The crazy thing about studying abroad is that you think you’ll have ample time to utilize blogging as a means of processing the chaos surrounding your daily schedule, but that’s really not the case. I suppose the fact that I’m able to sit and write now is a miracle in itself, so Praise the Lawd for that.
Program orientation ended about 2 weeks ago, and all the students have begun to get into the hang of our busy schedules. I’m a news and radio intern at Reach Beyond, otherwise known as HCJB Global, and I walk to work three mornings a week for four hours. Everything is in Spanish, so not only is it a challenge to complete tasks in a different language, but my brain physically hurts from attempting to understand all of the directions given to me solely in Spanish.
After that, I have the absolute pleasure of riding public transportation from work to Spanish school across town. I don’t even think the idea of “personal space” exists when on the bus, and I’m automatically a larger target of theft because I’m a gringa. As if that’s not overwhelming enough, I am in Spanish class for three more hours.
Outside of the responsibilities that come with the aforementioned activities are my Spiritual Formation and History of Ecuador classes. Oh, and not to forget that there’s a whole community of students and staff that I’m attempting to understand on an authentic level. Plus, my introvert tendencies require that I have time to myself to recuperate from the stresses of the day.
Uhh, what. And I’m supposed to have my shit together through this all? Ha, that’s a good joke.
The answer is in the problem, I suppose – my schedule could actually be my saving grace.
It’s all about perspective; maybe the fact that I don’t get to sleep in anymore (and if you know me, you know that I’m devastated about it) is a great thing because I’m able to actively experience a day in the life of an Ecuadorian. Maybe the fact that I’m overwhelmed about the ungodly amount of Spanish that my poor brain undergoes on a daily basis is a wonderful sign that I’m a normal human being whose mind is being challenged in a healthy way. Maybe if my schedule wasn’t pushing my known limits, I would end this semester with regrets that I hadn’t made the most of the opportunities in Quito.
Needless to say, I’m sure I’ll have moments of complete and utter devastation as I experience diva-like mental breakdowns – I look forward to them. With the hard times come unexpected growth and unforeseen moments of the sublime. I’m sure you’ll hear about them in the future.
On another note, I’m going into the Amazon Jungle for 4 days on Thursday. If you don’t hear from me after Sunday, a monstrous bug from hell probably ate me.
Hasta luego, amigos.