Hasta Pronto, Ecuador!
—by Morgan Wright
Hasta pronto, not Adios, was the farewell given to all of my friends and community members in Ecuador on my last day in country, June 12th 2014. It was with a very torn heart that I left Ecuador, knowing I may never see some of these people again.
When you join the Peace Corps they always tell you it will be harder to leave your host country than it was to leave the United States. This was extremely true for me. You make such great and wonderful friends and share so many life changing experiences it makes it very hard to leave. Not that it wasn’t hard to leave the United States and my family and all of the comforts that I had had all of my life, because it was. It is just a very different feeling leaving the country and friends I have served for the last three years, especially knowing that I may never see some of them again.
As one arrives to their host country there is culture shock, everything is different, the food, language, culture, etc. But when one comes back to the United States you experience what is called reverse culture shock. Even though it is the country I grew up in, it seems as though it is even more of a foreign country than where I just came from. The prices of things, everyone being on their cell phones and not having real conversations, fast food, very little public transportation, the food, and the list goes on and on. Not everything is bad or negative, just different, and it will take some getting used to. One really starts to miss the simplicity of a rice and beans dinner, the long conversations with neighbors, leisurely bus rides to get to the market, and overall, just a more simple lifestyle.
I am eternally grateful to the Ecuadorian people for their warm hospitality, caring attitudes and overall happiness, which always brightened my days. For the time being I had to say good-bye to my friends in Ecuador, but I will be going back to visit soon. Ecuador is such an amazing country and really has everything within its small borders. With its beautiful landscapes, rich culture and warm people one cannot stay away from a country like Ecuador for too long.
Being in the Peace Corps is an experience that will truly change your life and make you look at the world in a different way. I would like to thank all of the wonderful Ecuadorian people I have met and become friends with during my time in Ecuador. I learned so much from them and they taught me so much more than I could have ever taught them. Also I would like to thank the Peace Corps Ecuador staff and fellow volunteers for all of their support and guidance. And I cannot forget to thank my family who supported me here from the States and put up with my broken English for three years of static-filled Skype calls.