YFU Switzerland

The week of doing nothing

Hola everyone 🙂

So before telling you more about the caption, some words about my weekend:

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The typical mall here in Ecuador

On Saturday I went shopping with some girls from my old school (more information about that later 🙂 ). We went to the mall, watched around and ate a delicious dessert. Again I was surprised how similar many things here are to Europe. I had never expected to find a Mall that looks like every other Mall at home. We went to a “play store”, where you can play games like tabletop football, car games and a thing where you have to throw a ball in certain places. That seems to be a big thing here and there were many people in the store. It really was nice with the girls, even though the conversation wasn’t very fluent because of my spanish. After that we went to the park, where some people were playing music. It really was an ecuadorian spirit 🙂

Of course we took some selfies (Me, Camila, Leslie)

Of course we took some selfies (Me, Camila, Leslie)

On Sunday we went to Manta again. On the way back, we went to pick up Maria (my hostmum) from work. Yes, she worked 7 days in that week. It’s crazy here. So, while we were waiting for her, Camila (host sister) got her arm stuck between two benches. As soon as she started crying, about 5 other fathers came running to help Luis (host dad) and me to get her out. It really was nice to see. In one minute someone had organized a stick to push the benches away. That was something that really made me think of home. In Switzerland it would not be normal to run to help someone if they don’t ask you. Here everyone came to help the little girl and it seemed to be totally normal. After that Camila had her arm free again, everyone went away as if nothing had happened. People here are much more open and caring and that is something I love 🙂

Camila and me joking around while I was babysitting her

Camila and me joking around while I was babysitting her

Week number 3

On Friday I had decided I didn’t want to go to my old college anymore. I didn’t like it there and didn’t find a good connection to the people. So luckily my host grandfather organized a new college for me. It’s a military college, smaller than my old one and has more discipline.
On Monday we went to talk with the director, but he didn’t have time, so we got an appointment on tuesday at 11. But because I was alone at home and I couldn’t find the keys, we were much too late. I first had to ring my host parents to ask where the keys were and when they finally took the phone it was already 11:20. We still went there and waited for about 1 hour, but in the end we just got an appointment for wednesday. I would say through being late to such an important appointment I can call myself a typical Ecuadorian now 😉 No, jokes, there’s still a lot to do for me to become that.
On wednesday we talked to the director of the school, a major in military outfit who is really nice, but because to him it is very important that everything will be good for me,he insisted on talking to my host parents. So on tuesday, after waiting for 1 hour, my host parents and I talked to him again and we finally could arrange everything.
So despite waiting for and talking with the director, I didn’t do anything and just sat at home. But luckily I had a really good book to read.

School number 2

On Friday I had my first school day… Again. I was really nervous and very afraid, because I was alone there and my spanish isn’t very good. But then I came to the class room and everyone was so nice. It was very different from the other college. The people came up to me and told me “Hi, I’m Genesis, nice to meet you, how are you?” and gave me the hand or a kiss on the cheek (that’s totally normal here). They didn’t run to me and overwhelmed me with thousands of questions just because I am white and blonde. Of course they asked me a lot, but in a much more polite way. Also the director and the teachers told the class, that to them it’s important that the other students help me to integrate here and that showed me that they really cared.
At the beginning of the day, at 6.45 am. we all had to stand in rows on the sports court outside, while the inspectors (all men in uniforms and with strong voices) talked and gave commands. We are going to do that every morning… *Uff*. Then we had lessons for 3 hours, a 30 minute break (where we bought something to eat at the bar), and another session of 3 hours. I don’t understand why they have such a tight schedule here. 3 hours school without break is definitely too long! I noticed that the level here is higher than at the other college and the class was more quiet. It is still totally different from Switzerland and much louder, but for me it was an improvement. I am going to write a bit more about the school next week.

To get home I had to take a taxi. It was the first time to take a taxi on my own, so I am quite proud about that. For the 12 minute ride, I paid 1.50$, so as you see taking a taxi here is very cheap. That’s also why about 50% of the traffic here are taxis.

My homesickness isn’t very strong anymore. I notice that the cultural shock is disappearing and that I’m getting used to the things here. I still miss my family and friends, but I’m already much happier than last week.

So again, a very long post. I’m really sorry for that, but when I first start writing I can’t stop 😉

I hope to soon get the time to write about the differences of the cultures here and there, but that will have to wait for now.

Adios muchachos 🙂

There are even these green things called trees at my school

There are even these green things called trees at my school

A photo of the college where I'm going to

A photo of the college where I’m going to