Friday, March 13, 2009


so last week we went on this amazing trip to the galapagos-- we went to see the giant tortoises and iguanas the first day, we had these really cool guides with us, sabina and alejandro, who were with us most of the time. then we went to a little beach as the sun was going down. in the evening I wet out with these three girls in the group from machala and hung out by the port (there are only girls in machala, which was kinda funny, but fun too) there were about 7 pelicans just chilling in the trees next to us by the water. the next day we took a boat out to the island baltra, a volcanic island where you could see how the lava fell and froze there in place-- then to a little beach on the island and got really close to this pelican. hehe. the boat ride there and back were both about 3 hours, but it was really nice and relaxing, I talked to these really cool guys and a girl from norway/italy. in the evening we went to a discotecha (yes, even in the galapagos they have discos -- better than the one in piñas actually. I was actually surprised the the amount of people that live in the island santa cruz) day 3 we went to the island santa fe to snorkle! oh my goodness chelsea we swam with sealions! they were about 1 meter away from us!! (how many feet are in a meter?.. 5 or 6 think) really cool. we only had to back away a bit when the male come, cause they said he´s aggressive. after lunch on the boat we went to swim in a near by beach -- the water is SO CLEAR there, like when we went to st. john, maybe clearer. beautiful. there is a cute girl from japan in machala named seai I had fun swimming with. we all went walking around in the evening, it´s really safe in the galapagos. next day we went to see the giant tortoises , then to los gimenos, it was really cool about how they were made, then the a tunnel== caves= after lunch we went to tortuga bay, it was a nice walk there, when we got there the sun was in the middle of the sky, sparkling on the clear water and white white sand. the sand was so fine, like flour. we walked along the beach and found a spot to swim for about 15 minutes. we had to leave at a certain time because in the night time all the turtles go up the the dunes and they don't want the people there. our guide said that if you some really early in the morning the whole beach is covered in little prints from the turtles. the next day we had to go, which was sad. it was such an amazing amazing trip

Monday, January 12, 2009

Feliz año

for christmas I went with my host mom to Loja. Chrismas is on the 24th in the evening. all the family was there from Loja and Zamora. the party atarted at 12 midnight, eating, praying, singing and dancing: lots of dancing-- kids with adults, teenagers with grandparents, it didn´t matter what age you were, everyone danced with everyone. I went to bed at 4:30 am. it was a very interesting christmas overall. nat bad, just a different way of celebrating.

for new years eve we went to Zamora. I really liked the way they celebrated new years. everyone makes these "Muñecas" caled años viejos of the bad things from the last year, then at midnight everyone lights fire to the big dolls in the streets or on the roofs (burning the bad things of the old year to make way for the new)
the rest of the trip we chilled with our family at the house in zamora - piedad´s sister has a house where her and her husband live, then the level above there´s a house where her daughter´s family live, and the other doughter with her family above. so there´s always people, but it´s always fun. my uncle has a vetrinarian clinic/store attatched to the house.
we also all hung out at the family farm. were we had lunch (chickens from the farm) and swam (there´s a little pool) and relaxed and talked with the family. I took a drive to the rio zamora and to a pueblo close by.
everyone in my family is really nice, and I fel now really like part of the family. it was a really fun trip! I like zamora a lot.

I´m getting along really well with my host mom now.

back in piñas school is almost over. it´s our last week. My friends are great. my closest friends are: Gabi, Monica, Fabiola and Anabel. theyré goofy. then of course the exchange students are great too. :)
I really really love that the group of exchange students in my town are so close, like a second family. they´re all really great, like a big seccond family (AFS family)

it was Kevin´s birthday thursday, his mom through a little party in the house, we chilled and ate cake, listened to spanish, english and german music.
We all took a day trip saturday for Kristin´s birthday. we shopped and saw madagasgar 2

we´re going to present a dance to the song of piñas, and a little salsa.

I understand almost everything of spanish now.

(just something I though was interesting)
thay care a lot about facial expresions here. my first few months here, every so often my host mom would get mad at me for no reason, I told chris about it and he said that I should watch which facial expression I am using, because sometimes when I am confused I look almost mad. now when I´m confused I keep my face calm, and I don´t have any problems :)

it is polite to eat everything off your plate, and if you don´t it´s better to lie and say you have an upset stomach, so you couldn´t eat everything, or that the food was so good that you´re full.

yep, well love you all! hope everything there is amazing
hasta luego :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

hey everyone! so the last 2 months have been good. I think I went through a bit of a culture shock fase, really missing everything from home- but now I got over it, and am really good!

almost christmas!
here they celabrate christmas on the 24th with dinner, giftgiving and sometimes mas. they have set ups of the baby jesus in the manger called nacimientos, which I helped set up for my host sister in loja, and my host mom here in piñas. they´re cute :)

here the weather is the same, haha, no snow, though piedad mentioned that in quito sometimes it hails hielo (ice)

hope everything is really fantastic back home with you guys!

lots of love, sarah

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

dos meses, dieciseis años

hola everyone, sorry I haven´t writing in a while! I´ve been so busy! (thats good though! :)

there was an AFS orientation in a town called Playas (literally meaning "beaches") and we got to meet with the AFS kids from guayaquil! which was really cool- I liked seeing all of them. we went to the beach, and at night to a discotecha! then to guayaquil before returning to piñas.

