Sweet sweet surprise
Shot with Sony A7II, 35mm zeiss.
One of the most incredible people I have EVER met. She is not only a mentor who enjoys challenging me, but a friend. I realized she is also someone who is easy to surprise! For the past month and a half I somehow managed to keep my Ecuador excursion a secret. Props to Bryan, one of the head honchos of the Living & Learning Ecuador Program, for helping with this mission to surprise Mika by lying and saying that they had to pick up an APU professor from the airport. .
No joke, it took her at least 30 seconds to process what was happening and who I was. Once it clicked, laughing, screaming and tears of joy were heard from pretty much everyone in that airport. I am pretty sure it took her a few days of me being there to really grasp that I was actually there.
I gotta say, if you don’t have someone like Mika in your life, someone who bakes you chocolate chip pancakes in the morning, lets you borrow their clothes, holds your hand while getting laser hair removal and loves on you in every way, I recommend getting one.
If you want to know more about this amazing woman of God, give her a follow! Long story short, she grew up in the jungle in Ecuador, joined L&L and is now a missionary in her home country! One of her biggest, most rewarding, requirements of her job is to love on the students and by golly she does it well.
How did we met you ask?
Well, just a little over 2 years ago- Fall of 2015- I set out on an adventure to Ecuador that I never would have imagined doing when I first started going to APU. There was always talk about studying abroad, but never knew how possible and practical it was, especially when I realized that I would be basically paying the same amount to travel to Ecuador- which included going to the Galapagos Isands, the Jungle, and so much more - as I would be to be living in AZUSA. like.... I should have hopped on the travel wagon wayyyy sooner.
Anyways, during my stay there for the 3 1/2 months, Mika and I clicked instantly. I also give her some credit for getting me more interested in photography- due to one of our very first conversations over socality! One of most fond memories I have with Mika though was during our stay in a little jungle town called Misahualli. At night, we sat and looked up at the stars in complete awe, pretty sure while I ate some delicious ice cream and got bitten to death. There were moments of silence between the two of us as well as some in depth convos that ensured that Mika was a trusted, reliable, wise- and what would be a long term distance friend.
So, as I started planning for the trip it made all too much sense to go during Thanksgiving break, due to the fact that exactly 2 years before I would be having my Thanksgiving feast in the jungle with this amazing women and crew I'd grown to love the past couple months.
Ecuador has changed my life for the better. It allowed me to see that there is so much in the world to see, to do, and such incredible people to meet. Through the classes I took and the overall experience I had, my worldview changed and wanderlust peaked to an all time high. So, thank you Ecuador for increasing my interest in discovering the rest of the world and potentially putting me into debt, and thank you Mika for accepting me for who I am, loving me, laughing with me, and encouraging me through my doubts and failures even though you are miles and miles away.
HERE IS MY VIDEO OF THE TRIP (: