A whirlwind of emotions have assaulted me as this journey approached. “New” is the word that has come out of my mouth more times than I can count over the last few months. I am graduating college in the search of a new job, a new house, and a new community. To add to that I have been preparing for an experience unlike any I’ve ever had before in a new continent, a new culture, a new language, and new, unknown people. What thoughts have crossed my mind? Excitement that I will be trekking out into a new world to learn and expand my mind. Anxiety about the unknown- will I be able to get from place to place when I need to, will I have WiFi to secure my new job for the fall, will my picky eating habits get in the way? Fear that I will not be able to understand the people around me and Hope that I will learn new things to bring back to my classroom as a teacher in the fall.

Sure, I have prepared. I did my research, packed my bug spray, and bought a Spanish dictionary. I found one of those fancy fanny packs that keeps your money hidden and I bought a hammock (isn’t that a requirement for journeys like this?). I have two suitcases that weigh an ungodly amount with brand new luggage tags, but nothing can prepare me for the unknown. What will it really be like in Ecuador? To ease my fears and worries I have read all that I could find online about the culture I am about to enter, practiced my spanish, and packed more snacks than I can ever eat. I know this will be an unforgettable experience and I am excited about the journey that awaits.

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