April 14, 2017

Overseas and Off-Campus Programs Blog

Goodbye - But Just For Now

Author Name

Gelsey Plaza

Author Program

Ecuador: Cuenca

Program Semester and Year

Spring 2017

Student Major

Rhetoric & Media Studies

What is time? How does time go by so fast?!  I cannot believe that my study abroad program in Ecuador is over! Cry cry cry.  Ever since my brother studied abroad his junior year of college, I couldn’t wait for my study abroad experience! At first I was going to study abroad in Alicante, Spain, but I basically switched last minute to Ecuador. And I couldn’t have asked for a better study abroad experience.   What a journey it has been!   All of my experiences, journeys and adventures have been so eye-opening, memorable, and beautiful.   Ecuador has such a rich culture and is home to numerous beautiful species. 

Yesterday, April 13, was our formal, goodbye dinner. All of our families and our professors and their families were there. It was a fun, yet sentimental night.

Our professor, Janis, thanked Amauta and all of the professors and directors. We gave each of them gifts, including the beautiful picture of us in Cajas!  Charlotte and I gave a small speech about our culture professor, Cecilia. Noah gave a small speech about our biology professor, Ernesto. And then all of us went up with our Spanish class to give a small speech–and gift–to our Spanish professor. Noah, Quintin and I gave our Spanish professor “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” because she loves Harry Potter! (And who doesn’t?! haha)

The restaurant, called Jardines de San Joaquin, was gorgeous! 


After speeches, there was a surprise for all of us! Mayra, our director, put together a wonderful slideshow of pictures of each and every one of us! Each of us were featured! There was a headshot of us with our name, and then pictures of just us or us with other classmates. It was SO SWEET. (Love you, Mayra!)   And don’t worry, each of us got a copy of the DVD! Can’t wait to show you Mom and Dad! 


And we also all got diplomas! Whoo hoo! hehe


Receiving my diploma while hugging Narcissa. Narcissa is always so energetic, smiley and happy! She was the first person that we met from Amauta as she led our orientation in Quito!   We all love Narcissa, especially as she calls all of us her “guaguacitas”! So cute! 


Mi familia y yo   Except Dustin because he was sick 


Fancy table settings!


MMM Delicious appetizer of fish in a yummy yummy sauce with bits of carrots and mashed potatoes and then also some shrimp (The party started at 8, but as we did speeches and gifts first, dinner wasn’t served until like 9:30!! But actually that’s like Ecuadorian time! haha)


Main Course of turkey with a delicious strawberry/fruity sauce and small salad


I’ll miss you Ernesto! He is so funny, charismatic and kind-spirited! Ernesto is such an inspiration for everyone. He puts his heart and soul into protecting wildlife and our planet. Thanks for all those crazy, epic Amazon and zoo adventures! 


I’ll miss you Cece! You are an amazing culture professor. I learned so much in your class. You are one of the sweetest persons ever. Thanks for bringing us those amazing Corpus Christi dulces and exotic fruit for us to try. Oh, and that yummy helado de mandarina for our last class this past Wednesday. P.S. I went to that heladería today with the kids and got the mandarin flavor!


I cannot believe that I am leaving Cuenca tomorrow, Saturday the 15! WOW Just WOW I’m really going to miss everyone at Amauta. I’m going to miss my host family. I’ll miss Cuenca and walking to school past the markets and plazas. Honestly, just feeling so many different emotions right now!    

However, I am very excited to spend time with family in Guayaquil for the next few days! And don’t worry, because you will hear all about that!  

Live life with a Smile