I have been living with the Torres family for a little less than a week now. Vicente and Hilda are very well known and respected members of the San Alberto paroque, or parish. They have a very traditional household, with many animals including cows, a pig, a horse, and chickens. On their land they grow a variety of delicious fruits and vegetables. The land here is beautiful, everything is green and the air is fresh and lovely. Thus far, everything I do to help with the farm is a workout, in order to help Hilda milk the cows we have to climb to the top of the mountain on a very muddy and slippery path, which she has absolutely no issue maneuvering with a full basket on her back. On the other hand, I am very much out of breath at the top. Hilda got a good laugh at my first attempts at milking but by the end of the week she commented on how much I had improved. I guess there’s hope for una niña de la ciudad yet.
There is a very simple and pleasant rhythm to days in the countryside. Everything starts around five when the sun begins to come up. Breakfast is simple but filling, and then it’s off to work. Vicente is off working almost the entire day on his large expanse of land. I normally help Hilda with the ‘smaller’ tasks, feeding the various animals, cleaning, laundry, food preparation, etc. The food is delicious and very fresh with almost everything coming from their own land. I have thus far been introduced to at least five different ways to prepare maize, which along with potatoes, is a dietary staple. Vicente and Hilda are incredibly nice and feed me immense amounts of food. My Spanish is slowly improving, but communication is still limited.
I start tomorrow at the school. The children are very excited that I am coming. I hope that sentiment persists! Well, it’s time to go find the teacher to find out when she wants me there in the morning. Hasta luego!