by Armani Hawes, Greenheart Travel Volunteer in Ecuador
I can’t believe I’ve been here for almost two weeks! My time in Ecuador is really flying by. From the moment I stepped off the plane, it has been a surreal experience. Half of the time, I still can’t believe that I’m actually here. So far, I think my Spanish is definitely improving. I can understand more and more each day and my vocabulary is constantly growing.
It can, however, be frustrating at times because I know what I want to say and I know how to say it in English, but I have no idea how to say it in Spanish! But, everyone has been very understanding, waiting patiently as I search through my Spanish-English dictionary.
I’ve been working in the Hospital Eugenio Espejo in Quito and in a clinic in Cumbaya, where I live. The hospital is amazing and the two doctors I’m working with are very smart and nice. We begin the day at 7 in the morning going from room to room checking up on patients. This part can be difficult for a few reasons. First, I don’t understand some of the terms the doctors use in Spanish OR English, so I write everything down and look it up later, first understanding what it means in English and then learning the Spanish term. It can also be hard to see the pain the patients are dealing with, especially the ones on the pediatric floor. Other than that, I love being at the hospital and I continue to learn new things each day.
So far I’ve experienced the throwing up, almost passing out, and diarrhea that comes with travel. But, that’s all a part of it and the great experiences far outweigh the not so great ones, so it’s all good! I’ve visited Quito and the Mitad del Mundo and have plans to see many more amazing places in Ecuador. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 weeks have in store for me.