tirsdag den 8. september 2015

Where to start! And Mitad del Mundo.

A "small" update here from Ecuador. I do not really know what to tell you, where to start and how much to tell you!
It feels like so much time have passed since my last post(I actually started writing this post friday, but so much happened during the weekend and I got sick!). Still it feels like no time has passed. That is the problem when you do so many things that you feel like a lot of time have passed but you have not had time to reflect upon them or just to do nothing, so you feel like no time has passed a lot.

Maybe I will just start where I took of the last time. I had my birthday and we went to El Centro...
Saturday we had a football game where we had the possibility to meet our mentors (Ecuadorians who are going to help us and be our friends during our year here.) Instead of playing, I talked to one of my mentors. Our conversation involved some threats about a creepy clown that were going to kill me.. ;P (And yeah, it has been a "joke" ever since I actually saw a person dressed as a creepy clown in La Ronda [a part of Quito] the same evening!)

Yeah, so Saturday evening I went to La Ronda with Stefanie, my roomie and Brónagh (from Ireland) where we met up with Rebecca (England), Felix (Germany) and Constanza (Mexico). They have lived together during these 2 weeks. They were with their host mom when we met up with them, and we sat down at this cozy bohemian place, where after we went to a salsa place to dance the salsa! However, for the next time I think we need to find a place where people are a little bit younger. And not between 30 and 40 years old.

En "lille" opdatering her fra Ecuador. Jeg er meget i tvivl om hvad jeg skal fortælle jer, hvor jeg skal begynde og hvor meget jeg skal fortælle!
Det føles som om der er gået så lang tid siden mit sidste indlæg (jeg begyndte at skrive i fredags, men så skulle jeg en masse i weekenden og jeg blev syg). Men alligevel føles det som om der nærmest ikke er gået noget tid siden sidst. Jeg har lavet så mange ting at det føltes som om der er gået lang tid og alligevel som om ingen tid er gået fordi jeg ikke har haft tid til at tænke alle de ting der er sket igennem.

Jeg tror bare jeg starter hvor jeg sluttede sidste gang. Jeg havde fødselsdag og vi var i El Centro. Lørdag var der arrangeret en fodboldkamp, hvor vi kunne møde vores mentorer, der skal hjælpe os og være vores venner hernede. I stedet for at spille snakkede jeg med min mentor, og vores samtale handlede blandt andet om en ond klovn der ville komme og dræbe mig.. ;P (Det har været en joke siden jeg så en person klædt ud som en ond klovn samme aften i La Ronda [en del af Quito].)

Lørdag aften var jeg som sagt i La Ronda sammen med Rebecca (England). Felix (Tyskland), Constanza (Mexico)(de tre har boet sammen de sidste 2 uger), Brónagh (Irland) og Stefanie (min roomie). De andre tre var sammen med deres værtsmor da vi mødte dem på en bohemian café, hvorefter vi tog hen til et Salsa sted, for at danse. Næste gang tror jeg dog vi skal finde et sted hvor folk er yngre og ikke et sted hvor de er 30-40 år gamle.

This week we have had more language-classes, which meant that we had to get up at 6 am from Monday to Thursday. I have started reading in the busses on our usual routes, which is making the bus rides a lot shorter!

I have had a hard time with the language-classes, as I am not usually good at learning languages and much better in skill based learning, for an example math. Languages depends too much on your memory (you have to remember how to conjugate the verbs, what the word means, how to put together a sentence and stuff like that). It also confuses me that in Ecuador you don't use second person plural and you usually don't mention the subject, but you have to figure it out based on the conjugating of the verb. I have been in the basic class and I actually feel like I have improved a lot during the two weeks of classes, and hopefully it will keep improving! I feel like the rest of the class has improved a lot more than me, because they have had host families that could help them practice.

The times where I can feel that I am getting better at Spanish is when I succeed in buying something in a shop where they do not speak Spanish and where there is no fixed prices.
Stefanie and I have managed to buy meat at a butcher (and we even got a bill, which we had to ask for) and we have been to the fruit store, where we, you guessed it, bought fruit (reminds me of another blog entrance I have to make - all the different and delicious fruit of Ecuador). The lady in there was so sweet and wanted us to taste an Ecuadorian fruit, so she broke on in half and gave it to us, so we could taste it. Down here you don't buy fruit in an amount of numbers. Instead you buy fruit in an amount of dollars. So you can buy bananas for 1 dollar or 2 dollars.

Vi har haft mere sprogundervisning i denne uge, hvilket også har betydet, at vi har været nødsaget til at stå op klokken 6 fra mandag til torsdag. Jeg er begyndt at læse i busserne på de ruter vi normalt tager, hvilket har hjulpet en del på hvor lang transporttiden føles.

