I used to think I speak spanish. Ha-ha.
It’s been six days. Honestly, I can’t believe it. We have been thrown into the middle of life in Quito and I’m sure my brain is experiencing information overload. On top of the VERY long days where I don’t have any downtime to process or chillax, Ecuadorian culture is all about community gatherings, which means all people, all day.
As God would ordain it, I have a wonderful familia Ecuatoriana. I now have a mama, papito, y two hermanos, un hombre y una mujer. I am living in Tumbaco, which is basically like what Queens is to Manhattan. It has its own subculture and a LOT of history. Mi papito has 10 brothers and sisters so I’ve been meeting family all day long since it’s Saturday.
But about this Spanish tho… I really put myself on a pedestal before I arrived! I mean, I’ve traveled to many spanish speaking countries, I’ve been serious about my self-studies… but being a tourist is VERY different than being a local. Spanish is expected here. I mean, a guy stopped me on the street when I was walking home alone and started asking me for directions and I couldn’t help him out, lol. Almost sent him in the wrong direction, but he forgave me. YIKES.
But it’s only been six days. I’m in Quito for 3 meses. “Arie, tranquila!” is what mi mama keep telling me. Little by little (poco por poco), I will grow.
I am very happy to have a family here that has opened their arms wide to take me in as their own, literally. I keep being told “don’t be afraid, don’t be shy, this is your home now. You are Ecuadorian, you are a Quiteña, you are a Tumbacaña.” And that makes me feel like I am on the right track.