So USFQ (Universidad de San Francisco de Quito) is the top university in Ecuador and has legit the most beautiful campus I have ever seen! The buildings are elegant and there are trees and flowers everywhere. It’s mostly rich kids and international exchange students who go there, but there are also some kids there on scholarship. I am proud to brag that my host brother Josue is one of those kids who is really smart and studied really hard, and has like a 90% scholarship to attend. It’s a really big deal for him, his family, and even the Lumbisí community, because they’re indigenous (i.e. they’re on the low end of socioeconomic status, he’s leading the way for more kids of indigenous backgrounds to get higher education, etc.).
Here are a few photos I took of USFQ: 1) Buddha Building- the chancellor is obsessed with China so he built up a super prestigious Chinese program and has a lot of Chinese-inspired stuff around campus, 2) one of the plazas between classroom buildings. I’ll try to take more photos tomorrow so you can see how fancy the campus is! The campus only though. Inside the buildings and the gym are kinda janky haha.
Legit, right? Well anyway, today was my first day at USFQ and it was totally overwhelming. It wasn’t that I was particularly confused with directions or anything (I had like 3 campus tours before today), it was that there were so many people who were different from me and spoke a different language! I felt totally out of my element! Usually at U of I, I can walk around casually and confidently, but here I was really anxious and slightly distressed! Even going to class was a little nerve-racking because it was all in Spanish! I had to constantly, actively engage with what the professor and my peers were saying. That took a lot of brainpower and by the end of the day, my brain felt like mush. This was especially true during my Quichua class where I had to simultaneously process what the professor was saying in Spanish and what he was teaching us in Quichua. If I keep up with this class, I can know 4 languages! Woot woot woot. Oh, and for those of you who don’t know, Quichua is the national indigenous language of Ecuador.
Here’s your Quichua lesson of the day: “ari” means “yes” and “mana” means “no”