I’m finally here, in Ecuador and it’s amazing! Honestly, I say everything is amazing but it truly is. Honestly, many people are very friendly, welcoming, the weather (when it’s sunny) is a dream, the views are gorgeous – choosing Ecuador as my semester 2 destination was a very, very good choice. So, what am I doing whilst I’m here?
I’m studying in USFQ in Cumbaya, Ecuador which is just outside of the capital city, Quito which also happens to be the second highest capital city in South America. I’ve taken classes which cover conversation skills, grammar, Ecuadorian novels, short stories in South America and Buddhism, with everything being taught in Spanish. As I’m writing this blogpost, I’ve just entered my second week here, so I’ve adjusted/still adjusting to the speed at which professors speak Spanish, but it’s good because my Spanish is improving alot and I’m becoming accustomed to the Ecuadorian accent which is unique (I’ll explain in my next blogpost :)).
Other updates from me:
– I’m slowly adjusting to Ecuadorian time, as in, I still have UK time in the back of my mind. Right now it’s going to midnight here in Ecuador but I know in the UK, it’s almost 5AM, as in, I’m still translating time, if that makes sense. I don’t think it’s jet lag because I feel fine, but I still automatically think about UK time.
– Basically, I learnt Spanish from teachers from Spain, so alot of the time I pronounce ‘c’ as ‘th’, the way the Spanish do, but here in Ecuador and South America in general ‘c’ is pronounced as ‘is’. I’ve been asked quite a few times where I learnt Spanish and I’ve been told my accent reflects that .Lol! I’m slowly letting go of Spain Spanish – c = th, c = si.
-Everything is so cheap! – food, transport, most things! The bus from Cumbayá (suburb in which I live, it’s just outside the capital city – Quito) to Quito is a 20-25 minute bus ride and costs 25 cents!! Yep, that cheap! Even taxis too!
– Quito is the second highest capital city in South America, La Paz in Bolivia is the highest. So, I knew adjusting to altitude would be a process. But, I’m actually proud of my body, it’s done me so well. I haven’t felt sick once and I feel great, when I arrived I couldn’t and still can’t feel a noticeable difference in terms of the altitude. So, long may it continue! Having said that, I do I get out of breath when walking uphill sometimes lol, but that is normal, I guess? Anyway, I want to climb some mountains here and will be doing acclimatization training soon so that will definitely help.
Cuando empiece este blog, quería escribir en inglés y español. A pesar de pasar semanas sin escribir en español, a partir de ahora, escribiré en ingles y español. Pues, he notado algunas palabras cotidianas aquí en Quito y Cumbayá, pues, esta región de Ecuador.
Allo = Hola
Full = mucho, e.g “ellos tiene full plata”
Ya ok = vale
Ahorita = ahora mismo
Cheverre = Guay/Mola
Chiquitito = algo muy pequeño
E.g “Mira este chiquitito perro – qué linda es!”
Enjoy the photos! (There are many!)
Photo 1 – view from my room on a cloudy morning.
Photo 2 – view from my room on a clear day. Quito is known for having 4 seasons in one day. One minute the sun is strong and shining, the next it’s raining, soon after it’ll be chilly (not cold by London standards, but cold by Quito standards) and then it’ll be back to sunshine and smiles. I love it, I do feel like I’m holiday, because when it is sunny – it’s stunning!
Photo 3 – view from my host brother’s bedroom – it’s even more beautiful in person. The skies, the mountains – it’s honestly breathtaking.
Photo 4 – Ecuadorian breakfast that I had on my second day here. It was a fried egg on top of a cheese and ham crepe and two different types of tamales on the side. The tamales reminded me of moi-moi, lol!
Photo 5 – This is a fruit called pitaya (it is the same fruit despite one being in yellow and the other in pink). It’s very good for the stomach, so it’s recommended to eat half of one in any one sitting.
Photo 6 – Inside of the pitaya fruit. I like it, it’s a little sweet and has a jelly like texture.
Photo 7 – One of the many beautiful green areas in the university.
Photo 8 – Beautiful, handpainted dome ceiling in the university.
Photo 9 – The colours! It’s a beautiful corner of the university, where I have grammar classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. I had to get a picture here, I mean the colours of the buildings against the clear blue sky – I love it!
Photo 10 – I took this photo in the cab going from Cumbayá (the town just outside of Quito where I am staying and where the university is based) into Quito to do the tour of the Old Historic Center of Quito. This journey was interesting! Basically, it was my first time going into Quito by myself and the driver was a lovely lady but didn’t really know where she was going and for some reason didn’t trust her own satnav on her phone (IDK!). Let’s say, I was sweating during this ride, but, I arrived at the tour meeting point safe and sound so it’s all good!
Photo 11 – Famous golden man statue in Quito (can’t remember the name of the square – will update when I find out).
Photo 12 – A stunning view that I had to capture!
Photo 13 – Basilica de Voto (Church in the background) Apparently, the view from the towers is incredible (gonna go up there soon, photos will be posted lol!).
Photo 14 – This is ‘La Ronda’ street. It is a pedestrian only street which has cool sights such as an choclateria, an ice cream factory and a restuarant (one of few in Quito) that sells ‘cui’ aka guinea pig aka an Ecuadorian delicacy.
Photo 15 – Santo Domingo Church.
Photo 16 -Tried for a while to get a solo photo infront of this Quito sign, this was the result! Lol! Ended up being a group pic with a tricycle 🙂
Photo 17 – Lake in Parque Carolina (I’m yet to get on one of the paddle boats, will do soon!).
Photo 18 – Chevichoco (popular, Ecuadorian dish) from a street food market in Parque La Carolina) which consists of thin slices of fried plantain, frejoles (butter beans), popcorn kernels (corn is very popular and loved in Ecuador), pork, coriander, onions, baked plantain, salsa-style sauce, onions. I liked it, but as always, wish it was more spicy lol!
Photo 19 – Ramon aka Ramoncito aka baby boy! Basically, I wasn’t a dog person before I came here, infact I wasn’t an animal person, but I’ve grown to love Ramon! He’s an angel, so sweet and cute! He comes to me just so I can stroke him and give him rubs! Even when I don’t see hi for the whole day, he’s so excited to see me – the purest love!
Photo 20 – He’s lying down, making this face because he wanted me to stroke him! How cute!
Until next time,