CISABROAD BLOG · July 26, 2016 · 3 Min Read
Thank You Note to my Ecuador Site Director

Calla Michalak Blog Photo

This summer Calla is doing an internship in Ecuador with CISabroad. She studies Psychology/Pre-Nursing at Michigan State University. You can read more about Calla’s adventures in Ecuador here.


I’ve been living in Riobamba, Ecuador for six weeks now and, for three and a half of those weeks, I have technically been living alone.  While this was a fun experience at first, I quickly realized how grateful I am for my roommates back at school.  It can get a bit lonely when there are no other people around at the end of the day to chat with.  I am fortunate, however, to live two doors down from my incredible site director, Omar, and his family.

I eat breakfast and dinner at Omar’s house every day and I am so thankful to him, Suzy, and their two-year-old son, Aaron for never making me feel as though I am imposing.  Having such a great family looking out for me while I’ve been in a foreign country has made me feel so lucky.  It has also been really beneficial for me in terms of learning more Spanish because we watch the news together every night and I am able to pick up words by watching and discussing various topics that come up.

It has also been really nice having a small child around to practice some Spanish with.  Although it’s a bit embarrassing to admit, I’ve actually learned a decent amount from watching children’s shows with Aaron during breakfast every morning.  The characters in cartoons for young children tend to speak slower and point at what they’re talking about which is really really helpful to me as a person who has not taken a formal Spanish class since high school.  I’ve also learned some words as Aaron has learned them because one of his favorite games is to point at something and wait for someone to tell him the name of the object in question.

In addition to having a wonderful family, Omar also makes some of the best eggs I’ve ever had.  Every morning, I eat some form of eggs and every morning they’re better than the next.  I need to ask what sort of seasoning he puts in his scrambles before I leave, so that I can take it home and improve my own breakfast skills.

As much as I have enjoyed my internship this summer, I can honestly say that Omar and his family have made this experience for me.  Had I gone to work every day and then come home to an empty house with no one to talk to, I think I would have gotten very lonely very quickly.  Luckily, although I did come home to an empty house, I also had plenty of time at the beginning and end of every day to chat with Omar, Suzy, and Aaron.  If I ever return to Ecuador, one of my first stops will definitely be Riobamba to visit the Mosqueras.

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