We often have assumptions that were so engrained into who we think we are that we never seek to challenge them. We believe that if something is uncomfortable it should be avoided, and that we are our best, truest selves when surrounded by family, friends, and cultural contexts that are familiar. Although these are irreplaceable pieces of our identity, they can often end up becoming crutches that prevent us from getting to know the parts of ourselves that we can only become acquainted with when faced with a bowl of bugs.
We are just past the halfway point of our 6 weeks in Ecuador and it has been remarkably good. I wish I could say I was now fluent in Spanish but I am still regularly making the most ridiculous comments. Yesterday I was trying to encourage an Ecuadorian pastor and his wife to eat the healthier brown rice instead of the Ecuadorian standard white by saying “mucho gusto.” I was trying to say that I really liked the brown, but ended up saying that I was “pleased to meet them.” So they remained unconvinced, but laughed a lot at least.