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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Our community in Tiquipaya

Dear families,

Tiquipaya is our new home for these four weeks. Our homestays families have been taking care of all of us. We are blessed to be living in such a welcoming community.

Every morning I wake up with the birds singing outside of my window. The birds make me feel so happy and ready for the day.

Every morning after my morning coffee and a short meeting with my Instructor team I feel ready to receive the students. We have a short check in and our day begins. The students start their Spanish lessons with our very lovely Spanish teachers and we as instructors start running errands.

This part of the trip is the only part where we all can have some type of routine. The lunch is always with our homestay families and in the afternoon we meet with our mentors about topics that we are personally interested about or we have a group talk with a very knowledgeable speaker from Cochabamba.

Last week we went to visit the students’ homestays one by one. We had dinner or lunch with the families and talked about the experiences for all parties. The way the students connect to their homestay families is very inspirational. All families have little anecdotes of times when they had fun times. One that comes to mind right now is that four families came together and they are rehearsing to dance in a parade. The four students that live with them will be part of this dance crew. We will be posting pictures of them the coming week.

Students are much more fluent culturally at this point. One of the first things they found in town were the call centers to call families and the Internet cafes to check mail and social media. Slowly the have also found the pastries, candy stores, the main plaza, the restaurants and the markets. The last places were actually introduced to them by the Spanish teachers. We can see now students having a really good time interacting not only with their homestay families, but with the community in Tiquipaya.

Most of them already have their Caserita (a lady that you buy from all you need). They already have their pizza place, their public transport to get home and from there to downtown, they already have their favorite juice and their favorite Bolivian pastry.

I personally enjoy very much buying in the Sunday market where you can find all the fresh products from the area. I have been enjoying our time in Tiquipaya and just creating a community for our group.

For now it is time to get ready for the parade that will happen this weekend where I will be the official photographer for students that are Dancing.

We hope that you are also having a wonderful time and we will keep you posted on the coming weeks!