Day 10: Hot reflection

I didn’t know what to expect of the first morning in our new homes. We had talked about what to expect beforehand, but things never turn out the way that they are on paper. Apparently for almost every family other than mine, the preparation actually did come true, but for my family it was much different. Most people had to get up at 6 am to help out their family in the farms, but my family let me sleep in. I ended up waking up at 8 am instead and wasn’t even asked to help with anything around the house. Since I can’t make any conversation with anyone living in my house other than Matteo, I decided that my way of contribution would be throwing myself in the kitchen and asking for things to do. The result of the breakfast ended up being absolutely delicious; grilled cheese sandwiches (with the white cheese that they always use here), rice, meat, and cut up tomatoes. I don’t usually eat tomatoes uncooked, but the way they prepare it with onions makes it so good and I can’t help but gobble it up like an animal. Seriously though, I had thirds. After I finished breakfast, since we ate late and I still had to take a quick cold shower (that almost gave me an asthma attack [again]), we got out the door 10 minutes past when we were supposed to leave. Phillip and Luis were patiently waiting for us, but Lena and Jessica M had already started walking without us. When we all arrived at the school, we had a wait a while for everyone to figure out stuff, so Jessica W and I played Frisbee as always to past time. Once we got all our materials in place, we went into the computer lab to see that everything was super dusty. The place had barely been used. There were only around 8 desktop computers and all of them looked like they were made while the earth was cooling. We started off by gathering all of the splitters laying on the ground into one place to use later, and then wiped down all of the dusty tables, which by the way, included all of them. After that we got out all the chargers along with the laptops and set them up around all the tables; about 25 in total. We did a few other things but they weren’t very important. Following our lunch at the community center, everyone walked together down a big mountain trail to the hot springs. Unfortunately the hot springs was not only tiny; it was also locked so no one was able to feel the water. After our disappointment, we all gathered in a circle and Shannon announced the reflection we would partake in. It was a very familiar game, the one where if you strongly agree with something you go on one side of the spectrum and if you strongly disagree you go on the other, the middle being whatever is in-between. I’m not going to explain the entire game to you all, but it was definitely worth playing and it helped us not only learn more about the people we are with but also helped us relate with other people going through the same problems or thoughts that we have been. Walking back up the big mountain was a struggle, but we made it back safely. After that, we were done for the day and we all headed back to our host families. Awaiting me were big smiles and “hola”’s. I asked ASAP if there was anything I could help with for dinner, but most of the stuff was already prepared so I ended up barely doing anything. After another delicious dinner (which included the toughest pork meat I’ve ever laid my teeth on), I was challenged to multiple games of chess, which I won all 4 of them, against the oldest kid and the father. They were very shocked and the dad pulled up google translate on his phone to show me that he thought “you are very good at playing.” That made me blush just a lil bit. After Matteo played guitar and said some funny stuff in Spanish to the kids, he gave them all a present; some See’s Candy that he got back home in Chicago. They were very excited and I got a piece too. After a warm goodnight, we both quickly got to bed, me especially since I was able to plug in my fan for white noise. Tomorrow we are going to be making some bread, so that sounds exciting.

-Thomas Christensen


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