Day 1: El Panecillo and Adjusting to Ecuador
Today was our first full day in Ecuador and it did not disappoint. The entire day was filled with great experiences, people, and food. To start the day, we were provided a nice breakfast meal by the hotel staff. The first impression I had of Ecuadorians is how polite they are, always greeting us, saying please and thank you. The first impression of Ecuadorian food, however, is how tiny their portions are! Call me an American stereotype, but I like to eat until I feel fully satisfied. Nonetheless, maybe it’s a good thing that I start learning what “normal”, healthy portions should look like. After we ate breakfast we trekked to the Universidad Catolica and were given a tour of the school. There, we received a lecture about safety, food, etc., and were formally introduced to our guide, Juan (did anyone suspect that Juan and Jean were married? Because I had no clue). Then we went to lunch at a cute restaurant and were served traditional Ecuadorian food. I had the potato soup, chicken with rice, and raspberry ice cream. Everything was delicious but once again, left me slightly hungry. Don’t judge me. Then we went to El Panecillo, where I attempted to learn how to use the camera I borrowed from the school. I struggled very hard the entire time trying to take just 2 photos that were high quality enough to put on this blog. Only when we were almost done with our touring did I realize that I just had to put the camera on auto focus. Needless to say I felt like an idiot, but let’s keep in mind that we hadn’t had our camera workshop yet so I was at a disadvantage. As I sit here in the hotel writing this blog, I feel very satisfied with our first day of Ecuadorian immersion. The people are extremely friendly, and surprisingly not too pushy with trying to sell things. I like how the dogs are free to roam the streets and not leashed like they are in America. And finally, it was eye-opening to see little kids, some less than 10 years old I suspect, working stores all on their own. As Americans, we don’t realize how easy our lives are compared to other those of countries. I look forward to the rest of this adventure, visiting more beautiful places, meeting new people and learning about their wonderful culture.