Tuesday, January 22, 2008

El Bus y Cumbayá/USFQ

To get to school every morning, I have to ride 3 buses…kind of a pain in the sense that it takes two hours out of your day. It’s especially annoying when I have to wake up even earlier because the first bus that goes by my house is always packed and will not stop to pick me up if it’s full, therefore making me wait around till the next one. Yesterday, I was forced to go on the third bus because the first two were packed. I jumped on after two women, and I thought for sure that I was the last person, but then a rather larger man pushed me from behind and broke my sunglasses that were in my backpack…not the best morning.

But at the same time, I’ve been discussing with Emily, the bus ride offers a time for personal reflection, which I tend to enjoy.

La Universidad de San Francisco de Quito is located just outside Quito, in the valley of Cumbayá, like the song, which I think is kinda funny. It’s a really pretty campus about the size of Oxy but all bunched in together so that all of the buildings are touching each other, so really it’s a lot smaller than Oxy. Most of the architecture is Spanish looking with fountains and tile all over the place (bad idea since it rains a lot here and it gets super slippery). There’s also a small pond with a waterfall that randomly turns on and off. I’m not quite sure why the on/off situation, but it tends to be distracting when I sit in the grass near by to do homework (which I have a lot of btw, didn’t think this would be the case, Kristen).

I’m taking 4 classes at USFQ and the Pitzer Seminar

1. Marketing: Principios y Fundamentos – It’s a very interesting class that I am enjoying a lot. The professor has a lot of experience and we look at all kinds Ecuadorian media and advertising, such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_BQk_2Zd04 What do you think about that? Interesting no?

2. Moneda y Banca – My hardest class because I’m having a hard time with the terminology and Ecuadorian bank/financial system examples, but I’m working on it. Also, super fascinating to learn about Ecuador’s economy, or lack of?

3. Antropologia Cultural – which I was hesitant to take, but because of time conflicts had to take anyways. A classic Oxy “think critically” class.

4. Sexualidad y Atraccion – The professor is Cuban and has very distinct views on sexuality than the “typical” Ecuadorian, more liberal you might say. My favorite class so far. (I have also made two good Ecuadorian friends in this class -- Monica, who has some interesting views on homosexuality, and Santiago, who happens to be Alex’s host brother – both are super chévere!)

5. Ecuador: A Country in Development – or the Pitzer Seminar. It has a community service aspect (I’ll be working with children that have disabilities) and a huge research project, possibly on race or gender (thanks Oxy)

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