Tuesday, September 04, 2007

How I barely got to Quito, Ecuador

I know you all have been patiently waiting for me to write about how I finally got here so I shall indulge you now:

Saturday September 1, I arrived at Duke to attend Nick´s wedding. I was two seconds away from getting back on a plane to Maine because I was having the most severe panic attacks I have ever had in my whole entire life. The people at Logan airport probably thought I was a nutter because I kept busting into tears while waiting for my flight to North Carolina. I arrived at the Washington Duke, put on my black dress, then left for the church with my friends. I will comment on the ceremony and the events of that evening in a later post, but let´s just say a little bit of encouragment from my friends and some alcohol made me feel better about leaving for Edcuador the next morning at 5:30 a.m.

When I arrived at Miami International Airport, I was oddly calm for the first time in more than a week. I guess the realization that this was the last step made it easier to just DIVE RIGHT IN. I found the people in my group and immediately felt better. A lovely Miss Caitlin asked me if I felt overwhelmed and wanted to just go home. She was the first peron I encountered who was in the same position as as I was, which made me feel at ease. The rest of the group convened and enjoyed a nice meeting in a small conference room. Thirty seven people from all over the U.S. finally had the opportunity to express everything they felt and feared before arriving in South America. WHAT A RELIEF!!

Then we boarded a plane and four hours later, we landed 10,000 feet in the Andes in Quito, Ecuador. Another continent appeared before our eyes.

The group of individuals accompanying me on this amazing journey is astounding. I cannot convey enough how awesome they are. I´ve already made really good friends and met my lovely host family who THANK GOD speak some English because my Spanish needs help. I hope this improves dramatically during the month of orientation.

We have spent two days learning so much information my brain already hurts but in a good way. Today, we had a bus tour of the city, witnessed our first robbery scam, saw a demonstration, and the entire city of Quito from the 'Virgin Quito,' which is located at the top of an enormous mountain. It was spectacular.

So far everything is amazing. I´m a little scared of the sketchy stuff such as not knowing as much Spanish as I should, robbery scams, Ecua men, or how to use the bus I am suppose to take to get home tonight but I have to tell you how cool it is to sit in a internet cafe, Papayanet, with my two new friends, Brooke and Katie, drinking cervezas, using the internet by candle light and listening to some pretty cool American and Spanish music. Now if I could only figure out how to use the keyboard...


I love you guys so much and miss you. I can´t wait to tell you more about how awesome it is so far :)


Shesabigstar said...

OMG...I was just talking to Alex on the phone and we were talking about you and then this popped up in my Google Reader! You sound at ease, and that makes me very happy! I'm glad you made friends (not that I doubted it) and am glad to know you're not alone. I loved this post and can't wait to hear more about it!

Whit said...

(HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF!!) I'm so glad things are going well! I'm glad you got there safely! Love you lots! So happy for you!

Allie said...

YAY!! I'm so glad you're there safe and sound. It sounds like you're going to do perfectly fine there. I'm so excited for you! Can't wait to come visit!!