I went to guayaquil again the next weekend with kids from my school(it was a school trip). we left at 4 in the morning, drove to guayaquil, spend to day around the city, in malls and the centro. then we went at 7 at night to the Feria Of Duran .. a HUGE fair! there were so many people there! which was a bit overwelming, but we went to a concert there with a really fun band to watch and I liked that. we all danced and danced. at 2 in the morning we got in the bus to return and arived in piñas at 5 in the morning the next day!

I´ve been taking a dance class with the exchange students! so far we´ve learned salsa, merengue and Regaton! it´s really fun, and the dance instruster, Laurena, is really sweet.

the other week we celebrated our 2 full minths in ecuasdor! I went out with the intercambios for pizza, and we made toasts and it was really nice :)

I was in a parade for the birthday of my school. each class dressed up as a different culure -- my class, sociales, went as geishas. FEMA went as Hawaiians, Mechanica as giant tools. The exchange students then got to go out in costumes representing the cultures of each country. I went as the statue of liberty, Kevin, Annika, and Kristin in trajes de alimania, anders as a viking, and chris as the mascot of the school -- an ant with a giant paper mache head. (the profesoras of the costurera made our costumes for us- they did a really good job too!)we walked in a huge parade train arounf the streets of piñas, then there was a huge party afterwards in the park. people sang and danced, then they called us up and we sang happy birthday in english in front of everyone! and we danced too to the music too! haha

I think I´m doing really well with spanish. enough to even say "I speak spanish" I can understand and speak to people. it´s so cool! and I don´t have to think as much in conversations now!

My friends here are so amazing! the one sad thing though is that they´re all leaving in Febuary for Universities in cuence, and guayas, and quito! oh well though, we still have a lot of time, and I know I´ll meet new friends too! it´s so easy to meet friends here.

we moved levels of my building, cause the people who owned the building wanted to have the top house. so we did like switches -- a couch up, a chair down, a table up, a table down. the new level is the same size, jusat set out different. it´s just as nice though

my mom here is really nice too! she´s very sweet, and we still are watching the Novela every night and eating lunches at a resturant in town.

on saturday, I went to another big party in the coliseo at my school. it was like reina del orchidias, exept with SO many more people! bands played spanish music, and we dance -- I´m finaly getting how to dance! it ended around 2. this whole month I there are parties for fiestas de piñas in the weekends.

my 16th birthday was yesterday! yay it was nice an cool, which was nice for me :) at school everyone was so cool - they all came up and gave me hugs and wished me a feliz cumpleaños and many more. the people in my class were like -- she needs a cake! she needs a cake! 50 cent everyone! and then they went out an bought a cake and brought it to class! they sang and I blew out the candles. then they said, take a bite out of the side of the cake now! go ahead! and I was like "okay.." so I leaned down to take a bite -- and they pushed my face into the cake! I had frosting all over my face!
haha, turns out it is a tradition at every birthday in ecuador! I said "ha, I had no idea!" and everyone asked "what you don´t do this in the US??"
after school I had a little party with the exchange student at my house, we ate snacks and cake, and danced, it was a really nice party! and it starty to rain like crazy outside! :)

Monday, September 29, 2008


hey guys! so a lot has been happening here. I hiked to the cross again and played cards with my friends. I went to the pool. Aida took us to meet the "reinas del mundo" who were visiting piñas for a beauty contest. we got dressed up and went to drink tea with them. all the exchange students had tea with the reina de los ustados unidos (she was really nice. her name was Amanda and from California -- she actually ended up winning the contest!) and the reina de Alimania. it was fun and afterwards all the exhcange students took funny pictures together on this pretty balcony with a view of the mountains :

the next day we went to a beautiful beach (pacific ocean!!) my first time to the pacific! and there were dolfins and aida bought a little green bird out of the side-car window on the way there for a 2 dollars!

we went to Machala to get our visa cencus cards, but the man to make them wasn´t there, so we went again to next day! but it was fine, casue we got to see an AFS exchange student, Lia, in Machala, from Alaska.

I went to the farm of a friend with abunch of friends from school. we made lunch, and then just swam in the pool for about 4 hours.

