My unforgettable time in Quito the city of 'eternal spring'
Three weeks ago I have left Quito (Ecuador) returning to Switzerland with lots of overwhelming impressions and experiences. I have left a few hours before the erruption of the volcano 'Tungurahua' (which is situated approximately 130km away from Quito) took place.
But let's start over...
The wish to travel to South America and to support a child aid project has grown in the past 2-3 years and has never ever disappeared. Last Septemeber I took the chance and looked for adequate organisation in the internet.
Finally I've found Sintaxis, a Swiss foundation that supports various projects in whole Ecuador. One of these projects is the children's home 'Pueblito la Ternura' in San Antonio. Immediatley I've contacted Felix the promoter of Sintaxis in Switzerland and booked my 3 months volunteering stay including Spanish cours.
At the airport in Quito I've been welcomed very cordially by Carmen (Spanish teacher at Sintaxis) and her husband. They drove me directly to my host family. From the first moment on I've felt very comfortable and I enjoyed living at Charito together with other students from Ecuador and from abroad. The open mindedness, the in some way different style of living, the attitud towards life and the lust for life of the Ecuadorian people touched and inspired me instantly.
During the first 5-6 weeks I've been studying Spanish. The one to one classes were very intensiv and some days it was notably tiring. But the really very fast progress in my Spanish language skills was just overwhelming for me and I was looking forward to my soon working start at the children's home.
My first working day at the children's home was a challenge. 20 children at the age of 5-7 absorbed me immediately and when the mistress Karina left me alone with the children for a short moment there was partying all around me. Some ran to the playground others had fun with the blackboard or had a look on some books. Day after day the cooperation with the kids got better and every day I've been welcomed with the words 'la profe Manuela está aquí’ very happily.
After the classes it was my task to look after the children in 'casita 4' (house number 4) of the children's home. Eating lunch together, doing homework, play, dry tears, settle disputes or just listen and give hugs to the children were my functions.
On the weekends I've been traveling a lot with friends. Ecuador with it's diversity of Volcanoes, waterfalls, coast, highlands, jungle, Indian markets, lagoons, animals, food specialities and lots more provides unforgettable moments. For sure I haven't discovered everything yet in this country of which it's people are very proud.
I will miss 'my' Children from the 'Pueblito la Ternura’ that I had come to love as well as my Ecuadorian friends a lot and that's why I just say:
Big thanks also to my friends at Sintaxis who didn't just teach me Spanish but also gave me advice all the time and cared a lot about the well-being of the Students. They made everything they could to ensure that I can enjoy my stay in their beautiful country. They were and still are real friends!
Muchas Gracias to the children and sisters at the Pueblito for accommodating me so cordially and for the really nice good bye ceremony which plucked my heartstrings.