Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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the south

So I don’t really like blogs… but here goes my first online account of my experiences in Ecuador. Slash other side note this was written a long while ago and just posted now.

I got here about seven weeks ago, which seems like a long time but it has defiantly blown by. One of the questions im supposed to answer is about cultural differences and such. Here are a few that I have learned while abroad:

1. When following an Ecuadorian to a destination, no matter where you are your always “almost there” or the destination is just over that hill. I had one experience when backpacking through the forest where my friends and I were a “half hour away” for three hours. If that sentience does not make sense at first re read it a few times and it will.

2. Knowing how to get there and being able to explain how to get there are very different things. On the way to one of my backpacking trips, I got lost and forgot my map so I had to ask directions. I luckily knew the general direction I wished to go but needed to know specifics. When I asked some of the locals in the town I was in, I literally got a different answer from each person I asked. Some even pointed to roads I knew for a fact did not exist. And when I finally got to an internet cafe much later, they turned out to all be wrong. In Ecuadorian culture it is embarrassing to say that you do not know so, everyone will pretend as though they do…. when in reality in all likelihood they probably don’t. So I’m supposed to comment on a part of the culture I don’t like, and I feel that the reason for not liking this is rather self explanatory…. I get lost.

3. Finally one other major difference, is how they eat. Im generally hungry an hour or so after I eat breakfast which consists of a variety of things but in my house it almost always consists of fruit, bread and cheese. This hunger is easily tamed by a tasty chicken empanada purchased for cheap price of anywhere between fifty cents and two dollars. Lunch, my grandmother pushes as much food on me as my belly can hold. Food is kinda like a sign of love here so I guess Im well loved. However so much love sometimes results in cramps after walking up the three flights of stairs to my room. Dinner is coffee…… and you guessed it (or probably didn’t)  bread and cheese again. All and all the food here is awesome. The fruit is insanely delicious, cheap and accessible but i defiantly miss my kale and spinach. Oh and milk.

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