The worldwide Augustana College experience

What I will miss most about Ecuador

I know this is very late, but I promise I’ll talk about Peru soon!

For now, a quick update about leaving Ecuador… What I’ll miss most.

1.The language

Technically speaking, it’s still Spanish, but I will miss whipping out words like “Chendo!” and “sigue no más!” my newly acquired vocabulary doesn’t make me any less of a gringa, but it was good for a few laughs and it certainly sparked the conversation with my host family.

2.Salchipapas

One of the most amazing snacks known to mankind. French fries and a small hotdog drizzled with mayonnaise and ketchup. Only 80 cents and worth every penny.

3.Mora

These are just blackberries, but they make everything out of them… Juice, jam, ice cream, you name it. I had a glass of Mora juice for my first breakfast in Ecuador and it was like heaven in a cup. I think part of the addiction is that most of the mora products are really fresh and made to order. I have a feeling I can find something like it in the US, but it probably won’t be the same…

4.Mi ñaña y mi familia

Our host sister was the best. She was loud and fun and always had a story for us at lunch time. At one point, she was gone for almost a week to go to the coast and the house was unbearably quiet. I missed her then and I’ll miss her now even more.

I’ll miss all of my host family in Cuenca. Everyone was so welcoming and happy to have us. I can’t count all of the times our mom sat with us at the dinner table, just to talk; and how many wacky conversations we had with our host sister. They really wanted us to experience Cuenca at it’s best and they wanted to help us see their city the way they saw it. They really helped ease the culture shock, which for me, wasn’t that bad to begin with.  My host family in Cuenca reminded me a lot of my mom’s side of the family in Florida.  Our family is very close and I am used to all of the greetings and kissing. My host mom’s cooking reminded me a lot of my grandmother’s cooking as well. Tons of rice, lots of delicious vegetables and when my host mom found out that I love plantains, she made them for me nearly every day.  My host mom was wonderful. She was the most patient and loving women I could have ever hoped for. She made our boxed lunches with care, she explained what was going on in the news and talked with us about the differences and similarities of our homes and Cuenca… She made our stay even better than I could have ever imagined.

5.The staff at CEDEI

These guys were the best. They bent over backwards to help us with anything we needed. When one of my friends was in the hospital overnight, not only did every member of the staff go visit him, but one of them stayed overnight in the room with him to make sure everything was ok. CEDEI was the reason things ran so smoothly while we were in Ecuador and I can only appreciate just how much they did for us now that they’re no longer around.

I don’t think I could have made up a better stay in Ecuador.  I will really miss walking around with friends and taking in the rich culture that seeped out of every building and side street. I’ll miss going to my favorite cafe with my roommate and getting crepes de manjar and leche con miel. I’ll miss going out with our host cousins and seeing the city at night. I’ll miss everything about Ecuador, but I’ll always have the memories… and about 500 pictures. :-)

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