To Give You A Sense

I realize I’ve done a poor job of sharing the day-to-day experience of my
life in Ecuador. To paint a picture (and to document for my future self)
I’ve made a list of some sounds, tastes, and smells. 🙂


– Musicians walking from restaurant to restaurant playing music on
guitars and flutes

– My neighbors hooking up mics and external speakers to their cars
and driving around the neighborhood singing pop songs in the middle of the
night (I have no idea why)

– My cousin Naye calling for my brother Dany from her house on the
other side of the block

– The squeaky kitchen cabinets

– The low hum of the T.V. from my Dany and Vero’s room

– Samy shouting “Madeline!” every time I walk into the house

– The sing-song voices that vendors use when selling products on
buses or on the street

– The friendly “Buenas Vecina” from everyone I walk by in El Milagro

– My host parents, Jaime and Leticia, finishing each other’s
sentences when telling stories

– Being serenade on buses

– The dogs in the neighborhood barking 20 hours a day

– My student’s, Joel and Xavier, giggle when I catch them doing
something that they’re not supposed to be doing

– Dany saying “oh my gosh”

– The sound of the buses breaking (it sounds like a sneeze)

– The music playing downstairs all day, ni importa if anyone is home

– Vero’s door opening every morning at exactly 5:31 am

– The blaring house alarm (that sounds like a tsunami warning) going
off in the dead of night

– Jaime saying “wow”

– The seniors pulling out their instruments and playing me songs
whenever the teacher walks out of the room

– The honk of cars when they pass you on the street, sometimes a
catcall, sometimes a hello (I choose to believe they are always hellos)


– *Huevos Revueltos con Aguacate*, scrambled eggs with avocado, my
usual breakfast at 5:40 am

– *Arroz*, rice which accompanies every meal

– *Claudias*, a sweet yellow fruit (pictured below) that Vero and I
snack on

– *Colada Morada*, a hot fruit stew (so much better than it sounds)
that we drink on especially cold days

– *Jugo de Piña*, pineapple juice which accompanies lunch

– *Ensalada de Atún*, a tuna, tomato, and red onion lunch dish

– *Helado de Paila*, a dairy-free ice cream that I buy on long bus

– *Tortillas*, fried dough that we sometimes have with coffee in the

– *Sopa con Canguil*, soup with popcorn in it, a typical merienda

– *Jugo/Batido/Helado de Mora*, blackberry flavored anything and
everything that I enjoy WHENEVER I can


– The sweet smell of the alpaca wool blankets on my bed and the
similar smell of the clothes drying on the clotheslines

– The incredible smells pouring out from the panderías, specifically
the one by the Urcuqui bus stop

– Te de cedrón brewing on the stove

– The smell of chocolate that fills the Sandoval home when I bake

– Lavender essential oil that I use at the end of a long day

– The sweet banana pancakes that Leticia so proudly makes

– The steaming street food on the corner I pass walking into El
Milagro every afternoon

– The smell of incense and meriendas cooking that surrounds you if
you take a walk at 6 pm


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