AFS group

AFS group
Morten, Ericka, Kennet, Anouk, me, Tone, Kristina, and Kristoffer

My Guayaquilanian AFS groupie :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

¡¡Ay Carumba!!

Hmmm, where to begin? So much has happened in the last couple days, it is insanely hard! But a good experience nonetheless:)

I arrived in Guayaquil, Ecuador with the other 4 Guayaquilians around 1:30 in the afternoon. We said goodbye to the others (my roomie Anouk!! Que triste:( ) earlier that day. We were all so nervous to meet our separate families!!and I met my familia!! I have a mother, Juana, a sister named Denisse who is 21, and a brother Christian that is 32. They live in a very nice home, with lots of flowers and a water fountain in the middle of the dining area!! Que bueno, ¿no? haha, I love having the extra keys on the keyboard:) ññ ¡¡ ¿¿

So yes, on Saturday I met my family and kind of got everything settled. It was very hard the first day because I could not understand anything really! They all talk so fast!! I also went to a discoteca with my sister. I didn't realize that it was a bar, so there were lots of drunk people and it was all very overwhelming, being in a new place with all these new people. But my sister drove me back home, so it was all good. This is by far the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life, and I have cried more than I have in a long time... ok, let's say I have cried more than I have in the past month (for those of you who know what I am talking about - ahem, Scott - because that was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done) but yes, every day gets a little bit easier:) I am understanding spanish better and I think that I am speaking it better?? No se.

I met another part of their family on Sunday. The older sister Ericka and her kids Ericka and Bodi? I think is their names. We drove into some sort of town with their friend Paula as well. We walked around a bit and looked through all the shops. It was a lot of fun:) and the two little kids are super cute!

So, I live 5 minutes away from the temple in Guayaquil!! It is only a short walk up a hill and then you are there!! I was so excited about that! And, the family told me that they have neighbors that are mormons that they would introduce me to. So hopefully I will be able to go to church with them:) I feel very blessed!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Soy gringa!! :)

Hola everybody!!! If you just happened upon this very lovely work of art (my blog:)) and have no idea why you are reading this, I might just ask you the same question:) Also, if you didn't know, I am in Quito, Ecuador!! Que bueno, no? I am here for the next week and then I will be in Guayaquil for the next 5 or 6 months with the program AFS (American Field Service) and I will be doing community service with los ninos. I will be living with a family during my stay that I will be meeting next week. In my family there will be the mother Juana, her son Christian, and her daughter Denisse. All that I know about them so far is that they are Catholic, they have dogs (yeah!!), and they have internet access, so I will be able to use it for this blog.

So far my stay in Quito has been muy bueno! There are 8 other people that are doing community service along with me:) there is Anouk from Montreal, Canada who speaks french and is CRAZY!! We laugh a lot:) Then Tone (pronounced "tuna") is from Norway and she is very sweet. Kristoffer is also from Norway and he is crazy as well. He seems to enjoy making fun of me and my accent, because I am an American... I think he is jealous:) The other Norwegian is Erika and then there are four Danes: Morten, Kenneth, Kristine, and Michelle. They are all a lot of fun to hang out with. Luckily they all speak english!

On Friday, July 18 I flew into Quito during a thunder and lightning storm! It was sweet:) just looking out the window and seeing the flashes of light. I met Anouk when we landed and now we are staying in a hostal for the week.

On Saturday, July 19, we met the others and had an orientation. I know... way exciting, huh? I seriously couldn't contain myself with all of the excitement:) that night we went out to a bar (I let them know before we went that I don't drink) and saw a little part of the city. There were little children that would try to sell you cigarettes on the street. It was so sad, there was one girl that had her baby brother slung on her back, and when I climbed in the taxi she kept knocking on my window:( It made me very grateful for all that I have!

On Sunday, July 20, we went to the Mitad del Mundo, which is supposedly where the equator is. So I got to be in the northern and southern hemisphere at the same time!! I know... way exciting:)

The past three days I have been having spanish classes. It is very exhausting!!! This whole week I will be learning spanish for 8 hours every day... By the end of each day I am very tired. But I guess it will all be worth it. We went to a market and the parque and tomorrow I get to learn how to salsa:) Every day I am becoming less of a gringa... if that is possible... I am still not used to all the looks that our group gets. And the honking. It is all very strange.

Some of my first impressions of Ecuador:
-the buses are INSANE! The drivers don't even wait for the doors to shut before they jolt off. I am sure the nine of us look absolutely ridiculous! We were falling all over the place and laughing our heads off - and the people on the bus just stared at us:) they go really fast and half the time people are hanging out the doors... es muy loco.
-I eat the exact same thing every single day for lunch and dinner. We start with some sort of soup followed by a plate of rice and vegetables with a different type of meat. So, there is usually no surprise there... oh, except, sometimes there is corn in the soup, which makes for a really good surprise:) Pretty much everything is fried. And I had no idea that there were so many ways of preparing bananas. They have banana chips, fried bananas, mini bananas, and today, there were bananas in my soup. Mmmm, delicious:) but it really is quite good, just the same every day.
-Everything is very colorful - the buildings, the streets, the graffiti that is all over. It is a lot of fun to be able to look at! The mountains are huge, which is good because I was afraid that I'd miss the mountains in Utah.

So, yes, that is my fun and goodness so far:) hurray!!! hasta luego!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008