On the last day teaching in Quito, my team had one of the most difficult crafts we’d had all week — paper lanterns. They were beautiful, and in the end I didn’t have time to be sad.
What stuck with me most, though, was the lunch after we left the facility. Why, you might ask? Guinea pig. Roasted guinea pig, to be exact. They didn’t serve it to us for dinner, but we saw it roasting whole in an outdoor brick oven that looked more like a kiln than anything else.
Seeing it cook made the whole trip feel real and exciting in a way it just hadn’t before. That the people here are different, and that I’m in a foreign country. A foreign country where guinea pig is a popular dish.
I know it seems like a small thing, but I’m fairly used to tropical fruit and people speaking
Spanish everywhere. It was the idea of eating guinea pig that really helped me feel like I was finally in here, in Ecuador.
And you know what? It smelled delicious.