Week 1 of the rest of my life… for the next two years…

Hello once again everyone!

Since the last time we spoke, I have not only become an official Peace Corps volunteer but I have also officially traveled across Ecuador to move to Celica, Loja!

It was a pretty epic trip to say the least!

This last week, like every other week, was… Crazy! (why change things now!?)

First, we had our swearing-in ceremony! For those of you that couldn’t make it (aka everyone) it pretty much looked like this…

crazy-celebration

Then finally after 3 months of training and forming into an inseparable Peace Corps family, we all had to leave our Ecua-security blankets back in Tumbaco and venture out…

Alone…

To our sites….

tumblr_ls21xio6tz1qldb3b

It was challenging to say the least.

Honestly, repacking everything was probably the hardest part… Why did I think I needed all this stuff!?

packing

packing 2

Well fortunately for me I didn’t have to travel the whole way alone! I got to travel with two of my besties part of the way so the transition wasn’t so traumatic… However, the bus rides were!

The entire way we were traveling in the mountains and passing other cars on blind turns and it felt like we were going to either do this…

bus crash

Or this….

driving_off_a_cliff

And the entire time we were like…

shocked

jack-scared

And when I finally got to Celica I was like…

hallelujah

Needless to say, I’ll be thinking twice about traveling out of site anytime soon…

So now I’m officially in Celica for the next 2 years! Woot!

I know everyone is wanting to see what it’s like so here is a picture I took from my window…

celica

It’s pretty amazing isn’t it!?

Sorry I couldn’t help myself… I’ll try to post some REAL pictures soon though…

Well, after traveling/fearing for my life for 18 hours when I got to my room I was like…

exhausted

So on Saturday I managed to hole myself up in my house, ALL DAY! Impressive, I know…

Little Peace Corps fun fact… During training we were told multiple times to accept every invitation so we can integrate into our community faster… well…on this aforementioned Saturday I declined one invitation so I could spend the day rearranging my furniture/unpacking and then begrudgingly accepted an invitation to go out dancing that night… Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been so upset about going out dancing! Later however, the dancing got cancelled and I was elated that I could sit alone in my room on a Saturday night… All I could say to myself was… What is wrong with you!?

emotionally-compromised

The next day I got to learn a little more about Ecuadorian culture when my host family took me to a neighboring town to “have lunch” with the extended family. While we were there I met TONS of people, ate A LOT of goat… and I mean A LOT… and parts that I’m not even sure what they were… But as usual I was like…

patrick-eating

Well lunch turned into dinner and we ended up getting back to our house around 7:30pm? Sooooooo I have now learned that I should only accept a lunch invitation if I do not have any other plans for the rest of the day. Luckily for me though, my evening plans got cancelled so I didn’t have to upset anyone. 🙂

 

Soooooooo after my weekend of fun and relaxation I got to have my first official work day in Celica on Monday!

In the morning I went to the market and greeted everyone that I walked past and they were all pretty much like…

dr-mccoy-and-captain-kirk-approve

But while I was in the store I could feel people being like…

cat-peeking-window

I made sure I went to the small store that actually has a register/scanner so I wouldn’t get cheated on prices since I’m a giant white girl.

I then wandered around the actual market trying to find honey and was told $8, $20 and $12 for the EXACT SAME BOTTLE! I was like…

RUDE

But now I know that I’m gonna have to go to shopping with an Ecuadorian friend, at least until they know me…

As for the rest of my work day, in the afternoon we had a meeting with the president of the youth group….. and that was my first day at work!

Needless to say, the pace is a lot slower here than in the States, but I’m really happy about that because adjusting is pretty difficult… Honestly, just getting out of the house is a personal challenge…

On the outside I look like….

Smooth

But on the inside I’m more like…

tumblr_inline_mhjol0wpCs1qz4rgp

However, I’m so glad that I’ve done this before and I know what it feels like and I know that after time the awkward goes away and then you’re just you in another part of the world!

Well, now that I’ve moved I know people are curious about my new address ,   so here it is!

PCV Courtney Heptig

Correos de Ecuador

Loja-Celica

Calle Colón y Loja

Junto a la Escuela Manuela Cañizares, Ecuador

 

Honestly, we might want to send a trial letter or two because this is pretty much the equivalent of telling someone:

American Post Office

Dallas Texas

On the corner of 1st and 2nd street

Next to that Elementary school, USA

I LOVE that I’m in such a small town that this is how the post office works but I’m not so confident that a letter from the States will actually make it here based on that address.

Either way, we better find out soon because I’m going to be requesting stuff from you guys since I am now in a place that has very few things to remind me of home… I have a feeling in a few weeks (or hours) I’m going to be like this…

donut

Well, it’s late and I have a full day of integration to do tomorrow so I’ll be in touch throughout the following weeks!

Peace Out!

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