In the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to go visit my mother’s home country, Ecuador. I was so excited to go, by that point I only went one time, but I was eight years old and didn’t have that many memories of the place anyway. In a month I packed all my stuff and mom even went out of her way to buy clothes to give out to the family over there. By the time it was time to go, I had two huge traveling bags, they were almost four feet tall. What was even better was that everything was paid for from my aunt. However, there was a catch, I was not allowed to bring my phone because there was a risk that I could get robbed. So I left it at home. The biggest mistake I ever did. You see, in Ecuador, when the students in the US are in summer break, students in Ecuador are just starting school. So I was mostly home and barely went out only on the weekends :/ But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Thinking back, it was not all that bad. Since I didn’t have my phone, I was able to meet and talk to the family I never knew existed. I went out more and discovered new things, and embrace the culture I grew up here in the US. There were little things that blew my mind, like how in Ecuador, students of all ages can pick what time they want to start school as if they were in college. There were three times: 7am-2pm, 1pm-6pm, and 6pm-11pm. I found this great and wished this existed in the US, I would so rather go to school at 1pm then having to wake up so early in the morning.
Another important thing about not having my cell was to see how blessed I am. I used to see myself of being close to the poor. Money was coming and going and we live by check to check to keep moving forward. But going to Ecuador, I saw what being poor really is and how much harder life was over there. Made me value more the things I have, no matter how little I
My trip to Ecuador was great, before I knew it, a month already passed. I didn’t want to leave because I knew how much I was going to miss my family and who knows when I am going back to see them. Going to Ecuador without my phone was hard, but without having my phone with me I learned more about my mom’s country and learned somethings about her as well. But most importantly, I met the family I never knew I had and they made me feel what being in a family is like because the family I have here in the US is the opposite of them. Here, it’s every man to themselves. while in Ecuador, everyone is there for each other, something I wish existed here.

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