YFU Switzerland



So I’ve fought through week number two here in Portoviejo. I say “fight” because I still am very homesick and don’t feel happy very often. But of course I have also had some great moments 🙂

Last week we went to Manta and visited Luis’ (my Hostdad) parents. Manta is a town near Portoviejo, and it’s at the coast. So we left Camila (my hostsister) with the grand parents and went to the beach. In Manta there are many beaches and they all have a different name. Because Luis grew up in Manta, he knows every single one of them.

We went to a beach called Liguiqui

We went to a beach called Liguiqui

It was very nice there, even though no one was in the water. That was a bit weird for me, because in Europe when people go to the beach, everyone wants to go swimming in the sea.

My host parents Luis and Maria

My host parents Luis and Maria

Then we ate Ceviche, that’s a traditional coastal dish, that contains fish, lots lots of lemon juice and raw vegetables. Everyone in Ecuador loves Ceviche and they are very proud of the special recipe, but to be honest I didn’t like it at all. As I heard, there are only very few europeans that enjoy eating Ceviche. I am definitely none of them 😉 .

Here they eat a lot of fish, platano (green bananas), rice, beans, lentils, rice, platano, lemon and did I already mention rice?

Sunday we went to watch a show at Camilas school, where she should dance, but in the end she was one of the kids that just stood there, crying her eyes out. There I met my abuelita (grandma), but actually she is my great grandmother, because she’s the grandma of Maria. I really like that woman. She is very energetic and friendly and really open.

Later in the week, after school had started again (*ugh*), I went to the supermarket to buy some fruits. They really have some special fruits here. I am a bit disappointed that there are no fruit markets in Portoviejo. That was something I was really looking forward too. But the fruits in the Supermarket are good too, and very very cheap.

Sandía, piña y maracuja

Sandía, piña y maracuja

On wednesday I finally went outside once and didn’t sit inside on my own. I went to eat in a restaurant with a girl from Germany, Mia, who’s at the same school. The food was really good, but I think the waiter thought we were quite retarded. We had to ask “Qué” (what?) about three times, everytime he asked if we wanted something 😉 . I paid about 5 Dollars for the food and it was such a big portion, that I didn’t even eat everything.
It was really nice to get outside and see a bit of the town.

A photo from the first Schoolday. From left: Mia, me, Emma and Vincent

A photo from the first Schoolday. From the left: Mia, me, Emma and Vincent

I still am alone at home about 4 hours every day, because I can’t just go outside on my own without knowing the town or speaking spanish. That really bothers me a lot, because in these 4 hours I have nothing to do, so I miss home so much. I usually don’t cry often, but here I feel like I’m crying every day. I really really hope this will get better and that I get to do something. Because this is no solution.
On Friday I didn’t feel well, so I stayed at home. I still sleep very bad, I think that has to do with all the thoughts flying through my head. I had a bad head ache and I think I ate something my stomach didn’t like very much…
I was alone all day and my mood was at a very deep point. But in the afternoon I went to the manicure with my hostmom (only 6 Dollars for feet and hands! :O ) and in the evening we were invited to Marias parents. There the house is always full of people, so it was good to get some distraction of my not very positive feelings.

I really don’t understand myself anymore. I’ve always been a positive person, but here I feel like all these positive thoughts are hidden under a thick layer of sadness and they hardly ever get through that layer. I really am trying to enjoy everything, but it’s much harder than expected.

On monday I’m going to look at another school with my area representative of YFU (who also is my host grandfather), to see if I like that school better. I really hope my mood will get better when I can go to another school and meet other people.

Oh and before I forget it: the house here is not nearly as clean as at home. Believe it or not Mama and Pappa, but I voluntarily clean my room, do the dishes and clean the kitchen every day. I had never even thought about it that it’s not normal to always have a clean house, but apparently it isn’t like that everywhere. I think my host mother doesn’t enjoy cleaning at all.
Here we also walk around in the house with our shoes. The socks would be dirty in 1 second if I would take off my shoes. Yes, I’ve already experienced that some few times 😉 . You don’t let go of habitudes easily.

So for the end the three things I appreciated this week:

  • When walking through the streets, I saw a man giving water to a thin, homeless dog. This really made me happy, because I usually feel like no one cares about the homeless animals here.
  • When I had a little break – down while eating dinner, my host mum came up to me and hugged me really really tight, and that was exactly what I had needed to feel a bit better
  • I had a really good conversation with the YFU – representative. He told me that I can always go to him if there is any problem, and that he will do his best to help me or the other YFU students. It really feels good to know there is someone there for me all the time and he is a very nice guy.
Another photo of the cathedral I see every day

Another photo of the cathedral I see every day

The beach

The beach