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Britanny: the Cevallos, my Ecuadorian family

September 10, 2010
  • Santiago: the father; works from home and sells cell phones and laptops.
  • Valeriqa: (Viche) the mother; works in an office (not sure exactly where or what, but I think she is the assistant for someone important).
  • María: the grandma but she is rarely home.
  • Oscar: 10 years old.
  • Daniel: (Daní) 3 years old.
  • Palmita: Santiago also has a 17-year-old daughter who I just met the other day. I think she lives with her mom somewhere else and visits on the weekends.

They live in a two-level house really close to my school—5 minutes by bus and 20 minutes walking. The downstairs has a good-sized living and dining room, the kitchen, a hallway bathroom, and my room with its connecting bathroom. My room is about the size of my room in Kansas City. Upstairs there are three other bedrooms, a bathroom and a TV watching area.

Their house is in a neighborhood-like area directly off a busy road.  There are a bunch of identical-looking, white houses. Each house has a small yard in front with a fence around it, and then around the entire neighborhood has a very tall fence with a security guard at a gate that opens for cars and people.  ‘Neighborhood’ isn’t quite the right word, but I’m not sure what else to call it. It feels like a neighborhood—the family knows the other families and Oscar and Daní play with a lot of the neighbor kids.  The gate is nice because it allows all the kids to be able to play outside together and ride bikes without worrying about traffic. It’s also good for the obvious security it provides, which is definitely an issue here in Quito.

Of course it was a little weird at first, but after a week I’m already really comfortable with everyone. (Except María who I have had like one conversation with and never see). Since Santiago works from home I see him the most. We always eat breakfast together and during the first week he rode the bus with me to and from school. Oscar is hilarious—he loves movies and music, especially Kiss and ACDC and, of course, reggatón. Daní cracks me up too. We usually play together for an hour or so after school. He throws a lot of temper tantrums but its more funny than anything else. He clenches his fists and literally shakes with three-year-old rage. Check out a few of the photos with captions below…

–Brittany Libra

Sorry, all of these were taken at dusk so they’re a little dark. 1) Daní posing for me. 2) Front of the house. 3) Dining area. 4) Living room. 5) Kitchen.

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