Sam: Last day of classes

October 21, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day of classes. I use that term lightly, because we really only hand in our essay, some groups present, and then we have a debriefing before lunch. After that it’s all downhill until Monday. On that day, I leave at about eight in the morning for Otavalo to meet with my boss and my family. After that brief meeting, I’ll be off to settle in and possible begin my internship that same day.

It’s going to be very different. I’ll be going from an urban setting with two older parents and an older brother, all of whom have their own busy lives, to a village with three younger siblings and two dogs. Right now, I’m ready for all of that, but who’s to say once I am working 30 hour weeks, writing an ethnography, and still trying to enjoy the culture and the experience.

I’m sure I will learn a lot from my internship and my new family. Without CIMAS and a room full of English-speakers, my language skills should greatly improve just by living my life as normal. I’ll miss my classmates and my free time, but it’s high time to begin the independent part of the program and, quite honestly, I’m ready to be done with Quito. I’ve had some good times in this city, but keeping an eye on security and relying on taxis for everything gets old very fast.

Peguche is a small village predominantly composed of Kichwa artisans. Hopefully this means I will be able to relax a bit and get to know my neighbors. Otavalo, while a bit larger, is still by no means Quito. The main crime problem in Otavalo is pickpocketing among the crowds on market days. Since I no longer carry a wallet and won’t have much cash on me at any time being a “local,” I can’t see myself having any problems. The only real problems I need to remember are natural: I especially need to check what I eat and drink (for the first few weeks at least) and I need to maintain altitude and sun precautions, as Inti will still be disposed to char my tender flesh.

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