Standing in the middle of the world

So it has been a week since I landed in Ecuador. I first landed in Quito, which is the capital of Ecuador and the second I got off the plane I saw the Andes Mountain Range. That was breath-taking. I am from New York and the Catskills are the biggest mountains I have ever seen. The Andes were like monsters that were in the clouds with us during the plane ride. The terrain is so different here. Bridges do not go over water they go over valleys and concrete houses are built on steep hills.

The first day here I meet the group of student that were doing the program with me all were nice and from different places in North America including Canada. There are about 20 students We traveled through Quito and Otavalo by day. We saw waterfalls, the equator, an artist museum, we toured quito and went inside old medieval style churches. At night we explored the area around the hotel on our own and Ramon taught us to play a fun card game called sandwich and we played every night. So far we have all been having a great time getting to know each other and the beautiful country of Ecuador. We arrived to the campus of UEES and it is beautiful and I can not wait to start classes with all the students. I meet my host family and that was a huge shock at first. They only speak spanish and I know very little spanish. However, they have a lot of patience and love to talk to me and we are learning to communicate sufficiently. I am very excited to see what next week brings.

This picture is of the four students from SUNY New Paltz in the UEES Program this Summer. See that red line on the floor that is the Equator.

Hello, my name is Samantha Manno and I am an organismal biology major with a minor in Spanish. This summer, I will be traveling to Guayaquil, Ecuador to attend the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES). I hope that one day I can be a bridge between science in the United States and South America and help with accurate communication between the two continents. I am so excited for this experience so I can improve my Spanish, learn about and live in a different culture, and hopefully do new and interesting science in Ecuador!

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