A Travellerspoint blog

No photos today...

I am so sorry, I experiencing technical difficulties and could not upload my photos. I will try to correct this ASAP so that you may have some visuals to accompany my mess of words :)

Posted by A Burrows 12:37 Comments (1)

Soy una Cuencana!

I write to you from the computer lab of the university at which I am currently studying, CEDEI, an acronym for Center for Interamerican studies. I am currently enrolled in two courses: Spanish Grammar and Syntax which meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two hours and Service Learning Theory, a class which focuses upon community development technique, service learning, cultural competence, and social justice through social programming. Accompanied by this class will be an internship, ideally involving women and children however, my professor noted that there is greater need in child care and orphananges. I will not bee place in my volunteership until next week. Because my arrival was delayed into Cuenca I was not able to attend class on Wednesday, therfore tomorrow will mark the first day of my studies. I suspect that I will have quite a bit of catching up to do--although I am not too terribly concerned. I really enjoy all of the faculty and staff that work here at CEDEI, they are so great in helping to adjust quickly yet smoothly. The facilities are quite modern and class sizes incredibly small. I have four students in each of my classes. This is largely related to the size of our own group being only 13, ten women, and three men. There will not be another group of international students studying here until March. I really enjoy all of my group members and had the pleasure of going out with them last night at a popular cafe called Eucalyptus. I took a cab to return home for 1.00! I feel incredibly safe. My home is equipped with a gorgeous and sweet German Shepard (named Whiskey), one locked gate, two entry doors, and an alarm system. I live in a very safe neighborhod as most host families do. Speaking of host families, I have the absolute delight of living with Rebekah (mama), Jacinto (papa), Leonor (the maid), and their son Francisco who is 27. They have two other sons who are married so no longer live with them. Santiago, the middle son and his wife Vivian join us for lunch everyday and Pedro, the oldest son lives in Guayaquil with his wife and daughter. My mama and papa are SO, SO kind, loving, and accomodating. They consistently greet me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek and are inquisitive as to my life in the States. My papa is an economist, previoulsy owned two car dealerships: Toyota and Mitsubishi (spelling questionable), but currently sells and distributes restaurant supplies, crystal, and silver from his home with his son, Francisco. They have a beautiful home, quite large for Ecuadorian standards. I have a bedroom to myself, with a double bed, my own television, bathroom, and patio that overlook my neighborhood. My family has problem keeping me stuffed. I will never go hungry here. They, as a family do not care for Guinea pig so I am pleased to report that I don't anticpate trying it--at least in my home. I live 15 minutes from school by foot. You walk everywhere, it's great! I posted photos on my blog of the inside of my home and captions of street dynamics in Cuenca.
This weekend (Sunday) we are taking a day trip to Incaprica, a site of an Incan ruin, two hours north of Cuenca.

Posted by A Burrows 11:58 Comments (0)

An Ecuadorian Welcome

January 23

I have the pleasure of writing to you from Quito, Ecuador where I just arrived this evening. I am currently staying in Hotel Quito and departing early tomorrow morning to Cuenca via plane. I will arrive around 8:15 AM, my host family will be present to greet and welcome me there! My travels went quite well and relatively uneventfully (this is positive) considering last week`s first attempt.
From what I can gather Quito is quite beautiful, rolling foothills, cosmopolitan, un-polluted, and incredibly friendly! I am sorry that I will not have the opportunity to further explore it--at least for now. The hotel in which I am staying is quite nice, and although I am feeling lonely and anxious with uncertainty, I am hopeful that these feelings will subside by tomorrow when I arrive into Cuenca. I will be picked tomorrow morning at 6:00 by a man who acted as a tour guide for the group of students (with whom I will be studying this semester) last week during their stay in Quito...so he is well familiarized with my program. I had the pleasure and comfort of calling my boyfriend, Mike this evening from the hotel...I wanted to also try to call my parents however, due to the time change I knew that it would be too late. It was so wonderful to be able to speak to him, I found it so settling, comforting, and put me at great ease...I can go to bed not feeling so alone.
That, I´m araid is all the update I have for you...I can`t wait to share tomorrow`s experiences, as it is sure to be an eventful day!
xoxo-Lex

Posted by A Burrows 21:31 Comments (1)

Cuenca, Ecuador, here I come!

Revised Departure date: January 23rd.

Hello, Hello, Hello!!!
I am now fully equipped to go to Ecuador, I have a new passport, visa, and place ticket!
I will depart tomorrow (Tuesday) morning from Chicago at 10:35(CST) and arrive in Miami around 2:30 (EST). I will then depart for Ecuador around 5:00 PM. I will arrive in Quito at 9:00 and spend the night, wake up early and take a small jet to Cuenca. My host family will meet me at the airport and we shall go from there!
Although my time in Chicago as been a true delight, my accomodations:posh, and my experience: self-affirming, I am so ready to proceed!
Once again, thank you to all who have sent their warmest regards, it has been what's kept me going!
I love you all!
Lex

Posted by A Burrows 10:45 Comments (3)

I got my passport!

Jubilation!

Yay Yay Yay!!!
Jubilation and elation! I just returned from the Chicago passport agency where I successfully retrieved a new passport after nearly three hours of waiting. My initial appointment to get my passport was at 1:00 but did actually receive it until around 3:40...I am so thrilled. The only unfortunate thing was that by the time I received my passport, the Ecuadorian Consulate was already closed and therefore I must wait until Monday in order to get my passport stamped with a visa. No worries, I should be able to make my flight deadline which is on Tuesday morning.
So for the time being I am just taking advantage of my time in Chicago as a "mini-vacation". :)
..will continue to keep you posted! :)

Posted by A Burrows 14:04 Comments (2)

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