The day has almost arrived! On January 2nd, I’ll be headed to Quito, Ecuador to study abroad until mid-May. It’s becoming more real by the day: packing has begun, I’ve been assigned a host family, and I’ve picked my classes. On Monday I’ll fly out of Detroit in the late morning to meet up with my friend Caylee in Atlanta, and then we’ll fly to Quito together, arriving around midnight. I’ll spend the rest of the week in Orientation- learning all about the city and program before classes start on the 9th. It’s about to be a crazy 2 weeks, but I’m full of anticipation and nervous energy.
I’m so thankful to everyone who has made the preparation easier and more lighthearted, including a stack of letters to open in Ecuador from my Hope pals, a bomb packing list from my roommate (thanks Meg!), and game nights and laughter with my hometown friends. These little things make the goodbyes bittersweet, but I’m grateful to know that I have a whole team of loved ones cheering me on from home. I appreciate the encouragement more than you all probably know, and would equally appreciate prayer for any of the things listed below!
Health- I’ve had quite a few respiratory issues (pneumonia, bronchitis) in the past few years. If you could pray that my lungs stay healthy, that would be so great! This is something I really don’t want to deal with while abroad, though I am prepared with my trusty inhaler just in case haha. Also just health in general (including altitude sickness and motion sickness)- that I am fully well for the duration of my time in Ecuador and able to enjoy every moment!
Mental Health- So much of this is new and unknown, and adjustment will be a big task. Pray that I’m able to manage stress in a healthy way, engage with people around me, and not miss home too much.
Safety- Pray for smooth travel, both to and around Ecuador. I’m fully expecting to get pick pocketed at some point, but it definitely wouldn’t hurt to pray that I don’t haha
Spiritual Growth- Please pray that I am encouraged daily in my faith and that my relationship with God grows while I am away: that I find peace, rest, and joy in Him. Pray that I find other Christians to have community with in Quito. I am excited to experience the global Church firsthand, so please pray that I can experience the Body of Christ in Ecuador!
School- Pray for perseverance in my classes and in my quest to become fluent in Spanish. I already know my brain is going to hurt- I’m going from speaking Spanish about 8 hours a week in class at Hope to speaking Spanish around 40 hours a week. It’s a big change, and I’m excited, but I know it’s going to be hard! Pray that I press on and find contentment in this amazing opportunity.
Laughter and Adventure- Finally, pray that I embrace laughter and adventure in everything I do!! That I don’t fall into mundane patterns, but seek out new people and experiences with JOY.
That’s all for now! I’ll be updating somewhat regularly (every week or 2), so feel free to follow along on my adventures!