YFU Switzerland

Oriente

Hi everyone,

So I’m writing this after a week with many happenings. As you might have know, I went to Oriente (that’s how we call the rain forest part of Ecuador here). I saw a lot so I will tell about it in chronical order.

Wednesday, 18th:

In the morning we took the bus to Quito. All the Portoviejo people went, so I wasn’t alone. Because of some street problems, the ride took about 10 hours. It was boring but I’m used to bus rides here, so it was okay. The streets are not very comfortable and the drivers usually drive very dangerously, so the ride itself was an adventure too. When we finally arrived in Quito we

view out of the bus window

View out of the bus window

were all shocked by the cold. Two of us even only wore shorts. I luckily had thought about the climate change and had a hoodie with me, but it still was very cold. Quito is in the sierra (mountain area), so it’s always cold there. We then took the taxi to the hotel and there we met everyone again. It was so great. I was really happy to see my friends again and it was a good evening. We went to a bar and talked a lot. The Hotel was nice. Not very luxurious but clean. I went to sleep quite late that day, just like the following days 🙂

Thursday, 19th:

 

After eating a small breakfast at 7.30, we packed our stuff and got on the bus. This bus was only for YFU students (we were about 30). The 5 hour trip was very interesting. It was nice to see the nature change through the time that passed and I talked a lot with the people. To the hotel we came by boats that picked us up. It was really cool to drive to the “casa del suizo” (the house of the swiss guy) that way. The following days we always got from one place to another by boats. When we arrived we first got lunch there. We were really enthusiastic about the food. There was a buffet with salads, warm food and desserts. Especially the dessert buffet I was a big fan of (as people that know me might understand 😉 ). We then went to swim in the pool and after the delicious dinner we just chilled and chatted. It was very nice even though the mosquitos were disturbing. I used so much anti mosquito spray in the Oriente.

The first boat ride

The first boat ride

"la casa del suizo" (you can see the ecuadorian and the swiss flag next to each other)

“la casa del suizo”

The beautiful hotel with a great pool

The beautiful hotel with a great pool

View from the pool

View from the pool

me with some group of friends

me with some group of friends

the view from the room

the view from the room

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Friday, 20th:

Here our real jungle adventures started. After the amazing breakfast we all got rubber boots to put on and then we drove to another place with the boats. There a guide showed us through the primary and secondary rain forest. He really knew a lot about the plants and animals there. We also swang on a liana, what was funny. In the rain forest it’s really hot and humid, so we were all sweating waterfalls. After that we drove to a Zoo where they hold rescued animals, such as monkeys, parrots, alligators and more. There are many european volunteers that work there. After those sweaty activities, we got to float down the river on tires. It was really refreshing and lots of fun.

In the rain forest

In the rain forest

View worth the walk

View worth the walk

cute tucan

cute tucan

A cute animal I couldn't identify

A cute animal I couldn’t identify

there were so many apes in the zoo

there were so many apes in the zoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After lunch at the hotel we got on the boats again and drove to an island. There we went to the house of a family of indigenos. They live there on their own with some other families and have their own farm. There they showed us how to make chicha. Chicha is a very traditional and holy drink, that’s made out of yuca and some other spice. They then let it stand until it reaches some alcoholic status. I don’t think anyone of us liked it, but it was great to taste it and to the people there it’s really important. It was very interesting to see how the people live there so far away from civilisation. They learn spanish at school, but the traditional language is “Quechua”. Then we drove to another place where a indigena showed us how she makes ceramic bowls out of natural materials. I find it fascinating to see how these people know so much about the nature we live in. After that we all went to the pool and ate good food. In the evening we went to the village behind the hotel, where they also have a dicso. I didn’t dance, but I talked a lot to the others, so it was nice.

A little Quechua girl

A little Quechua girl

Chicha (not really my taste)

Chicha (not really my taste)

Girls washing their clothes

Girls washing their clothes

Showing us how to make ceramics

Showing us how to make ceramics

beautiful landscape

beautiful landscape

The ceramcis shop

The ceramcis shop

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Saturday, 21st:

We again walked through the rainforest for about 2 hours. It was soooooo hot, but really beautiful. We even saw a poisonous snake that people usually don’t get to see, how the guide told us. After that we drove to a little beach where there were some floats on the water. From there we floated down the river and also got to bath in the Napo. It was really cool.

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The bridge was really scary to walk over

The bridge was  scary

Huge trees

Huge trees

Like a Tarzan

Like a Tarzan

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breathtaking nature

breathtaking nature

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Then we had lunch at the hotel and walked to the butterfly house. It was very beautiful there. There were many butterflies that even came and sat on our hands and heads. The butterfly house belongs to the hotel and I liked it a lot. Later we walked to the place of an artist that makes animals out of wood. His work is all handmade and I think it is very beautiful. Then we came back, swam in the pool and ate our last dinner at the hotel. The evening we spent playing cards, talking and walking through the little village.

 

beautiful colours

beautiful colours

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I became friends with it 😉

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There were also nice flowers

"casa de las mariposas"

“casa de las mariposas”

The cocoons

The cocoons

making wooden art

making wooden art

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Sunday, 22nd:

We all were very sad having to leave the beautiful Oriente and we enjoyed our last breakfast at the hotel. I may or may have not eaten 3 pancakes 😉

Then after packing our stuff, we went to the boats that drove us to where the bus was waiting. From there we drove for about 6 hours to Quito. In Quito we went on a market, where they sold clothes, jewellery, chocolate, coffee, handbags and much more. It was a market of the indios and I bought quite a lot. I love the poncho that I bought for myself. On these markets it is important to try to lower the price, because they want to sell their stuff more expensive. So through talking I got my poncho for 16$ instead of 22$. Then I also noticed very well, how my Spanish has improved. In the evening we chilled at the hotel (it was the same one like the first day in Quito), played cards and talked. It was a bit sad because it was the last day, but I enjoyed it.

one of our guides

one of our guides

Last breakfast

Last breakfast

A group photo of us all

A group photo of us all

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Monday 23rd:

After breakfast I had to say goodbye to Noelle, who had to travel quite early. It was very sad to say goodbye and I would have given anything to not having to go back to Portoviejo and my stressing family situation there. After breakfast I had some time to talk to the others but soon we had to drive to the terminal. The goodbye was hard. I don’t know when I will see my friends again, but I hope I can visit them in the big holidays. Then we drove the bus and arrived at 6 pm. in Portoviejo. Back again the homesickness came back immediately. I hope very much that in my next blog I will be able to tell you that I finally got to change my host family.

 

A big hug from Ecuador

Ps: I’m so sorry for how it looks with the photos. I’ve been trying everything but somehow the blog programme of YFU doesn’t allow it to work free with the photos so they always get aligned in a very weird way. 🙁