Written by: Cassidy Eastman
Major: Speech Pathology and Audiology
Program: Spanish in Quito, Ecuador
When I finally made it to the Quito airport, my host father was there waiting for me with open arms, despite the fact that it was 1:00 am. On the ride home, he kept telling me how excited him and his family were to have me here and that his younger daughters were very eager to meet me in the morning. Talking to him helped to put all of my nerves at ease and made me excited to meet the rest of the family.
When I met everyone else the next day, they were just as welcoming. I could tell that the girls (who are 4 and 8 years old) were so excited that I was there because they didn’t stop talking to me for at least an hour, and I loved every minute of it. The second day was the birthday of my host dad’s father, and so we had a dinner at their house with the entire family. Everyone was so friendly and made me feel like a part of their family, even though I didn’t understand 80% of what they were talking about. Since then, we have had a few more get-togethers and the everyone greets me as if I’m a part of the family. Also, each time we’ve been with them, I’ve been able to understand more and more of their conversations. I am amazed at how quickly I have learned as much Spanish as I have.
The food here is delicious. Before I left the U.S., I was nervous about what the food was going to be like here. I am a vegetarian, so I was afraid that there wouldn’t be many options for me to eat. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Everywhere I have been to eat so far has had options for me. I eat dinner at home with my family most nights, and they are great about making me vegetarian meals. Even though they all eat meat with most meals, they are very accommodating and considerate to my diet. Before they give me anything new, they always ask “¿te gusta?” which makes me feel like they really care. My other favorite part about mealtimes here is that with every meal we have a different type of juice homemade from fresh fruit. I have yet to taste one that I didn’t like.