By: Meighan Grady
Today was long and just a glimpse of what is to come. To end the day after rafting and orientation, we went to dinner with our home stay families. It was very interesting, Victoria and I walked in to a TV showing Zac and Cody in Spanish and three little kids sitting there laughing. The language barrier is always hard and once you start a story, it’s hard to stop. And of course, when you’re telling it in another language, you’re going to stumble a lot. The family was very understanding and really helped us get comfortable in their home. It was amazing, break out a game of UNO and you see that competition is universal. You don’t need to speak the same language to understand that someone just skipped your turn or gave you two excess cards. You all scream and laugh and are instantly bonded. By the end of the night, Victoria was belting our Celine Dion’s hit, My Heart Will Go On. It’s already the first day and everyone is feeling more comfortable, out of their comfort zones but not quite in the danger zone anymore. (HI MOM AND DAD I MISS YOU)
By: Kishan Patel
Okay so this is kind of familiar; oh yeah we did this last year. But I noticed a couple of new things. Firstly the town has improved in the past year quite significantly, for example I saw that there was a phone added to the school’s campus. And I noticed a lot more in my homestay; my family now has a surround sound system and a pretty nice laptop with internet access. Seeing these improvements makes me wonder about how Linda Vista will be in the years to come; this is something I’ll try to bring up in the coming days as we try to project our goals for the future trips here. In other news there were some strange oddities on the first day back when Van and I got to our homestay. At first everything seemed normal like last year until Yamilet (homestay mother) started talking about what each of her children was doing. While Steven was checking his Facebook and Katie was playing with her soccer ball, Yamilet went on to talk about how Iver studies without the aid of pants. Maybe it’s more comfortable or maybe he just felt like not wearing pants today, but hopefully we’ll see him tomorrow with pants. And lastly Van and I had a run-in with the insect population around here. Because of the huge downpour, all the bugs took shelter in the local houses. So as we were eating our rice and beans a bunch of black winged bugs started flying around everywhere. While I didn’t mind initially, I finally started getting freaked out when I noticed that some of the bugs had made it into my food and that I ate a few of them. However in times like these you need to look on the bright side of things. I got a nice source of protein (shout out to Bear Grills here) and I got a little crunch in the rice (maybe it’s nice to change things up a bit). Well this was fun, sorry to embarrass you mom and dad. Well hopefully I get to do this again. Happy Fathers Day, Dad.
By: Van Barnet
Well this was fun today. I got to have some déjà vu of last year. Even though I have been through this day in the past there is still so much to learn and see. For example, all of the things that the town has added since last year, like a phone near the school, and many other things in the homestay. While rafting today the experience was very different, it started to downpour while we were in the middle of the river. That was fun (nope), but we all got through even though some of us fell off of the rafts. The first night of driving to Linda Vista was also different too, because we didn’t go to sleep until about 3:30 our time, last night, yet again we all got here and got to bed and tried to sleep as much as we could. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that no matter how many times that you have done something, no matter what the circumstances you have to just go with it and have a positive attitude. So, I hope to have all the people in this large group have the same attitude that has happened today and last night. Oh, and Hi Mom and Dad (Happy Fathers Day early).