I hung out with friends!

You see, I know that doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment but, believe me, it is!

To give you an idea, I am somewhere in the red circle, the rest of the girls live with the blue, and the Andina is the yellow dot.

I have been living with my host family for almost a week now and I can say they are truly great. I am quite enjoying the cultural and linguistic opportunity! As much as I love this family though, as I realised on Tuesday, I don’t like how distant from the other girls I am.

It had seemed like we were all going to be close enough to each other to walk to each other’s houses, take the same busses, and share taxis home. Well, to be fair, most of the other girls can do this… just not me. This knowledge did manage to bother me quite a bit on Tuesday when I realised that even though all the other girls were busing to school together and hanging out at each other’s houses, I hadn’t been.

Though, that doesn’t mean I can never see them, as is proven by my title! The real issue is that I am not even two weeks into the program, so I don’t know how to get everywhere by bus yet, and my taxi-safety training was mildly confusing. After explaining my fear of isolation to Maria, she decided to call my host mom, who proceeded to call Emily’s. Our mom’s arranged a play-date for us and soon enough I was getting driven over to Emily’s apartment.

Talking to her and finding out she too was feeling the same way helped me to feel a little bit less alone. I met her adorable mom, and we talked to a few hours, it was incredibly comforting after having hardly seen any of the girls for days.

Having decided to make a more conscious effort to be social, today after class I walked around with Kiki, Lauretta and Rebecca for a bit. Lauretta and Kiki went home fairly quickly so as not to miss lunch but me and Becca continued our wandering until at long last we found scarves for me!! (Backstory: I have so many nice scarves at home in Canada, so many that it was literally impossible to choose and narrow it down to pack some, so I didn’t pack ANY! Which, for one, sucks because scarves are pretty and make your limited supply of clothes into cuter outfits, and two, because I desperately required something to cover my nose and mouth with while on the polluted streets.)

And so, with only $11USD on me, I managed to not only get a scarf but also a cute pair of comfy-cat pants!

I was super excited about this, but I am even more excited to visit the Otavalo Market (hopefully this Saturday morning). I really want…well… if we are being honest- everything- but I will settle for a bunch of alpaca blankets, an (or a couple) alpaca wool sweater and scarf, an embroidered duffle bag, maybe a slouchy cross-body bag, and definitely some cute stuff for people bag home.


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