Saludos, familias! Greetings, families!
We write to you from our program house in Tiquipaya as students finish up their morning Spanish classes and head off to their first day of Independent Study Projects (ISP). Life has officially begun here in Tiquipaya and students already have a wealth of new experiences to share.
Friday was our last day spent in Sucre and we went out with a bang! We took the students to a celebratory lunch to mark the end of our 3 day trek in la Cordillera de los Frailes. We made time for a quick visit to the impressive and important museum of indigenous textile arts, Museo ASUR. And finally, we hoped on an overnight bus from Sucre to Cochabamba, where even though it’s winter here the sun still shines warm rays and a light breeze keeps us feeling rejuvenated.
In the wee hours of the night we arrived to Cochabamba and made our way to the program house in the nearby semi-rural town of Tiquipaya. We all took an extended nap before welcoming our new homestay families!! Students waited eagerly and anxiously as one by one family members came by to pick up their new homestay guest.
This weekend marked an important transition for students as they spent their first weekend away from the group. Some of them dived straight into this new adventure while others went with a little more trepidation, saying how much they would miss their new Dragons friends. However, on Monday morning everyone returned to the program house with tremendous energy, ecstatic to see one another again and eager to recount their new lore. Some shared stories of stumbling to communicate with their homestay families or helping with chores around the house while others shared stories of a family outing like going to the market or a birthday party!
Monday also marked another important transition – the beginning of Spanish class! Like clockwork, our four wonderful maestras showed up at 9:30am, ready to get started with class. They divided students up based on ability level and started holding class in various picturesque locations around the program house – in the sun room, under a tree in the yard or on the front porch with a cup of tea in hand. By mid-morning the house was buzzing with conversations about Bolivia, Spanish language grammar, history, politics, or simply funny stories.
It is with this rhythm that we settle into our new phase of the trip here in Tiquipaya. Mornings are full of Spanish class, students return home for lunch and then in the afternoon they go off to their ISPs. Every day they get to reconnect with their friends about what they are experiencing, yet every day they grow a little more independent in how they engage with a new culture.
Again, we thank you for trusting us with the care of your children as we see them learning and growing before our eyes!
Sarah, Sandy & Luis (The Instructor Team)