For 2 weeks me and Rebecca stayed in a very rural little town of Pucará, in Intag. I’m stayed with a mom – Alicia, whose husband works and stays in a city two hours away, her 13 year old daughter Jessica, and 8yr old son Anderson. She also has an older son who lives somewhere else.
The original plan was to go to Intag (a more sub-tropical region) for a month to live with a different family, and experience a different lifestyle, people, food, climate, geography, and everything. But after having visited the area for a weekend and thinking about our lives with our other host families, we decided it would be better to only go for two weeks, and then have our last two weeks with our first family again. Boy are we glad we chose to do that! … Intag is beautiful – super green, nice climate, and it may hold the record for having the most species of plant life in the world. But the town we are living in is sooo small, and there is next to nothing to do; it doesn’t seem like our families do much either…
Luckily we live super close to each other, so just hang out every day, almost all day. If she wasn’t here I would be seriously soooo bored out of my mind, lonely, and maybe even be going a little crazy.
- We’ve hitchhiked a lot (which is normal here – but I think it is hilarious) to the bigger town of Apuela, that takes about an hour walking down and then back up a huge mountain that we have walked too much.
- We never actually showered while we were here. Our family’s kept telling us we could and were probably confused why we didn’t. Instead we went down to the river and bathed in our swimsuits in the freezing cold river, always sneaking past houses and trespassing on property.
- We tried (we were suckered into) to teach English three times at two elementary school classes, but were so bad at it, we didn’t know what we were doing – all we could do is look at each other and laugh…NEVER ask me and Reb to teach anyone or anything how to speak English, it won’t go well.
- We tried hiking down a path (more like straight down a mountain) to find the river, but ended up pretty much walking down a cliff, then got distracted at a coffee plant where we picked and peeled coffee for 30 minutes or so and decided that we would sell this coffee on the bus along with popsicles and peanut butter to make money to go to the Galapagos…never found the river from that path…
- Learned how to crochet a purse together from local natural fiber called Cabuya – but we didn’t go back for a couple of days, and so the lady teaching us undid our bags… so now we have nothing to show for all our hard work.
- We met a girl from Germany who is living in this town for a year…poor girl. I don’t know what she’s going to do – she’s freaked out about it. Just 2 weeks in that town and your bored – with no easy way out to other places.
- Went homework crazy.
- Heard the real Chubacca.
The food here is really good and a bit different from the Sierra’s – they have yucca (which is more dense than a potato, and camote (which is like a purple sweet potato), white carrots, more fruits, and hot sauce! But I decided that I don’t really get to enjoy eating here (mostly in Intag)– it’s more like work. They give you a TON of food, (which the majority usually consists of carbs) and expect you to eat it all (because it’s considered rude like you don’t like their food if you don’t) . First they give you soup. When you’ve eaten that, are satisfied, and think you are done, they bring you another huge plate of food. There is always a MOUNTAIN of rice on the plate (Edwin has said before that they eat more rice than the Chinese). Plus a salad or vegetable of some sort, some protein type of food and sometimes some more carbs – like potatoes, yucca or camote. Sometimes I’m on the brink of sweating trying to jam all this food into my mouth, my arm stops wanting to put it in my mouth. The funny thing is, they give me waaaaay more food than they themselves eat. I’ve tried to drop hints and tell my host mom that I don’t want to/can’t eat that much all the time. But she doesn’t seem to get it. She still serves me the same amount. When they (she) leaves the room I will quick put something back, or feed it to the animals so that I don’t have to eat it all.
Another funny thing about meals and living with this family is that meals are almost silent. I really think they are only quiet when I am there, because when I leave the room they talk normally. Like they are afraid to talk around me or something. I really don’t like it. I can only stand 2 weeks of silence. It’s not even a comfortable silence. Sometimes, my host mom will stare at me as I eat and ask me if I like everything. But she’s funny sometimes and also thinks I’m really funny.
Anderson is seriously the cutest little boy I’ve ever seen. Whenever I look at him, he will give me this cute shy smile. I can tell that he always wants to hang out with me and Reb, and is really happy when he gets to. Jessica is really pretty and nice, she always has me help her with her English homework, which I pretty much end up doing it all for her, but it helps out my Spanish – trying to translate the English words and directions to Spanish. One time I was helping her and her older brother with the homework – the book that it is in is from Britian, so there are differences in the words and grammar from American English. I was trying to explain this to them, and say that American English is more sloppy than British English, but I ended up saying that we talk like pigs compared to the British. (but didn’t figure this out till later when I left and looked up what I said). They all laughed and now think that Americans speak like pigs…haha. Whoops.
They have a girl cat named Pepe. Whenever I see her, I always want to say my dad’s favorite phrase: “Donde esta la casa de Pepe?”