Brianna Kelly is a freshman at Eastern Christian who previously lived in Ecuador; she went on a trip last year to take a year away from the United States, learn the Spanish language, visit family, and embrace her culture.
Brianna and her family decided to leave the States for a one-year trip so that Brianna could see what life would be like in Ecuador. There she met family, went to school, and met many new friends. She also learned the Spanish language and got the chance to explore the place where her ancestors are from.
“I’m originally from the States, and you know my whole family lives in the [United States], so it’s like I was in Ecuador just for a period of time to learn Spanish and just kind of get to know what it's like living out of the American environment,” said Brianna.
Brianna stated that the kids in Ecuador were a lot more standoffish and weren’t very warm and welcoming compared to the kids in the States. She said that especially at EC she felt like everyone was nice and she felt as though she was included and that she made genuine friends. “There is such a different environment in Ecuador than here. The people here are so much nicer; I felt so welcomed,” said Brianna.
Brianna talked about many things that differentiate the United States from Ecuador; one of these things being food. Brianna said that her favorite dish is ceviche and that they would eat it often in Ecuador. When asked what ceviche is, she said “it’s basically like a shrimp cocktail-like soup.”
She said that another big difference was the land: when you’re in New Jersey it’s all mountains and bigger greenland masses, but in Ecuador the land is volcanoes, harder rocks, and sediment.
One would think that coming back home after a year away would be somewhat of a culture shock. When asked, Brianna said “No, not really”.