Monday, August 15, 2011

Never Say No (Aug 14, 2011)

Never Say No is an unofficial rule of Rotary that the students kid about, because it could seem a bit like "just let it happen" and no one wants a Rotary student with that mind set. The actual meaning of Never Say No is simply meant to encourage the student to take every opportunity they are offered and, it's amazing how many times you'll be grateful that you went to a new place with new people.
Today, my host dad told me that we would be going to see his mother around 11:30 so we were all getting ready when 12:15 roles around and Vicky (my host mom) is just out of the shower. She works in a spa and is absolutely beautiful and enjoys taking her time getting ready. The boys aren't such big fans of that so they decide to go buy some food while she finishes up. They asked me if I wanted to come, because I was just in my room. Of course I said yes, thinking we were going to a normal grocery store. Instead, we drive to a little restaurant where you can also buy certain carnes. We grabbed a drink and sat and listened to the man walking around playing the guitar.
Only a few members of the family eating lunch
Off in a corner there was a little gum ball machine with a little girl practically trying to shove her arm into it, in hopes of reaching some candy. She was literally falling and hanging all over it and there is a chance she licked the outside of it. I laughingly pointed out the desperate little girl and Javier (my host dad) went over and put in some change. