Day 11: Kneading family

I woke up much later than I expected, but it ended up working out fine because awaiting me was a ready breakfast. The first thought when I saw what they had made for me was “ew coffee” because right in front of me was a huge glass of the brown yucky liquid. I didn’t want to be rude, so I tried it out anyways, and I swear it was the best coffee I had ever drunk. Most coffee is too bitter or too hot for me to drink, but this coffee tasted like a treat. There were also eggs, rice, and meat, just the way I like it back in Seattle. They also gave us this really nice juice made out of rice and pineapple that I hope I can find back home. After finishing breakfast late, Matteo and I headed out to the school.  (The things in italics Phillip wrote) At 9:30 we met everyone at the school and after perfecting some computer connection errors, some of the kids from the neighborhood came in to learn how to use the computers. Teaching them Word, PowerPoint, and even Solitaire was a fun experience; most of them had never used these programs before. Jessica W and I played Frisbee with the Tangali kids as we did with the kids in Quichinche, and they seemed to get the hang of it quickly. My kid, Jordan, who followed me to the school to be taught computer things, played Frisbee with us too and ended up staying with us the entire time. We all walked up to the community center after saying goodbye to the kids and had one of the best lunches of the whole trip; beef stroganoff. It was served with noodles and it was close to perfect. I had thirds. My kid was skeptical at first because he had never seen anything like it before but he ended up cleaning his bowl as well. Next, we all walked down to Katie’s host family’s house to knead some bread. This took longer than we expected, and it had everyone in on the job mixing all the ingredients, and then kneading big balls with our palms. After all the bread was kneaded, we formed them to make shapes and filled them with chocolate, apples, cinnamon, cheese, and/or caramel. The treats didn’t taste as good as we thought they would because there wasn’t very much filling compared to the amount of bread covering it, but they were good enough. There, we also watched a guinea pigs throat get slit by our very own Matteo and a pig get stabbed in the heart and then dissected. Yum! It was definitely a new experience, and even though it was pretty cool, my eyes ended up getting destroyed by all the dust and smoke around, and my eyes turned almost completely red. Coming home, my host family noticed immediately and asked me if my eyes were burning. My host mom prepared me some hot water with an eye-healing herb in it to help the pain, and it worked for the most part. For dinner we had pork, corn, and potatoes which were very delicious, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish all of it because I was so stuffed from the beef stroganoff and the bread before. Since my eyes were still kind of stinging, I went to bed shortly after, unable to finish the chess game that I had started with Jordan earlier. Kind of a bad day for me since the eye problem was really annoying, but everyone else had lots of fun. Excited to go back to the market tomorrow!

-Thomas Christensen

[The following entries are from other people’s perspectives, since we aren’t all in one group anymore and we have different lives from each other]

From a different perspective, my home stay has been very nice and pleasurable most of the time, aside from being woken by the rooster at 4:00 in the morning. There is a divide in language, however, Luis is fluent so he translates whatever necessary, and I am continuing to learn more and more Spanish with each conversation. Luis and I woke at 5:00 to help the father at his milk factory; he is the president of the milk association throughout the region. After a few hours of light labor, we hiked back down to our casa to have an easy egg breakfast. After the day with everyone else, with a few half dozen pieces of assorted hand crafted bread in hand, Luis and I headed back home to open arms. Ending the night with a nice dinner and some backyard terrace football games, we fell asleep easily after a long, fun-filled day.

-Philip Doherty

From the household of Jessica W, after waking up at 5:45 am, we asked our parents if they needed our help with cooking and they allowed us to peel some potatoes. BriAnna and I only peeled 4 each because we weren’t used to peeling potatoes without a peeler (we used knives), while our grandma peeled like 100. Next we peeled tree tomatoes and it was really hard because the skin is really tough. After breakfast, we milked some cows and it was super fun. We have three dogs (that Bob is deathly afraid of and brings an enormous stick every time he has to go to the house), one kitten, three pigs, four cows, two rabbits, a lot of chickens, twelve guinea pigs, and a rooster that’s really annoying. We brought the milk to the pasteurizing place to get rid of all of the germs. Our family took a trip down to the hot springs, and dad unlocked the gate for us. We touched the water and our family prayed by doing the sign of the cross, and then we went back up to the house. After kneading bread, BriAnna and I took a detour up a super steep path in hopes of getting to our house quicker, and we ended up getting lost. Luckily our grandma found us and told us that we could just go under the barbed wire and follow her back to the house. When we finally arrived at the house, we played cards and Frisbee with the direct family and then we ate dinner. It was rice, lentils, and chicken. Our mom also gave us pineapples and watermelon as a treat. We went to this place where we got like 15 sambas (they look like watermelon) and 5 pumpkins that filled up the entire truck. We got stuck in a ditch on the way back and he had step on the gas super hard! We visited the hacienda afterwards which is this big cow farm with 800 cows. We went to bed easily because we were sleeeeepy. Oh and we also followed everyone in the family on Instagram because we had Wi-Fi, and we also could call our parents which was really nice J.

-Jessica Woon

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