Hi we are Thea and Kaya, and we are from Denmark! After weeks of excitement, our adventure finally started in Ecuador. As we were planning on travelling through more Spanish-speaking countries, we decided to follow the introduction program in Quito. During this week we had 5 Spanish classes, in which we learned about Spanish grammar, the Ecuadorian culture and many more. We even went to visit a local market and we played games, such as memory, in which we had to match the image to the Spanish word. These classes were giving in tiny groups and were really productive, as our Spanish teacher only spoke Spanish to us. This sounded a bit scary at the beginning, but quickly we felt like we’ve learned more Spanish during those 5 classes than we have learned during three years of Spanish classes in Denmark.
Besides the Spanish classes, we went to a salsa class where we learned the basics of this beautiful dance. Best part of it? We now feel a little less clueless in the bars when it comes to moving our hips, but still it hasn’t replaced our love for karaoke.
We love to sing, but we also love a good adventure! So we did a day excursion on one of our free days to the Cotopaxi volcano. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to sing when we were climbing the Cotopaxi. This was really hard because of the height, but it was so rewarding! When we reached the base camp we were so proud of ourselves, and from there it got more and more fun as we biked downhill.
The week after, we started our volunteer project at the Centre for Street Children, this centre provides help and support to the children who come from poor, vulnerable and often broken families. As Kaya wants to become a police officer in the future, this project was a great opportunity for her to gain more experience on the streets. But it isn’t just for the experience, the work itself is so giving. It is beautiful to see that the smallest things, can make such a difference for these kids. Even if it is just a hug or telling them how well they are doing something, it might be something they do not get at home. But even though the kids all have their own story, they are all so happy and cheerful… It is good to see that thanks to the program they’re just being kids again.
Our day at the centre usually starts at 9am, at this time we begin helping the bigger kids with their homework. We mainly help them with their English homework, as helping them with biology in Spanish wasn’t very helpful. But we were not only helping them with their homework, they were also helping us to improve our Spanish. Isn’t this great! And the staff is just as helpful as the kids, although they spoke a lot faster than them. Together we usually figured it out as Thea understands a lot of Spanish, but she cannot speak a lot of Spanish, and I (Kaya) am the complete opposite, which made us a great team!
And after a long day of working and learning, we returned to the volunteer house were we cooked dinner with the other international volunteers or sometimes we go out for dinner in one of the great restaurants around the corner. On some days, we also go out in one of the nice bars or we participate in a pub quiz nearby, usually on Tuesday nights. We really do have a lot of fun here in Quito and the best part is that every day is a new adventure!