Tiquipaya Homestay – Student Voices
To say the least, living with our host families has been a life changing experience. I have spent time in South America before, and have seen the way people live, but never have experienced it. On Day in Tiquipaya, we left the dragons house around noon and spent the remainder of the day and night with out host families. On Day 2, we woke up at 7, and all came to the dragons house to meet. As we all arrived, discussions about the similarities and differences from our lives in Atlanta to our lives in Bolivia ensued. Everyone wanted to talk about their new home, the different foods, the showers, the sleeping arrangements. After sharing, we went to the South American pre-Olympic games with our Spanish teachers. Some of the athletes competing were in the olympics two years ago; one Brazilian sprinter in particular two back-to-back 200m winds. Afterward, we left the games to go eat with our host families for lunch before returning to the dragons house in the afternoon to learn Bolivian cultural traditions. We broke up into three groups: the cooks, musicians, and weavers. The cooks prepared a traditional cheese bread along with pique macho, a dish made with potatoes, beef, chicken, egg, tomatoes, mayo and fries. The musicians learned how to play pre-1492 wind instruments—from Sikus to Tarkas—native to Bolivia. The weavers had the most people and created bracelets using their feet and hands to create a makeshift loom.
At home, our lives tend to become second nature over time, but when we stepped into the homes of the people in Tiquipaya, we immediately discovered the differences in every-day life. Our families took us in without hesitation. We were nervous for the new experience (and still are), but feel more and more comfort in the kindness of our host families. The language barrier has been a struggle, but we are all figuring it out—as Lucy and Sarah point out, the important thing is to TRY. Without a willingness to lean into new experiences, you keep yourself from some pretty interesting things.
Lucy Brumbaugh & Sarah Scothorn:
Chicos e Chicas-
Sarah and Lucy here! We are currently sitting in our homestay bedroom, freshly (hand)washed clothes strewn about us, and our 3-year-old “brother” running around, screaming. But it’s all part of the experience, right? To say this has been eye-opening is an understatement. Although the language barrier is extreme, a Latin II and French III graduate coming at you, learning how to communicate and come to love our new “family” has certainly taught us a few things. For example:
Basically what we are saying is we are having fun. From learning how to to be away from home for 2 weeks in a country where neither of us speak the language to being able to attend the pre-Olympic games here in South America, we are stepping outside of our comfort zones and really pushing our limits, but having a great time while doing it! Although being away from home is hard, we are gaining new perspectives we could have never experienced in Atlanta.
Ciao for now,
Sarah and Lucy