Spanish in Quito, Ecuador
Last weekend I opted to spend some time with my host family. For the past several weeks, I had been going on excursions to various places in Ecuador. I decided to spend the weekend with the family as I only had two weeks left in the country. I was also invited to a couple family events that weekend that I definitely wanted to go to.
On Saturday, there was a competition for young rock bands in the center of Quito that my host brother’s band was performing in. I tagged along to support him. I was blown away by all of the amazing talent at the show. At one point, the power went out while one of the bands was performing and all of the electric instruments ceased to function. There was a brief pause, and then the guy on the drum set started an improvised drum solo on the spot until the power was restored over a minute later. The most memorable moment for me wasn’t the amazing bands, but rather what my host dad said to me in a brief break between bands. He told me that if I ever wanted to come back and live in Ecuador, that I would always have a home with them.
After the band competition, we all returned home. It was a bit late, and so I thought the festivities were done for the night. Then my host family tells me that they’re going somewhere else and ask if I want to join them. Having absolutely no idea where we’re going or what we’re going to do, I immediately respond with yes. We ended up back in a different part of central Quito at the house of some very good family friends whose youngest daughter was having her first communion party. The party was essentially over at that point, but they graciously welcomed us inside anyways. As we were walking in there were several people walking out. Having no idea who any of these people were, I gave each of them a customary goodbye kiss on the cheek before entering. We were the only guests left by the time we entered the house, and so we just sat down and had dinner with the family. After dinner, all of the kids (with the addition of myself) went into a living room space to watch a fútbol game. Afterwards, we graciously thanked our hosts and headed back home.
The next day was a fairly calm one. The only two things that I did during the day were getting caught up on homework and going shopping with my host dad. Then, when it was time for dinner, I could smell that my host family was making a dessert. I had a sandwich and didn’t really think much of it. Then, after dinner was over they brought out a birthday cake with a blue candle on top. I had had my birthday a couple of weeks prior while in Baños and they wanted to throw me a late birthday party as we hadn’t gotten a chance to celebrate earlier. They all sang me Happy Birthday (in both English and Spanish), and I blew out the candle. This was the first year that I wasn’t with my family in the US on my birthday, so I was very grateful that my Ecuadorian family had taken the time to give me a birthday party here in Ecuador.