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Kelly: This past week

April 2, 2011

This past week flew by!! I figured out, with the help of my tutor, my question of investigation for my internship (and the theme of my 25 page page paper, in spanish, due at the end). I’ll elaborate more on that later. I watched the neighbor cow be milked by hand and enjoyed hot chocolate from her milk the next morning for breakfast, and colada con avena the following morning. I played fútbol with my host family one afternoon—I was so clumsy in comparison to the others, but they were encouraging anyway. The lights went out in the whole city for several hours two nights this week- one time was during the Shavasana of a yoga class taught by my compañera, Regina, at CEMOPLAF. The other time was when Luzmila, Abuela, Roberto, Itumi, Shyri, and I were de-graining half a fifty pound bag of choclo (corn) by hand. We continued by candlelight. I wonder how many times the family has sat on milk crates in the kitchen, preparing food together for the next day. I helped grind the choclo to make humitas on Thursday. Mmm, humitas asadas son ricas!

A friend from Quito came to visit last night/today. We walked all over Otavalo and to La Cascada Peguche today. There’s a tunnel at the top of the waterfall that leads to a little, rocky lookout spot onto the river before it falls. We spent the afternoon there hanging out with Pachamama.

There are plans to wake up at 6:30am tomorrow morning to go play basketball and soccer. Apparently the fields fill up quick and we can “beat the crowds” if we get there early. Haha. Later they’re going to introduce me to some of the lakes in the area. I’m excited.

________________

An unorganized apology/disclaimer of sorts: It’s been difficult to share true reflections on my experiences here. There is always something to do, always people to talk with, always new things I’m discovering but don’t realize until I’ve talked with someone who hasn’t yet. I don’t like/want/need to spend a lot of time on my computer when I could be hanging out with my family. Also, some things are expressed better, or with a truer sentiment, in Spanish (instead of in English). I’m falling more in love with the language and can only hope that when I return to the States I will find a way to retain the speaking ability/confidence I’ve gained here. I don’t want to think about going back to Minnesota/Wisconsin, as much as I love them; I feel at home here and there is still SOOO much I have yet to explore. I have three families—not including my family of friends and companions in Mpls and from this program. Tengo ganas para viajar todo de Sudamérica y decir ‘f#@! it’ a mi último año de la universidad. My current incentive to stay in Mpls is that my bro (my biological one, Brian) will be going to the U of M next year (whoop whoop!!). Someone’s got to show him the ropes, and I have some personal-experience suggestions to help him avoid life frustrations (not that I expect him to listen).

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