Kalamazoo, MI
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Junior Remembers Travels in Ecuador and Peru

DeBoeck with her friend Shar Salvi, a fellow K student who also studied abroad in Quito (Photo provided by Cecilia DeBoeck)

The smoke from her cigarette wafted towards the sky, emulating the heat on this first hot spring day. For Cecilia DeBoeck K’13 the heat recalled memories of her six months in Quito, Ecuador.

“My room at my host family’s house felt like a jail cell,” DeBoeck said. “There were no windows except for a little slit at the top that had bars over it.”

Besides sleeping and showering, DeBoeck said she hardly spent any time in her room. Instead, she would visit a local coffee shop or bookstore. On the way she would grab a mango or papaya from a street tienda.

“I probably had a mango everyday that I was there,” DeBoeck said. “That was one good thing about my host family, they always had fruit.”

During the six months DeBoeck had the opportunity to travel to other countries in South America. Among the countries she visited, she said Peru was her favorite.

“I’m not sure what my favorite activity was in Peru. I just kinda explored and walked around the city a lot,” DeBoeck said. “I do remember this ice cream store.  It was right around the corner from a cat park.”

Although she didn’t make any lasting friends during her travels, she recalled a street performer in Peru she interacted with.

“His name was Gustavo. He would juggle and make this ball look like it was floating,” DeBoeck said. “Oh and he really liked beer.”

Having finished her cigarette, DeBoeck threw the remainder in the ash tray. She got up from the porch and jumped on a bike.

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Junior Remembers Travels in Ecuador and Peru