MatthewJames' Travel Journals


  • Currently in Guayaquil, Ecuador


My journal entries during my first study abroad-- Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Too Much Has Happened for a Journal Entry

Ecuador Guayaquil, Ecuador  |  Mar 09, 2010
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 I’m actually starting to miss vegetables. 

             Hi everyone (who’s reading this)!  To my friends and family back home—I miss you guys a lot!  It’s been getting crazier down here in Ecuador, but I’m doing good.  So much has happened since the last time I wrote this “blog” thing, I can’t tell you about it all.  So I’ll try to hit the main points.

                Today is March 9th, so now I’ve been here for a little over two months.  The food is still delicious, but I’m actually starting to miss vegetables.  I know—I must be a weird, messed-up kid.  But they don’t eat them very much here…  I have to go out and buy lettuce in the grocery store for a snack!  Anyways, things at home (a.k.a. host family home) are going pretty good.  Things at school though, aren’t so good.  I’m actually going to be changing universities, and in the next week or so, I’m actually moving to Quito.  I will be attending Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (La Catolica, for short).  I will be taking intensive Spanish courses there.  Very excited about it.  As I’m writing this I’m still working on the whole homestay issue over there.  I’m going to stay with a family in Quito, just like I did here in Guayaquil.  Still just working out all the details of the move.

                So some stuff that’s happened these past two months—a visit to Quito.  I went for almost a whole week, during “Carnaval,” which is I think is like the equivalent to Mardi Gras here in Ecuador.  It’s a holiday, and it’s really cool.  Everyone takes a couple days off work, and you walk up and down the streets, and spray random people you don’t know with silly string (“carioca” in Spanish) in the face.  Lots of fun.  There’s also parties, music, and dancing.  I was staying with the family of some really good Ecuadorian friends I have back home in Wyoming.  They treated me like one of the family, and it was probably the best week I’ve had since being here in Ecuador.  I walked on the equator (at La Mitad del Mundo), I saw churches that were like 500 years old, and completely filled with gold on the inside, AND I climbed a volcano—Cotopaxi.  We got up to like 5000 meters in elevation!  16,000 to 17,000 feet!

                About a week ago I also got the opportunity to travel to a city called Loja, which is way down south in Ecuador, close to Peru, in the mountains.  My friend who works at an orphanage here in Guayaquil, was taking ten orphans down to Loja for a camp.  And he just invited me to come along.  So me, my friend, another worker, and ten orphans went all around Loja together, just having fun.  We went to a really big park, the boys played in a soccer game against a church team, we went to a water park, we went to church.  The best part was just being with these 10 boys.  They are super neat kids, wonderful friends, and being with them sure made me think a lot… think about how much I am blessed to have, and also how full of myself I can be sometimes.  I miss hanging out with them.

                In addition to those two trips, and going to school, I got to go to a pro soccer game (IT WAS CRAZY), and dog-sit for someone for a couple days.  I think I’m learning more Spanish, but I think I’m about to learn a ton in Quito, with these new classes.  Miss you guys back home.  I really enjoy hearing from you too, so if you have time, please send me an email!

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  • Too Much Has Happened for a Journal Entry

    March 09, 2010
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