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Mackenzie in Ecuador

Favorite Memories

I don’t really know ho two start this post, because I can’t believe I’m actually at the end of my four months in Ecuador. It is completely bittersweet and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet. I leave Saturday night close to midnight. Then, I get into Minneapolis around 10:30 a.m. and will be on a flight at 3:30pm to go to Europe! The amount of “oh my god you’re insane” comments I have gotten when people hear about my quick turnaround doesn’t even phase me. I […]

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Life is Good

A lot has changed in the 2 weeks since I last updated the blog! As my mom (real mom from the states) says, “I can tell when you’re happier there because you don’t have time to talk or skype!” I have been keeping busy the past two weeks after a change of location and internship. After 5 days in Otavalo, I was still really unhappy and homesick and not enjoying my time there. Our internships are only 5 weeks long and it is hard to switch after the first week. […]

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Homesickness is for Real

Studying abroad is hard. Sometimes I underestimate that fact and act like its no big deal and that I could travel for the rest of my life… or at least my 20’s. But the truth is being abroad is really difficult at times. Yes, a lot of it is one big adventure of traveling the country on weekends, meeting amazing new people, and trying new things. And although there have been ups and downs, I have overall had an amazing experience so far…and its not over yet! On Monday I […]

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All You Need is Ecuador

Tomorrow marks 9 weeks in Ecuador as well as the end of the classroom phase of my study abroad program. When I think of all that I have learned, gone through, the places I have traveled, and the people that have become my best friends and new family, 9 weeks seems like so little time. It feels as if I have been here four months already. I am so comfortable in my neighborhood and with my family, but with the halfway point comes more change to disrupt that comfort. Tomorrow […]

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That time I became obsessed with the beach and started eating ceviche

Hola! This week I am in my seventh and final week of classes, and I am reminded that I am here to study too, not just travel and have fun. Although…We still find plenty of time for fun and travel, like this past weekend :) We had Friday off of school so three of my friends and I headed to the coast again for a beach weekend! It was a blast. We went to a town called Canoa, about 6 hours away by bus. It is a small surfing town […]

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New Favorite Holiday

A lot has happened since my last post about my adventurous weekend! We have been going on a lot of small trips for school. We are all in different “tracks” for our focus of study and for what our internship will be about. I am in the education track with two other girls and it’s been a lot of fun. We have been going to some towns in and around Quito to observe classrooms and learn more firsthand about the education system here. It has been really interesting and eye […]

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Weekend in Baños

This past weekend me and 6 other girls went to Baños. It is a small town about 3.5 hours south of Quito. It was seriously the most fun I’ve ever had, and the most beautiful place I have ever visited! The town itself was small and charming and was a nice change of pace compared to the busy, crowded atmosphere in Quito. It reminded me of an Ecuador version of Boulder, Colorado. Surrounded by mountains and adventurous activities, and filled with hippies and backpackers. Luckily, we chose the perfect hostel […]

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The Perfect Weekend

“An amazing thing happens when you get honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born.” Love this quote […]

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2 Weeks In

I’ve officially been in Ecuador for two weeks now, but it feels like I’ve been here a month already. Now that I have gone through culture shock and all that fun stuff I feel like I am actually living here, not just on a vacation. I feel really comfortable in the city, at school, at my house, and with all the people that are part of my Quito life. Last week was a very fun week filled with classes, swimming laps at the city workout pool, tea time, trivia night, […]

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Nueva Familia and an Irish Superbowl

Hola! It has been an eventful past couple of days. On Friday morning my class left at 7:00 am to go on an overnight trip to a small mountain town called San Jose de Las Minas. It was definitely my favorite part of this semester so far! It is hard to believe I have only been here for a week. It feels like a month! The drive to Minas was so beautiful. I only wish I would have been able to see more of it. Gracias to my friend Kelly […]

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Adjusting

I am loving my time here in Quito so far. It is a beautiful city and so different than anything I’ve ever experienced before, like the entire city losing power tonight for an hour. I am attempting to try everything and keep an open mind with every challenge or difference that I come across. That being said, I’ve been having a difficult time with my living situation. I absolutely love my host mom and dad. They are both so nice and very caring. They respect my space when I go […]

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Spanish Overload

I have finally made it to Quito, Ecuador! After meeting up with 5 girls from the program at the MSP airport, we flew into Atlanta where we had a three hour layover. Almost all of the rest of the students in the program met up with us at the Atlanta airport. It was a 5 hour flight but it went by super fast! I watched a movie then luckily was able to sleep the rest of the time. Flying into Quito was very exciting because it finally felt “real” that […]

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19 Hours Away

Tomorrow morning I take off for what I hope is to be a life changing experience. I will be spending the spring semester studying and interning in Ecuador. I decided to keep a blog while I am gone so that my friends and family can stay updated on my experiences there, but also for myself so that I can remember and look back on this experience in years to come. Why study abroad? Studying abroad has been my dream for a long time. However, I pushed it to the back […]

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