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Homestays in Tiquipaya

Hi families,

On Saturday we arrived in Tiquipaya on an overnight bus from Sucre and settled into our homestays where we will stay for 10 days. Three of us are staying close together just a short ride from the Dragons House. There are two other teenage boys in my homestay family (17 and 19) years old. With (or maybe despite) constant reassurances from my homestay mother that I will not have any reason to be afraid, I quickly settled into life with my family. They showed me around two nearby towns and I got to experience shopping for potatoes in the market (which takes a long time because every bag needs to be inspected before deciding on one to purchase) and eating a common snack in town (Salteñas and Coca Cola). I also learned how to flush a toilet. Well, to clarify, I learned that buttons that flush a toilet are a luxury and that to flush a toilet here you need to pour water from a bucket into the toilet bowl forcefully (but not too forcefully or water and poop will go everywhere) and gravity will flush it. I have to say it´s a lot of fun (if you do it right). Yesterday my homestay brother introduced me to some of his favorite music while we were cooking dinner (okay, he was cooking dinner). A lot of it was old American pop music. He also showed me his favorite game on his cellphone. Over the past 4  days I have learned to appreciate that although life here is very different from life at home, we are more similar than we tend to think. I know that the connections I make with my family (along with the important toilet lesson) will stay with me for a long time. As we settle into our routine of Spanish classes in the morning and independent study projects in the city in the afternoon (I´m learning the guitar), I can assure you (hi mom) that all is good here in Bolivia.

Jacob