Wow! I’m so excited to begin blogging! First I want to tell you all thanks for stopping by and reading my blog! I hope you enjoy it and come back for more!
First off, my name is Danielle Roberts, I’m a Junior, a Music major with a concentration in Vocal Jazz, and a Black Studies minor. I am half Puerto Rican and half a big ol’ mix of English, Irish, French, German, and I just found out that I’m Scottish too! It’s getting to the point where I can’t even remember everything! I came here to Ecuador to study Spanish so I can visit my family in Puerto Rico and be able to communicate with them with more ease. I also decided to study abroad to broaden my horizons, spread my wings as an individual, and learn to thrive independently. I have always been a homebody and I pushed myself to do this so I can be an everywherebody!
Since I’ve been here for precisely two months and five days, I have a LOT to fill you in on! Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
First off, orientation began almost from the moment we landed! I got to the airport in Quito, Ecuador in the evening on January 2nd and was met with the wonderful Angelike Paez, inbound coordinator. We met with some other students who came in on the same plane, and we headed to the hotel.
First thing in the morning we went to breakfast and met all of the other international students from our group. There’s about twenty of us. It was interesting being in a new city, a new region, and a new country! The view from the window at breakfast was so pretty!
Angelike and Andrea began orientation, making sure we were all comfortable, giving us some information and pointers, and having us introduce ourselves. The support system here was evident from the very start.
The first day, we visited un museo del arte de Oswaldo Guayasamín, a very famous Ecuadorian artist, and then we had a tour of Quito, the second most populated city in Ecuador.
Some of the things I remember most about orientation were going to Otavalo and visiting Chimborazo.
Otavalo is a small town in which I first noticed that Ecuador has a large mixture of rich culture and modern influences. It was interesting to see indigenous women in their traditional colorful wool skirts and high socks next to people in jeans and t-shirts. To me, this shows the history, tradition, and culture mixed with the modernization and urbanization of the country.
Chimborazo is a different story. Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador, is situated at 6,268 metros, which is about 20,564 feet. It was so difficult to get used to the altitude that I couldn’t even climb the mountain with the others. But, I did take some selfies next to the active snow-capped volcano!
Since orientation we have been to Manglares Churute, which are mangroves and a cacao plantation,
Cuenca, which is a beautiful city with 52 churches, also the home city of some of my best friends from NY,
Canoa, a tiny town with a beautiful beach,
and Ambato to celebrate Carnaval, which is the festival before Lent. Yeah, Ecuador’s pretty religious! But they sure know how to have fun!
And although I am having tons of fun and I’ve seen more places than I even realized, I do miss my family so much. Two months away from home is going by so slow, but all the while super fast. I can’t wait to visit more places while I’m here, but I’m also makng a super long list of things I want to do when I get back home!
Oh, and did I mention? Tomorrow is my birthday! March 8th, pisces!