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Photo by Grace Powell, South America Semester.

Greetings from Tiquipaya!

Hi After a 7-hour, over-night bus ride, yesterday, we arrived to Tiquipaya tired, hungry and nervous about our home-stays. What would our families be like? Will we like the food? Do they have children? Animals? Are their bathrooms indoors or outdoors?
When the Donas, the host mothers, arrived before lunch time, with their sweet smiling faces, your kiddos left us teachers nervously, yet, excited, not to return until the next morning. Well, Parents, I am happy to report that when we all returned to La Granja Polen (our meeting place for the next few days), almost all of the students arrived with huge smiles and many funny stories about the great experiences they’d had with their host families, the night before. Some of us have host siblings, some of us live on a farm with lots of animals, some of us even have indoor bathrooms! No matter what the situation, I feel so privileged to witness your kids face their fears, overcome many obstacles, support and lift each other up in order to have this extraordinary experience. They have embraced, with open hearts and minds, the fact that they will have to withstand many unfamiliar, and sometimes uncomfortable, situations in order to take advantage of all that this Bolivia trip has to offer, including, for four days, the gracious hospitality of our Bolivian host families.
I’ve seen all of the kids stretch themselves further than they thought they could, just to realize how resilient they really are. Just in this little time, all of them have grown so much and I can’t wait to see the rest of their transformation. It is truly a beautiful thing to witness. See you on the other side.

Yolanda Wright-Udoh