As I relax in my living room on a lazy friday evening and watch the sun set behind the hills, I realize my summer is officially coming to a close. I'm leaving this Tuesday, September 1st for Denver (Michael has willingly agreed to drive me there) and fly out on Wednesday at 6am to Quito, Ecuador. I will be arriving in Ecuador around 6:30 pm along with 8 fellow students studying with the HECUA program. When I get to Quito, my host family will be kindly waiting at the airport to take me into their home for 15 weeks.
My new "parents" Germania and Nelson are yoga instructors. They have 4 kids, but only 1 (Leonel- 17 year old high school senior) is living at home. Their 27 year old son, Yan, also lives in Quito and visits often with his 1 year old son Teodoro. Another interesting fact- my new family is vegetarian. I don't know too many other details...but they are interested in dancing, music, and theatre.
For the semester, I'll be on a different schedule than I am accustomed to at Augustana. The program I'm in (within HECUA) is CILA (community internships in Latin America). The focus is on the people and culture of Ecuador. I will be doing an internship (not known until I get down there) and integration seminar, and I'll be taking a class (Democracy and Social Change) with the 15 other students going on this trip. I will also be doing an independent study (writing a 20 page research paper-topic my choice). Along with this work, our group will go on different field trips into the Andes mountains and amazon rain forest, and we'll be able to visit indigenous communities in the area.
That's all for now...respond with any comments/questions! Next time I touch base I will be una chica blanca en Ecuador!
Adios con un abrazo,