Jeg har haft det svært med sprog-undervisningen, og jeg er normalt ikke specielt god til at lære sprog, da det oftest handler om at huske hvordan man bøjer verberne, sætter sætningerne sammen og ordenes betydning. Det er også en smule forvirrende at de ikke bruger 2. person flertal i Ecuador og at man normalt ikke bruger grundled, men man skal i stedet gætte sig frem til grundledet ud fra hvordan verbet bøjes. Jeg har været på begynder-niveauet og føler rent faktisk at jeg er blevet bedre til spansk og jeg håber at jeg bliver bedre endnu. Jeg føler dog at resten af mit hold er blevet langt bedre end mig, fordi de har haft værtsfamilier at øve deres spanske med.

De tidspunkter hvor jeg kan mærke at jeg er blevet bedre til spansk er når jeg køber noget et sted uden fastsatte priser og hvor de ikke snakker spansk. Så vi har både købt kød hos slagteren (hvor vi endda fik en regning) og frugt hos grønthandleren. Sælgeren ville have os til at smage en ecuadoriansk frugt, så hun brækkede en i halv og gav os en halvdel hver (hvilket minder mig om at jeg på et tidspunkt skal lave et blogindlæg omkring nogle af de frugter de har hernede). Det er også meget interessant at du køber frugt i dollars og ikke i antal. Så du køber ikke 12 bananer, du køber bananer for 1 dollar.

A quite interesting cultural thing also happened at the school during this week, because Wednesday the students had their first school day and there is some differences from Denmark:
They have to wear school uniforms, which isn't so weird.
The strange part is that after our break Wednesday the older kids had to stand in rows and started marching. They did different exercises and we couldn't figure out why! Was it PE, a punishment or maybe to enforce the unity of the school? They marched, had to turn around and do the things simultaneously, sometimes there where music disturbing our class and sometimes they chanted some things.
I ended up asking my teacher about it, and she told us, that they were doing an exercise on how to honor the flag! And they did the same thing Thursday, but this time it was to honor the foundation of Quito. We were told that it is a duty of every citizen to be able to and to honor the flag/the foundation of Quito. You certainly do not see that in Danish high schools. And I hardly doubt that you would ever be able to make Danish students do something similar to that - maybe you could make them dance the Gangnam Style. Maybe.
It was quite interesting to observe and definitely a proof that the culture here is very different from the danish culture.

Vi oplevede også en ret spændende kulturel ting ved den skole hvor vi har haft sprogundervisning. I onsdags havde eleverne der nemlig første skoledag og for det første, så skal de alle sammen bære skoleuniformer.
For det andet, og det her er den underlige del, skulle de ældre elever stille sig på en linje og begyndte at marchere og de skulle gøre forskellige ting. Nogle gange skulle de råbe nogle ting og andre gange dreje rundt og de skulle gøre tingene synkront. De havde også musik, der godt kunne lyde some national-sang noget af tiden. Vi undrede os meget over hvad de lavede. Kunne det være en form for idræt? En straf? Eller skulle det bare gøre at de følte sig mere som en enhed?
Jeg endte med at spørge min lærer om det, og hun sagde, at de øvede sig i at ære Ecuadors flag. De gjorde det samme torsdag, men denne gang for at ære grundlæggelsen af Quito.
Jeg tror næppe man ville kunne få danske gymnasieelever til at gøre det samme. Måske ville du kunne få dem til at danse Gangnam Style?
Men det var en oplevelse af at kulturen her er anderledes end den danske.

Honoring the foundation of Quito
Skoleelever øver sig i at ære at Quito blev grundlagt

Every day during the week we stayed in Quito after school. Why go straight home, when you are in a foreign country with lots of cool people (some of whom I don't know when I'll see again, as they are being relocated to go to their projects outside of Quito.)

So we have been eating lunch in the city, and gone on some sight seeing, which included a street in La Mariscal with trees?? We agreed afterwards, that we had to throw out the guide that showed us there and accidently set fire to the trash can.

Hver dag igennem ugen blev vi i Quito efter skole. For hvorfor skulle vi tage direkte hjem, når vi er i et fremmed land med massere af dejlige mennesker (og hvor vi ikke ved hvornår vi vil se nogle af de andre igen, fordi de er blevet flyttet til projekter udenfor Quito).
Derfor har vi spist frokost i byen og været ude og se lidt forskelligt, for eksempel en gade i La Mariscal hvor hovedattraktionen var træer... Vi blev efterfølgende enige om, at vi bliver nødt til at smide guidebogen der viste os gaden ud. Og måske sætte ild til skraldespanden efterfølgende..

