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  • Fifty-three things I've learned on my study abroad in Ecuador.

    In Ecuador....

    1. …There is very little agricultural machinery, much still done by hand

    2. …Garage doors are building fronts for safety

    3. …There are large valleys in the side of the road for water drainage

    4. …Seat belts, speed limits, and lights are the three main laws of the road

    5. …Parking assistants are tipped

    6. …Salesman walk in between cars at lights

    7. …Riobamba is "Frio"bamba

    8. …Cumbaya is 7,000 feet closer to the sun than Kansas

    9. …150 feet change from Cumbaya to Quito

    10. …TV news stations and some commercials have sign language

    11. …There are female police

    12. …Police conduct traffic during rush hour

    13. …Buildings at universities are named after famous dead people

    14. …There are different plus some usual car brands

    15. …Chimborazo is higher than the whole continental United States

    16. …Quito is a long and now wide city because it is in a valley in between mountains

    17. …Bartering is a form of agreeing on pricing

    18. …Most houses are made of cinderblock or mud

    19. …Maids are not uncommon house help

    20. …Ecuadorians can strongly disagree but avoid arguing

    21. …When selling eggs and milk, they are not refrigerated

    22. …Children typically stay at home until they marry

    23. …Flower/roses are really cheap

    24. …Lunch is the main meal - with a soup, main course, and dessert

    25. …The Andes, the equator, and the oceanic currents have a large impact upon climate

    26. …Electrical wiring going to houses is an engineer's nightmare

    27. …There are different groups of police officers (security, traffic, etc.)

    28. …Ecuador is an almost perfect balance between extreme security and friendliness

    29. …There is a strong presence of security in the city, businesses, and on the street

    30. …Buses tend to have one person who drives and one who collects money

    31. …There are more female veterinarians than in the United States

    32. …People have a shorter stature than in the United States

    33. …Family is close and is a key part of an individual’s life

    34. …The pace of life is slower than in the United States

    35. …The dollar goes farther than in the United States


    36. Syncing of audio to pre-taped video in a lot of reality TV

    37. Manual is better than automatic transmission at high altitudes

    38. Mountains give a sense of location/direction

    39. Political turmoil does not mean cultural instability

    40. Mountains also give a person the feeling that they are not far from the "country side" or untouched nature

    41. Mora tea is good for altitude sickness

    42. An elementary understanding of a language can go a long way

    43. People from different backgrounds, classes, and experiences have different views of the present [politics] - (rich versus poor, indigenous versus mestizo, etc.)

    44. Everybody has a unique story, no matter how perfect they may seem

    45. If raised correctly, children do not need such a tight rein when being cared for (seen at the preschool)

    46. Stray dogs are keen and have their own social structure (observation)


    47. Even when given an opportunity, some people do not take advantage of it

    48. Being constantly in the presence of Americans inhibits one's ability to interact and learn about foreign cultures

    49. I've fallen in love with Ecuador

    50. I need to broaden my avenues for leaning while in college

    51. I need to look for progress and not just completion

    52. I need to look for positives/strengths and not negatives/problems in any situation

    53. If you are open, meaningful experiences will happen even if nothing is planned
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