A Different Kind of List

(Wednesday's guest blog comes from Serena Zhou, a new MPI Ecuador Program Director and resident whiteboard drawer. Serena can eat Eliah under the table at any given meal, has picked up Spanish faster than anyone I've ever met, and nearly cried when Zak's girlfriend mailed her the Olympic opening ceremonies from her dearly loved China.)

Things I Wish I Had Known...

-When possible, choose the window seat on crowded buses (esp. if you are a female). You never know what to expect in this "machismo" society.

-Never flush ANYTHING down the toilet.

-Always bring your camera with you (in case a cow decides to give birth in front of the classroom like Jocelyn and Dunc)

-Avoid carrying anything over a 5 dollar bill; otherwise, you may not get change.

-Don't rely on the internet to find information on...anything around here.

-Do not look at an Ecuadorian man on the street in the eye for over 3 seconds. They will think you're interested.

-Don't trust a stray dog like Diego who will use Gringos for food and then leave you and break your heart.

-Do not tell an Ecuadorian you don't like Pilsener (the Ecuadorian beer) even though it really is gross. It will shatter their national pride and they will get defensive.

-Don't attempt to play soccer with locals until you have had plenty of time to acclimate.

- Always bring a rain coat with you...everywhere.

-The Godfather is the most confusing movie ever made in the history of mankind. Even the Wikipedia site is confusing.

-"Chinese" restaurants are owned by Ecuadorians.

-Bed bugs actually DO bite.

-Try to put national pride aside if you want to conquer the world in "Risk." I learned this the hard way.