A street featured in a guide. The main attraction? Trees.
En vej der var omtalt i en guidebog. Hvorfor? På grund af træerne.
Hanging out. Clockwise around the table starting with Felix (the only guy in the picture) we have Felix, Sofie, Rebecca, Brónagh, Stefanie and me.
Hygge. Med urets retning startende med Felix (den eneste dreng) har vi Felix, Sofie, Rebecca, Brónagh, Stefanie og mig.
Friday we went to la Mitad del Mundo. The middle of the world, which made for some cool pictures at the "equatorial line". "Equatorial line" because we visited two places and both claimed that they where in the middle of the world, but both places should be off by a couple of hundred meters (but of course that depends on who you ask!). I probably shouldn't have told you that, because now my pictures will seem less impressive. However, it's still almost true and Ecuador is very proud of their position on the equatorial line, so proud that they even tell you in the name. Ecuador actually means The republic of the equator, or something like that.
I have also read that some scientist agree that the equatorial line is not a few milimeters tick but actually 5 kilometers.

Fredag besøgte vi La Mitad del Mundo, verdens midte, hvor man kan få taget virkelig seje billede ved "ækvator linjen". "Ækvator" fordi vi besøgte to steder, der begge påstod at være verdens midte, og begge steder skulle have ramt forkert med et par hundrede meter (men det kommer selvfølgelig an på hvem du spørger). Jeg skulle sikkert ikke have fortalt jer det, for nu virker mine billeder mindre imponerende ;). Det er nu stadigvæk næsten sandt og Ecuador er meget stolt af dets placering på ækvator. Ecuador betyder rent faktisk Den ækvatorianske republik, eller noget i den stil.
Jeg har også læst at nogle videnskabsmænd mener, at den ækvatoriele linje er 5 km tyk, og ikke bare et par få millimeter eller centimeter.
La Mitad del Mundo
The first place we visited was a large official monument with a lot of museums, but we only looked around and ate our lunch there.

The second place was a something called Museo Intiñan, which showed different tricks to "prove" that this was the real equatorial line.

Det første sted vi besøgte var et stort officielt monument, hvor der var rigtig mange museer. Vi spiste frokost der og kiggede os lidt omkring.
Det andet sted var et sted kaldet Museo Intiñan, der viste forskellige ting, der skulle "bevise" at deres linje var det rigtige ækvator.

La Mitad del Mundo - again
  1. That you can balance an egg on a nail, because the liquid inside the egg falls evenly down on both sides. If you were able to do it you became the Egg-master.
  2. That your muscles weaken on the equatorial line (which was shown by doing strength tests involving different volunteers)
  3. That it is possible to walk in a straight line with both of your eyes closed, as the gravitational force on the inner ears is 100 % equal.
  4. That water spins in a different direction on each site of the equator when being drained from a basin, and it will not spin if placed directly on the equatorial line.

But these 4 tricks should all have been disproven by science, and I took videos of the guy poring the water into the basin, and on the line the water had been still for a long time before we came there. On one side of the line he poured it in and created a clock-wise spin and an anti-clockwise spin on the other side!


  1. At du kan balancere et æg på et søm, fordi væsken inde i ægget falder lige ned på begge sider. Hvis du kunne gøre det fik du titlen som æg-mesteren.
  2. At dine muskler er svagere på den ækvatoriale linje.
  3. At det er muligt at gå i en lige linje så længe du befinder dig på den ækvatoriale linje, eftersom tyngdekraften påvirker dit indre øre lige meget på hver side.
  4. At vand i et kar vil falde lige ned hvis du lader det falde ud fra et hul i bunden af karet på linjen. Og at det drejer henholdsvis med og mod uret på hver sin side af linjen.
Men alle disse 4 beviser skulle være modbevist af videnskaben, og jeg tog en video af alle vandkarforsøgene.
I forsøget på linjen havde vandet været stille i baljen i et langt stykke tid inden vi kom der.
På hver side af linjen hældte vores guide vandet op, så han skabte en lille bevægelse i det der gik med/mod urets retning og derved påvirkede hans bevis i den "rigtige" retning.

Can you become the egg-master?
Kan du blive æg-mester?
Someone did not make it as an egg-master
Nogen blev aldrig æg-mester.
Even though these tricks are a fake proof of the equatorial line I managed to balance the egg on the nail and I recieved a certificate. I am now The Egg Master! And our guide told us about the culture in Ecuador of earlier times.

I am sorry for the long post! Please write a comment, if you have any questions about me, my stay here or maybe something about Ecuador - then I will try and figure it out.

Selvom alle beviserne rent faktisk er falske, så balancerede jeg alligevel et æg på et søm og fik et certifikat. Jeg har nu fået titlen som Æg-mester! Og vores guide fortalte os også om Ecuadors tidligere kultur.

Jeg undskylder for det lange indlæg. Hvis du har nogen spørgsmål omkring mig, mit ophold her eller måske omkring Ecuador eller bare en kommentar, så må du meget gerne skrive en kommentar, og jeg vil forsøge på at svare efter bedste evne.

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