Kelsea Comb- Quito, Ecuador

Hello, I am Kelsea Comb and I attend Austin Peay State University. Going to Quito, Ecuador was my first trip out of the country. However, I have been on ample service trips in the past with Austin Peay State, as well as without. When I first arrived to Ecuador I had no idea what to expect. The airport was nice, and it immediately made me think,”This is nothing like I expected a third world country to be. I mean, it’s really nice,” not even realizing my ignorance. Usually, at least for me, when I heard “third world country” I thought of extreme poverty. Little did I know, the poverty that was to come would be more heart wrenching then expected. But even through the poverty, there was a life about Quito I had never experienced. It may not have had riches, but it definitely was not poor.

Furthermore, I am a Political Science major with a Minor in African American Studies. With my major, there are countless ways in which I can help my community, depending upon which field I choose to go into. If I decide to go into politics I can use my power to make my community more suitable and prosperous. However, if I choose to practice law, I can work with those who are in need of my assistance, and those who have been wronged within my community and further.

Also, I have the ability to connect with individuals. I can empathize with their situations and try to see how I can be of assistance. I am not perfect by any means, but I am trying to help a cause bigger then myself.This “skill” was a great help in Ecuador because although I was not fluent in their language, I was still able to connect with some of the people there. With many of the volunteers, I was also able to form lasting relationships.Luckily, as well I did not encounter hardly any challenges. *that I can speak of lol* I truely had a marvelous experience.

In the end, this experience has tremendously humbled me. It has showed me that no amount of materials can compare to the riches that ones heart holds. Though I was in Quito for only a week, I was given a glimpse inside of a beautifully chaotic world. It has further softened my heart and given me the gift of inspiration. I will forever keep this endless gift in my heart and continue to give it as freely as I can. Thank you Quito, you have further ignited my flame.

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