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María Liliana Escobar Landivar

Master´s Program (Go Teacher)
Kansas State University, Kansas

My name is Maria Liliana Escobar Landivar, I come from the city of Cuenca and I am part of the Grandee group Go Teacher program at Kansas State University. I arrived in Manhattan, KS, in January and I’m studying the first semester of the Masters. To describe my experience is necessary to use more than one adjective; interesting, challenging, productive, multicultural, enriching among some.

I have been given the opportunity to meet an array of people from different places, both students and teachers. This has helped me understand the importance of sharing our social and cultural history, to become active ambassadors of our country while recipients of new techniques and strategies, so that we can become better professionals. Being a teacher has been my job for the past 13 years, changing my position and become a student has been a challenge. What has surprised me? Many things, the weather, the food, the scenery are so different from our own. But I think what struck me the most has been the ability to use English as an official language, and let Spanish to the side. The need to communicate both in class and outside of it, has led me to replace one tongue for the other. Something that is difficult at first, but I am slowly getting used to it. In following lines that continue I try to explain the perspective of a flow student, a personal approach from a day to day that one experiences in ones country.

One Scholarship: a life experience

Being fellow is not only a title. It signifies a years of commitment, dedication and a pressing desire to excel. It doesn’t mean that one can abandon old ways or replace places, it is an uncertain path, full of new goals and different learning experiences. Leaving once country, changing sky and talk in a broad tongue is a brave decision. Saying goodbye to what we love, delay birthdays, christenings, celebrations and pause “normal life” for the sole purpose of enriching our professional and most importantly, human quality.

You can’t leave culture behind, it travels with us because it’s part of our being and thought. It is impossible to stop being Ecuadorian because the love for that nation is made under a blood covenant.

To be a scholar is to become a student and a foreigner. To become a representative of our country and be able to write its name with our own handwriting. Its to look at the flag and understand it is ours. With a clear sense of belonging and pride.

Between books and long hours, searching for the time to talk about our food, scenery, music and unparalleled people. Being a fellow is also fills once lips with Ecuador when we are overcome with homesickness in distant and cold streets. An opportunity painted in various shades; melancholy, enthusiasm, hope and certainty, faith to take advantage of the window of opportunity to our development, which is the future of our students and colleagues.
No easy task as every day is a new beginning, but the rewards of helping to improve education in our country is sufficient to remove doubts and firm step, forward.

Life is a divine test, face once fears is a challenge only accepted by does that trust in the change for an equal tomorrows.

Being a fellow is to miss, the colors, aromas, flavors of our cities, is to cry during a pasillo and to carry in our hearts the yellow, blue and red. It is through grace alone and the strong feeling of our social and cultural beliefs. Leaving no room for fear, marking our tracks on trails around the world, but with our country’s lyrics tattooed in our soul.

As I write these lines I remember my family, my roots, my essence. All waiting for my return, in a countdown that time can only handle. In order to go back to my Ecuador, its routes, its mountains, its coastline, its indescribable beauty, and to join the group of people who believe that education is the basis of a well-established society.

To me being a fellow is a privilege earned by hard work, and it is also an open door to learning new techniques and strategies that will help enrich the minds of others, for the sole purpose of future opportunities that will help us grow as human beings and therefore, as a country.