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Published: January 30th 2020
Looking back at my experience in Ecuador as a whole, one of the things that stands out to me the most is the hospitality we experienced.
Obviously the first brush we had with hospitality here was with our host families in Quito. They treated us just like their own children. They took time to ask how we enjoyed our day and we spent a lot of time at meals just learning about each other and just being present together. It will be a long time before I forget how it felt to sit down to dinner with some bread and cheese, laughing and joking. They even offered their house for the future if either Matt or I come back to Ecuador. Their openness and acceptance made it so fun to be a part of Quito for a little while.
Another thing which I think really shows Ecuadorian hospitality was their willingness to be patient with people who are learning Spanish. More than just the host family, people at restaurants, at the mall, and just people on the street weren’t annoyed at all that my Spanish wasn’t quite as good as theirs. They were very considerate and made sure that
I understood everything I needed to. I was really glad that this was the case, and I think that it made the trip so much more enjoyable. Because of their friendliness, I could better practice my language skills and felt a lot more confident in my ability to navigate the country.
In the US, the hospitality takes on such a different form. It’s all about having money to be able to support your guests and there’s just a very clear distinction between the family and the guests. In Ecuador though, everyone just belongs as family. I’m not used to such a strong family dynamic, but even despite that I found it refreshing to be included and just to be a part of the house. I wouldn’t say it’s objectively a better way to live, but I do think that the hospitality leads to a much more positive and friendly atmosphere.
(for grading purposes, this reflection is Relational)
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