Yep, despite the widespread belief that “study” in study abroad is a hoax, I do actually have classes. I’m learning a lot of Spanish, and the vocab and cultural lessons I’m being taught in class are popping up por doquier (all over). Making jokes using our vocab words is en apogeo (very popular) right now. See what I just did there?

My four classes are Ecuadorian Culture, Colonial History of Ecuador, Advanced Conversation, and Andean Anthropology. My favorite class is certainly conversation. Not only do we get to debate, joke, and laugh around for an hour and a half twice a week, but Claudia (the professor) is hilarious. Here we call our teachers by their first name. Our class sizes here are smaller than at OSU, whichs helps for having dynamic and interesting conversations.

I also enjoy my history class, since it is almost entirely gringo-free. This allows me to meet Ecuadorians and it helps my Spanish a lot. For my current project in the class, a hypothetical scenario from aboriginal Ecuadorian history, my group (Pablo, Gaby, Dani, Nicole, and Ale) was completely fascinated by Google docs, which I found amusing. They like joking around with me and I’ve become good friends with them. I’ve also learned from them a lot of Spanish words used by jovenes – like cacho (“jk”), chevere (“cool, awesome”), chuta (“oh shoot, darnnit”, my favorite), and a few others that I’ve thoughtfully left off this post.

Nevertheless, where I learn the culture and language most is outside of school. I learn while talking to the cab driver. I learn while talking to my host mom over lunch. I learn while bargaining at the market. Obviously making mistakes helps too. When I pay too much for a shirt, forget to ask for consumidor final, or get on an over-crowded ecovia bus, I learn a lot more than if I hadn’t made that mistake.

I don’t have a picture, maybe I’ll add one at some point, so instead I’ll end with a joke. How many people fit on an Ecuadorian bus? Ten more!

Till next week,