Welcome back to Ponderings with Pauls, or as it is now called, Consideraciones con Pauls. As I am on SST in Ecuador I thought it only natural to translate the name, at least for the semester.

Well here I am, in the great country of Ecuador. As I sit here in mi cuarto with the sounds of reggaeton in my ears, I can’t help but reflect on one thing.

I should’ve brought a frickin’ keyboard case for my iPad.

You don’t know true frustration until you have to type an entire Consideraciones con Pauls using the default touch screen keyboard.

But I must count my blessings, because if it weren’t for Goshen’s generous technological gift that she gives all of her incoming students, Consideraciones wouldn’t be possible. 

This week’s column centers on my fanny pack and inability to speak español muy bien. First, my fanny pack. Purchased at the gift shop of the Basílica del Voto Nacional for 4 dólares, it holds all my necessities. Burt’s Bees chapstick, a coin purse from none other than Andrew Hartzler himself (shout-out business department), shades, and mi teléfono.

Second, my inability to speak Spanish. Each conversation puts my brain into high gear as I try to unscramble the puzzle of a different language.

Now what do these two things share in common? Both make me feel like a kid. 

With my fanny pack around my waist, I feel like a child riding on a school bus with chaperones to a school field trip to the park.

Except instead of a school bus, it’s a blue public transport bus, the chaperones are Spanish speaking ecuatorianos, and it’s not the park we are headed to, but north Quito for class.

My six days of SST has made me feel like a baby. But instead of having a baby brain and being ok with making mistakes because a baby is not capable of complex thought patterns, I am a full grown 20 year old who is self conscious.

But through my limited time here, I’ve learned that I’ll be making a lot of mistakes in these next 3 months, so the only thing to do is be ok with them.

So here’s to embracing baby brain.