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Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Mi Familia en Paru Paru

The first person that I met from my to-be host family was Hilaria… That is probably not the correct way to spell her name but it sounded like: (ee-lair-ee-uh.) She had two long black braids that she tied together at the bottom. These braids touched her sacrum. She spoke a little Spanish, showed us to our rooms and we didn’t see her much after that. It is still a mystery to me as to what she does, but she did help out with our medicine and weaving workshops. My roommate, Kendall and I showed our host family pictures of our families back home- in which Hilaria took great interest. She would giggle with us, scold her children, and pretend to trip her to-be husband.

Then we met Caesar. I’m also not sure about that spelling, but his name sounded like (See-sar.) Caesar told us all about his family, from how his mom died four years ago to explaining the complexity of having 7 or so brothers. He told us about donkey’s and how they make the “hee-haw” sound every hour exactly. “But they have no watch!” he would say. He would pour us hot water every morning so that we could wash our faces and hands, and told us many many more stories in Spanish. It was really fun to listen to him and learn how to understand Spanish through his stories. Caesar and Hilaria are getting married on September 15th. He told us that they kill 4 pigs for the wedding, that there is food, dancing, beautiful clothes, and so much more. When people are married in this culture, they move into a new house. Kendall and I got to help him build the house they will live in after marriage. We are also going back to be part of the wedding. 🙂

There are 3 kids. Norma, Andrea, and Diego. Norma is a sassy 8 year old who corrected our Spanish and played ball games with us. I got to color with her as well. Andrea is 5 and falls asleep in random places. She loves braiding hair. Diego is 2 years old and was shy at first, but was giving us high fives by the end. He brought me my water bottle and random things he found on the floor as gifts.

Now we are in Cusco and what I miss about Paru Paru the most, is my host family.

Thank you, Paru Paru!