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)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


hello everyone! ecuador´s great, I like it alot! the socond or third day in town I went up into the mountains to a town called guisagweña (not sure how to spell it) with my host mom Piedad, coordinator, Aida and Kristin along with another family, whose kids go to my school. there was a big festival up in the mountains with people and music and fireworks and food and clothing, we went to a church that was packed full of people and candles. we walked around and watched a gaint firework show with spinning sparks and music. the girls were very nice and explained everything to us twice. the younger one pointed to everything and names it "se llama zapatos" and "se llama chocolate". it was a lot of fun.
a few days later kristin got her hosty family, who she loves. and the day after that we got mesured for our uniforms. the girl´s uniforms are all white dresses with white socks and black shoes. I think all the girls look like nurses and all the boys like cub scouts (brown uniforms)
Aida works at my school and took me to two classes to introduce me. then some girls fromt he class invited me to go to a pizzaria with them and then play basketball. they are all SO nice.
I play basketball with them every evening in the weekdays.

I like the town a lot because everyone knows eachother.

On saturday the whole afs group from Piñas, plus Piedad, Aida and an afs counselor, went to Cuenca. An old, colonial town with beautiful buildings and cold weather, since it´s high up above sea level. we had to get up at 2 in the morning to catch a bus there, but it was difinetly worth it. we went to market, where the quecuan people sold coats and bags and scarfs and goods. we all baught Piedad a flower because Aida told us it was "la dia de la Rosa", being santa rosa and piedad´s first name is Rosa.

They have AMAZING pineapples, oranges and bananas here.

yesterday we started school. the other students there are already halfway through the year, so we´ll have a break in the middle of our exchange year. the first day, we all put on our uniforms and lined up for the Ecuadorian Pledge Of Alligence (they sing it every Monday at the start of the day). the the School´s director made anouncements andcalled us up to introduce ourselves. All seven of us stood infront of the whole school and said our names, where we were from and whatever else we wanted to say. my spanish isn´t great, so I used pretty bad grammar.
I actually like school very much, though its probably because I don´t really have to do too much bacause I can´t understand much of what the theachers say. all the students were very welcoming and yesterday my friends taught me all the names for Fruts. papaya, limon, piña, etc.

Everyone calls me "Sarita" here :)

I think I am catching onto spanish pretty quickly, atleast I know a lot more than I did the first day. I´m exited to get to the point where I can speak AND understand everything. right not I don´t really understand too much. but I´ve been studying!

My host mother is very nice. at night we always watch a show called "una novela" on television. we talk and I take my diccionary and look up words I don´t understand. she´s so sweet. in a week I think I understood that we are going to Loja to Meet with her Family that lives there.

well I should get going now..
¡hasta luego!