My first week in Quito has been amazing and impossible to describe in one blog, but I will do my best. I’m living with a host family that has a lot of experience with international students from my university, and they welcomed me from the moment I arrived. A big part of Latin American culture is family, and although this is not knew to me, I am starting to get used to hugs and kisses several times a day from my family members. Anyone who is feeling sad or lonely should come to Ecuador! There will be lots of kisses and hugs waiting.
I am doing fairly well adjusting to the altitude, except for the part where I constantly feel like I’m gasping for air. I’ve been going to the university all week, since the orientation process is very intense for safety reasons. The campus is beautiful, and I never though I’d say this, but it may be even more beautiful than the Boston College campus.
Quito is very high up in altitude and is surrounded by mountains. It’s hard for me to grasp the fact that I am actually here, being surrounded by the beauty of nature without even having to look for it.
This weekend we went on a tour of the city, which has been the most amazing experience of my life so far! We got to see the entire city from one of its highest points, and we got a clear view of el Volcan Cotopaxi, which is the world’s highest active volcano, and the second highest summit in the world. We also visited the monument at the Equator, also known as the Middle of the World, which is the divide between the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres. I can now say that I have been in two places at once! If you thought that this wasn’t enough for one day, we also got to visit the top of el Volcan Pululahua. This volcano erupted and left a crater so large that people built a town inside it (yikes, I know). We got to see the town for two seconds, since the volcano is so tall that it actually reaches to the clouds. I can now also say that I’ve been inside a cloud!
School begins this week and I will be traveling next weekend, and hopefully every weekend until my return, so stay posted with my adventures!