On August 22nd Christopher, Alden, Tatiana, and I boarded our flight in PDX and were finally Ecuador-bound!

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A layover in Los Angeles was followed suit by a long flight to Lima, Peru. The Lima to Quito connection was the shortest and of course most exciting, as I got stunning views of the ice-capped Andes, with surreal blue glacial lakes and miles of drifting clouds.

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The first week in Ecuador was a whirlwind of excitement, confusion, and adventure. From the popcorn soup to the crazy buses to the intimidating orientation, the adventurous side of me knew we had chosen the right place to study abroad!

My first week in Ecuador, I may have learned more than I will learn in any other week of my entire life. The thrill of being immersed in a new language and meeting new people began my first night; after arriving at Quito’s airport and meeting my host family, I was almost immediately rushed to a family reunion, where I tasted a host of unusual foods and nervously enjoyed the live music. Before the week was up, I’d explored the city of Quito, attended my first classes in Ecuador, and traveled to the tropical paradise of Mindo.

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