The End is Nigh!
This blog post is a bit late concerning the events our final week here in Ecuador, but better late than never right! So here goes, the events of our final week in beautiful Ecuador, from cheering at a soccer game, to completing out studies, and saying our farewells.
- Sunday afternoon- July 30... El Partido!
This partly cloudy morning, we all met up at the IES center so that we could walk together to the Estadio Olimpico Atahulpa. First things first, we needed to gain some team spirit and what better way to do that than to get some futbol jerseys right outside the stadium. El Nacional was pitted against La Universidad Catolica, and we chose to root for the more favorable Nacional team. Red jerseys sprung onto our chests and we headed inside for a good time of cheering and s'more more bonding. Once we found a place to sit, the game got to a quick start as the jugadores moved that ball around the field. Since there was some tight security, we didn't bring any snacks inside....however, vendors came to our rescue and they had different variety of snacks than we were used to. Forget the hot dogs and cotton candy, the shouts of "Papas Salchichas" (Sausage and fries) and "Paletas" rang and they roused our stomachs and wallets. Fortunately for our Nicole, she was given a cupcake while we and some others sang happy birthday to her in Spanish and English! Once our concession craves were satisfied, we continued to watch and cheer on for the rest of the game. The game was quite intense at parts, but unfortunately for us at the end...we WON!!!!! 2-1. This was a well spent afternoon :D
- Last Week of Classes
Most of us would have to admit that we could a get little carried away from experiencing Ecuador and all that it had to offer us. Yet, we did not let that belittle our focus on our studies on child development and culture. Tuesday and Wednesday marked the final days of instruction as we prepared our final papers and presentation to give Friday come. "Favorite Teacher" presentations commenced these classes, which helped to lead into the days lecture and class/ group discussions on different topics on child development, the cultures in Ecuador, the connection between these two, and our experiences that have highlighted the theories that we read about for class.
Then all of a sudden, Thursday was here and final paper presentations and group presentations were due! But as soon as 9 am came to start the last day of class...presentations were soon done. Theories we created on infancy/toddler-hood, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence were presented for our first class, which was based on research we made on other previously conducted research studies and observations we had done. For our second class on culture, individuals turned in a paper or groups gave a presentation on an aspect of culture and the power of that aspect on individuals, the culture itself, and the effect on other cultures around it. Topics on dance, fashion, and tourism took to the projector for three groups and allowed us to think about those aspects of culture more in depth and with a wider perspective on them.
Then... we were free.
(ok ok, so it wasn't that dramatic)
We finished classes with a better idea on child development and of other cultures, and that is valuable to each and everyone us.
- Guayasmin's Art
After presentations, we went to go witness the home of one Ecuador's most well-known artists...Oswaldo Guayasmin!!!
His house was full of art that he had collected over his lifetime, from crucifixes to should-be-censored figurines and paintings from local indigenous people to world-renown artists (like Picasso). On top of his large art collection, he had made a large collection of his own art. Guayasmin made thousands of sketches, water colours, and paintings, some of which he was able keep for himself and his museum. Most of his art was inspired by Picasso's art style of cubism, from which he was able to create his very own style of art within the modern art style. We were all highly fascinated by his art which depicted the stories of the indigenous and the suffering of the past. Once we made it to the gift shop, there was no way we could leave without some visual of his art.
- The Last Supper
Thursday night, the last night where we all would be together in Ecuador had finally come. To celebrate the completion of the program, we reserved a place at a fancy restaurant (I cannot recall the name of the restaurant). After some tardiness in getting to the bus, we made our way to our Last Supper. We arrived sat down in our seats and took a deep breath in, cause of the thought that this was going to be the last time we were going to see each other in Ecuador and the last time we were going to be with our new amigos y familia Ecuatoriano. We held our tears while we listened to Eduardo (the director of IES), the juan and only Juan Carlos, Marcelo (our tour guide), and our dear own professor Alison give us their final words of encouragement and thanks to us all. And boy (or girl or they) have they helped us to become even better people of culture, understanding, and exploration; thanks to them for allowing us to experience the world, one more culture at a time. As it is said, "all's well that ends well," and dinner was served. Savory chicken and fish, rice, and bread filled our bellies, making the night even better.
Our dinner was concluded with the presentation of a few cards that our class had made and signed for those special leaders of our program. T'was a beautiful night for us all. (Kudos to Riley for enduring the night with the help of Prof. Alison and Valeria)
This was quite the packed week of events and emotions that we all dreaded but enjoyed. Ecuador and its people will forever have a place in out hearts and memories. I'm pretty sure I can say this for all my classmates/friends that...Ecuador, we already miss you!