I have gotten a lecture on how there typical meals are completely different than the Andes Mountain region with no tostado, no papas, no helado de pailla and the list continues. I have gotten a lecture on how the men are going to talk smooth to get whatever they want, I thought that was all men, maybe still a little bitter(read yesterday's post). I have gotten a lecture on how to conceal all Apple products, ride in a taxi and no using ear phones to make me less of a target to get robbed. O and how could I forget the never ending comments/jokes on how weird, fast and over zealous their personalities can be.
My immediate reaction is to laugh it off. After the second lecture my mind starts wandering into the deep,dark hole. "Am I going to hate it? I love Ibarra, if its completely opposite I'm sure I'm going to hate it! Am I going to get robbed? Am I going to meet any friends I will want to hang out with outside of school? What if everyone there thinks I'm weird, and doesn't want to be my friend?" Wait, wait,wait... I'm not going back to high school!!!
This intolerance for the people that are from their own country makes me question the pride of Ecuador. I understand they have different way of life due to the drastic difference in climate but why the unnecessary banter about the small things. Before I came to Ibarra I had no one to warn me, lecture me or bombard me with "information". I came to learn, experience and hopefully expand my perspective. So why am I allowing these people to take away the excitment and amazing experience of trying something new?? Let meet halfway on this.
Have I been intolerant to people in my own country yes. I have never looked at it this harshly because it never came from a place of malice. Everyone that's been giving me advice here is also coming from a place of helpfulness without regard of what they actually might be doing. I have countless times highlighted thick northern accent or commented on the boldness of a “Yankee”. Is this not the same? I do believe so and am wondering if I have belittled someone unknowingly from a thoughtless joke.
Through this experience I will be more cautious of the remarks, jokes, and banter I choose to participate in when it comes to people being “different”. I never meant harm but can see this could be mis-read as prejudice. No one is special in this world thus we all deserve the same respect, patience and love.