Posts Tagged ‘study abroad’

Life in the Clouds #ecuadorgroupselfies

This past weekend has been super busy and really fun! Saturday we went on a Quito City Tour with our BC group. I walked with another girl who lives close to me to the fútbol stadium a few blocks away where we all met up and got on our bus!

The first place we went is called El Panecillo and it’s a huge hill that gives you a great view of the city.

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At El Panecillo is a huge statue of the Virgin Mary, tuberculosis who protects the city. Those tentacles she’s stepping on represent demonic forces/Satan that she has crushed. At the time of the statue’s installation, resuscitator the Virgin was facing the entire city and protecting all of Quito. But since then, more has been added to Quito and much of it is impoverished housing. So the people who live in that part of Quito say that she has her back turned to them.

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Then we headed to the Historical Center of Quito, which was super pretty! There were lots of colorful houses. We saw the President’s house (top left)–it’s not where the President lives, only where he works. We also visited two churches–La Iglesia San Francisco and a Jesuit church as well, both built around 1570. They were both absolutely beautiful and so ornate–everything was coated in gold. We ate at a restaurant here and it was super rico (yummy). Steak is pretty cheap here so almost all of us had it and it was quite tasty!

8.23.6Then we headed to the volcano Pululahua. This volcano is still active, although there hasn’t been an eruption in around 500 years. Still I would not want to take the risk that a whole community is taking by living and farming inside this volcanic crater! Yes, that’s right! The elevation is so high that we were literally standing inside a cloud which was both amazing and cold. At first we couldn’t see anything inside of the crater:

8.23.4But then the wind shifted and we got to see a little glimpse of the community that lives below:

8.23.3That was a really special view :)

I’m really loving the group of BC students studying abroad with me and I feel like they get me because they are totally on board with my love for group selfies! Here was our first group selfie. Everything is white around us because we are in a cloud! (You can find us at #ecuadorgroupselfies).

8.23.1After this we went to La Mitad de Mundo, the center of the earth! I’m so happy I wore my pretty sandals because I, of course, had to take a picture of my feet as I straddled the equator.

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And here we had to do our second group selfie :) Of course you can’t really tell where we are but oh well!

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Last night most of us went out to the Foch, which is the area of clubs and restaurants. Yes, guys, I went clubbing. So not in my comfort zone but I actually had a lot of fun :)

Today we went to Papallacta, which is a hot spring that is fed by waters heated by a volcano! I don’t have a picture of it but just imagine crowded outdoor hot tubs. It was nice but we were scheduled to be there for 5 hours which was a little overkill! We stayed a couple hours and then took our bus back and then got ice cream at the mall. Today we did another group selfie, this time on the bus with “not-impressed” faces in response to the Papallacta thermal waters. Although I enjoyed myself :)

8.24.1I can’t believe I’ve only been in Ecuador for a little over a week. It feels much longer! Classes will start this Wednesday and I’m excited to get into more of a routine here.

God continues to be so faithful to me here. I’ve continued to have sweet times with the Lord and today I finished reading The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. It was one of the best things I’ve ever read. I’m so glad my friend told me to read it since so many people write it off and skip it when reading the Chronicles of Narnia. Don’t skip it, people! There’s one chapter with Aslan that is so powerful–I was blown away by the goodness of God and just crying at how amazing He is. I feel like it added a lot of insight for my Lion of God research, which I’m loving :) I have a lot of blog posts I want to write and I’m going to try to alternate those with my Ecuador updates. Thank you all who keep checking in on me and praying for me! God is so amazing and so good and He keeps surprising me and amazing me with his love and affection every day :)

The Start of My Adventure!

adventures in ecuadorTomorrow morning I am leaving for Ecuador! I will be studying abroad in Quito for my entire Junior year.

Several years ago I applied to be a part of a National Geographic student expedition where I would have the opportunity to travel to another country and do photography. I had to choose with countries I wanted to go to most and for some reason my first choice was Ecuador. I knew nothing about Ecuador and to this day I have no idea why that was my first choice (when I had other options like Spain, dermatologist Italy, web Australia, plague Iceland, etc. to choose from). But Ecuador was my first choice! However, I ended up not getting a scholarship to go and so I didn’t go to Ecuador.

A year or two after that, a group of people from my church were planning a mission trip to Ecuador and I was ready to go. However, the mission trip never materialized and so I didn’t go.

A few weeks into my freshman year of college I was in bed getting ready to fall asleep when God said, “Why don’t you study abroad in Ecuador?” and I said, “Sounds good!” The next day I looked up my university’s study abroad programs and turns out there was one in Ecuador and it had everything I wanted–a host family program, awesome trips, everything in Spanish, and a great psychology program! This program was made for me and it was finally time for me to go to Ecuador.

I’m not sure why Ecuador is significant for me but I know that God has called me to this nation for His purposes.

I’ve had some super sweet times with the Lord this summer. I’ve received more words and pictures from Him and words from other people than I ever have before. One of my biggest words for Ecuador is to step out with a heart of adventure. I’m excited for God to continue cultivating a heart of adventure in me during this school year.

I plan on blogging a lot during my time in Quito, both about the adventures I’m having and about the usual theology, psychology, etc. But for now, here are some things you can be praying for me for this first semester!

~Fun classes
~Great volunteer placement
~Increased Spanish ability
~Strong friendships and sense of community
~Thriving faithgroups
~Blessing over my host family
~Safety–that nothing will be stolen and that I’ll feel safe during my time in Ecuador
~No migraines!
~Deep intimacy with the Lord
~Revival!

I look forward to writing more…my next post will be from Ecuador!