I went with my friends to the competition for "reinas de las orchidias" My friend Anabell was a contestant! it was a really big event, the whole place was filled with people and balloons and it was split up into colored sections of people rooting for each contestant. each candidate represented a different Orchid- Anabell´s orchid was Turquise, so we all sat in the turquoise section. it was a lot of fun. the reinas had their swimsuit section, then a band called Blind Dog came on to sang. my school friends knew all the words to every song. then the contestants dressed in outfits representing their specific orchid. Another band played and we all got up and danced. haha, we danced a lot. then the evening gowns, and another band- this band was called Fuego, from Quito. by the time they anounced the winner it was already 3 in the morning! Anabell didn´t win, but she did get the equivalent to the miss congeniality award, which was pretty cool.

there was a party at a pool called Mora Mora for the exchange students, AFS piñas staff, and our families last week. we played games from different countries.. baloon toss.. sack race.. Aida annoumced we would have a "reina del intercambios" and since Annika and I were the only exchange student girls there for that morning, she made us walk around, and walk on the tables and then we picked a peice of paper from one of the counselors hands to see who won, I got the triangle shaped piece so they said I won. they gave me a sash that Aida had glued a paper that said "AFS" on it, and a paper crown.. we played another game from ecuador where you put a tomato inbetween two persons´ forheads and they have to dance and try not to drop the tomato.. we ate lunch, and then swam, and went on the slides at the pool.

The majority of the people here are Roman Catholic. Aida and Piedad aswell, so Aida brought me to the church last sunday. I never new when to stand of sit.. there was a lot of standing and sitting, and kneeling and praying and some songs.

There was an election in ecuador for a constitution change, giving Correa (president of Ecuador) a chance to run for another tearm of 4 years. the election was yesterday, and the side for "si" won.

I went to the pool with Piedad and Aida, which was nice.

all of sexto courso, minus the exchange students, had to do a march with the flag for Ecuador on the "day of the flag". they marched while music played in the big coloseo, then each student had to march to the flag, say "si juro!" (yes, I swear) kneel and kiss the flag. all the exange srudents went to see this, and then afterwards my friend Karla said "Vamos a bailar" so we went dancing at 10:30 in the morning.

there is a feria in town right now which I´ve been visiting and walking around in with my friends, which is fun. tehre are a lot of little shops --and one sells piñas with helado! Oh My Goodness, It Is So Good!

on the 10th of october I´m going with my course to a really bug feria in Guayaquil! I´m exited!

alright, till later guys! chao!
xxo sarah

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cruz en la Mantañas


there´s a cross at the top of the big mountains surrounding the city, which is lit up at night. and friday, I hiked up to he cross with some friends from school, Angie, Mario, Fabiola, and Alihondra, and friends from AFS, anders, kevin. the hike was hard, but it was definetly worth it when I got to the top. you could see the whole city. I took lots of pictures, which I´ll load once I figure out how to load pictures in an internet cafe. once we were at the op, we hung out and ate snacks and took funny pictures.

I went to Loja with Piedad to meet with her family. we have alot lot of family there! my host sister and brother, my neices and cousins and aunts. everyone is really nice too. we went to another party like the one in guisaguinia, for the virgin mary. the next day we went to a theatre and saw two of my host nieces in a dance show. then later that day to see my host siser-in law dance. there were all diffferent dances, hip hop, contemporary, indidunous from different south american countries (haha, sorry for the bad spelling :) ), reggaton, etc. we went to a fair with rides and music and vendors and food and people. and we went to the zoo the morning before we left. once of my nieces (it´s funny she´s my niece, since she´s only two years younger than me so we say counsins insted) want to learn English, so she would try to speak to my in engligh and I would respond in spanish. she lstens to a lots of engligh music too.

yesterday my friends from school too 5 of us from afs on a little tour of piñas, since we got out of school really early. after basketballin the evening, I went to a circus with my friends Gabbi, Kevin (AFS), Kristin (AFS) and Fabiola. but we got there half an hour late, and the clown was on the stage and when he saw us he yelled "hey! you speaking english?! hey djkadfjsdagh(something is spanis.. which I couldn´t understand) ustados unidos aqui!"
there were trapise artist. one of them from the US! there was a dog trick show, there was a clown and then a hypnotist, magistion man. I couldn´t really understand what he said, but he had a bunch of poeple come up and stand in a line and close their eyes and then said "duerme, duerme" (sleep sleep) over and over again, and theree of them fell alseep.

today I has school like usual, I think I´m going to a dance at the school with my friends on friday and saturday.

AFS exchange students in Piñas:
Kristen (Germany)
Annika (Germany)
Chris (USA)
Tanya (Switzerland)
Anders (Denmark)
Kevin (Germany)
Me (USA)