Our Third Day in Quito

“Beep! Beep! Beep!” The loud bellow of my alarm broke the silence after I had put it on snooze for the 5th time. Like most students, I was still settling in and adjusting to the new time zone and was exhausted from the activities the day before. I forced myself to crawl out from under the warm covers. Slowly but surely, I began to dress and continue with my daily routine of getting ready. The house was so silent, I became conscious of the sound my footsteps had made on the wooden floor. I was attempting to not wake anyone else who may be sleeping but was failing horribly.
When I had finally finished getting ready for class, I made my way into the living room,where I saw my housemate Katie waiting for our breakfast to be ready. It was 8 in the morning and our host mom was nowhere to be found. Confused, we both decided to pass the time by completing some readings that would be due soon. Minutes later, our host mom came through the front door with grocery bags in hand. “Good morning girls!” She greeted us in Spanish. We both smiled and greeted her with a buenos días. “I woke up early to go to the bakery to get you girls some fresh bread. This is fresh out of the oven and is very delicious. I hope you will enjoy it.” She said in Spanish as she smiled warmly at us. Our host mom began to set the table for us to eat the fresh bread and brought us each a warm cup of milk.
Soon after, her son and granddaughter had come to have breakfast with us. Our homestay mom’s son had offered to drop us off at school so that we wouldn't be late. After our breakfast, we headed out to the IES abroad center. Upon walking into the classroom, I realized I wasn’t the only student who had tired eyes. Students were still struggling adapting to their new environment, and the constant exploring/traveling around seemed to start to take a toll on them.
During lecture, the students began to discuss the readings previously assigned and how this had allowed them to expand their knowledge in child development in addition to helping them make connections of the material in their personal lives. It seemed as if all the students had become engaged and some had even become emotional when it came to making these connections to their daily lives. I found it to be one of the most empowering moments of the day, and it had also allowed me to get to know my classmates a little more and to be able to see them in a different light rather than simply my “classmates.”.

After class had ended, many of the students had gone off on their own to venture into the wonderful city of Quito. I on the other hand, had gone home to eat another delicious meal prepared by my home stay mother. Honestly, I enjoy her cooking more than any of the meals we have had at any of the restaurants we all have went to. It isn’t that the restaurant food isn’t good, but rather that her meals are very simple to make and very comforting. In a sense, it makes Quito feel more like home, which is a feeling I haven’t gotten from any of the meals at the restaurants here.


  1. Talking in class about the education gap and the problems with our education system definitely made me very emotional. It was incredible to finally talk to people who were frustrated and hurt by the same things I feel so strongly for. So grateful for this group!

  2. I am very humbled by all of your openness to vulnerability, to sharing your thoughts, and learning new things from your new environment. Sara, this was a powerful reflection on finding 'home' and finding 'compadres' in your shared commitments to equity in education. I am honored to be a part of your journey!


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