Goodbye Ecuador

Yesterday I arrived in Kansas after an entire day of traveling home from Quito, Ecuador.Things I will miss:Fresh fruit everyday.My host mother.Seeing beautiful mountains everyday.Going to the beach, jungle, or higher in the mountains in only a few hours.Traveling an hour on a bus for 25 cents.Speaking in Spanish.Pretending I can’t understand when I don’t feel like talking.Seeing beautiful Ecuadorians in modes of transportation.Dancing salsa.Always having perfect weather (Quito is known to be “Eternal Spring.”)My friends from different parts of the United States.Running in Parque Metropolitana where it is like a forest that engulfs you.Seeing the beautiful Cotopaxi, the second highest mountain in Ecuador.Walking around the historical center of Quito.All the smells of daily life that are not hidden by air fresheners or antiseptic spray.Things I will NOT miss:Being whistled or hissed at while walking down the street.Being charged extra because I’m white and blond, which actually means I’m rich (not).Feeling watched everywhere I go.Being shoved in the bus.Walking up the steepest hill EVER on my way to school.Eating rice and potatoes everyday.Barking dogs.Loud airplanes that vibrate every building structure in sight.CAR ALARMS GOING OFF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.My Ecuadorian dog rubbing it’s bottom on my carpet everyday.Having to put SPF 70 sunscreen on every time I go outside.Having an hour travel-time to get to school.Not being understood when trying to say something important.Not understanding jokes or other conversations that I really wish I could be a part of.Never being able to walk around at nighttime. Taking taxis everywhere I go at night.Sitting on the bus in traffic.Breathing in the super-dirty exhaust of buses as I’m huffing up a gigantic hill.Getting lost in Quito.Having to unlock and lock three doors to get into my house.Always having to buy water or boil it.Overall I had a wonderful experience in Ecuador. I learned about a different culture, and I saw the large impact the United States has on a developing country such as Ecuador. I saw a people struggling to find their place in the world, and I realized how blessed I am to be living in a place where I can confide in our police, decide from a variety of things in life, and choose a career path in which I know I will find a job in the future. I met a number of people who greatly impacted my life, and who will continue to have an impact on the way I think and search for the truth. I will also say I have never been so thankful for the friends I have made at Bethel, and when I saw four of my best friends in the airport last night I screamed. Thank you God for this beautiful experience.