noodle soup, carne asada which was some kind of meat, and potatoes. it was really good and we were talking the whole time and she was telling me how this is my house now and to feel comfortable and everyone is so happy to welcome me and have me here. i seriously have the best host family and im so happy! i cant wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for me! hope all is well with everyone at home!
con amor siempre,