YFU Switzerland

Machala – the banana capital

Hello everyone πŸ™‚

So after my very honest and quite negative blog from last time I have lots of great things to tell. There happened so much last week, be prepared for a long blog πŸ˜‰

First impressions

So because we had vacations for one week and I knew that I would feel really bad just sitting in the house on my own all day, I decided to go on holidays. A swiss friend (Noelle) that lives in Machala had holidays too, so after some organisation I managed to get the permission of YFU to go and visit her. The Trip from Portoviejo to Machala takes about 8 hours. It’s needed to change bus in Guayquil (the biggest city in Ecuador), but luckily I could drive with my host grandad to Guayaquil and he helped me to take the bus from there. I was a little afraid because I had heard so many stories of people being robbed on the bus, but everything went good. In Machala Noelle and her host mom picked me up and we went home. I slept in a room with Noelle for that week. Her host family lives in a private neighborhood, so that’s really nice because it’s quiet. On that first Friday I already got to know many of Noelles friends because we went to a home party. At first it was a bit weird because I didn’t know anyone but the people started to talk to me quite soon. It’s funny because they are all able to speak english. That was really surprising to me but it was great to be able to have a conversation without thinking about every word twice.
While I was there I realized the reason why I always am so homesick. It’s actually quite easy: I don’t feel at home. I think I just need a real family with kids in my age around me. Becuase that’s exactly what Noelles family is like. The mother has a lot of time and she has siblings from 9 and 12. They are young but you can talk to them and have fun. And the whole family took me up like a new family member. And while I was there I really could fill up my hapinesslevel. So I decided that a change of family is the only way I can manage to make this year great. Even though I like my host family a lot I don’t feel like we are a family and that’s the problem.

Machala

Banana trees everywhere

Banana trees everywhere

The city definitely earned its name “banana capital”. You see banana trees everywhere and at the port you see many huge ships that export the banans to every part of the world. Who knows, maybe the next banana you eat comes from Machala πŸ˜‰ The port is very nice and there are some souvenir shops there. So Susy and AndrΓ©s (Noelles host parents) bought me a Sombrero there. I already used it a lot. Even though you feel like the typical stupid tourist with it, it really helps to protect your head and face from the strong sun. Definitely a recommondation to everyone travelling to Ecuador! The city is nice and there are quite many parks and it’s much less noisy than Portoviejo. I like the town a lot.

Nature park

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really high trees (approx. 40 metres)

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It needs about 7 grown people to hug the trees

We went to a nature park with huge and special trees that’s located about 1 hour away from Machala. There we got a guided tour. We were there with all the family, so quite a lot people and they wanted to take photos of Noelle and me everywhere. That got a bit annoying with the time but they mean it in a nice way. They want us to have photos to remember. The park was very nice and it was quite impressive how huge the trees were. I really liked that trip because like that I saw more of ecuadorian nature and that’s something I really want.P1290168B

La familia

La familia

Then we spent some very nice days in the house. Noelle and I talked a lot (swiss german *yeah*), swam in the pool, spent time with her siblings, went to the cinema with friends, went a night out with some other girls from the neighbour hood (it’s really great when your friends have a car πŸ™‚ ) and just enjoyed our time together. It was amazing and I got to know so many new people. I think I have much more friends in Machala now than in Portoviejo.

Loja and Vilcabamba

On Friday we drove to Loja, a town approx 4 hours from Machala away. We didn’t stay there long and only looked at the park. The park was really nice with many horses just walking around free. I liked Loja a lot. There we also did some shopping. It felt like we were buying food to feed half an army. People here eat so much. Then we travelled further to Vilcabamba, where the neighbours’ uncle has a huge house. We lived there with about 20 people. It was such a great trip and Vilcabamba is an incredible town. There are a lot of foreign people there so it was quite relaxing to not be that one “special person” everyone stares at.

In Vilcabamba we chilled at the pool (of course Noelle and me got a sunburn, the cons of having light skin), walked around in the town, ate good food and just talked and enjoyed the time with all the family. There even was a celebration where natives danced traditional dances. That was very nice to see. I love the traditional ecuadorian clothings.

I intended to return to Portoviejo on sunday but because of some problems I just got to travel back tuesday. I was very sadhaving to go back and leaving all these beautiful people, but I’m sure I’m going to see them again.Β  That week was definitely the very best since I’ve been here in Ecuador and I’m very very thankful that I could travel there and live with Noelle’s family.

That time I had to change bus all by myself in Guayaquil. I was a bit scared because the bus terminal there is really huuuuge. But I managed to do it, so now I’m a little proud of myself to be honest πŸ™‚P1290231

There's a lot of tourism in Vilcabamba

There’s a lot of tourism in Vilcabamba

The church in Vilcabamba

The church in Vilcabamba

The costumes from "la costa"

The costumes from “la costa”

some landscape

some landscape

The house we lived in

The house we lived in

beautiful nature

beautiful nature

in the animal park

in the animal park

With Nathalia, a friend of mine

With Nathalia, a friend of mine What a view!

Vilcabamba at night

Vilcabamba at night

Two kids dancing

Two kids dancing

Handmade things sold by natives

Handmade things sold by natives

Horseriding in Loja

Horseriding in Loja

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animal park. I felt really sorry for the animals there

Animal park. I felt really sorry for the animals there

I hope everything is fine back in Europe

un abrazo Annette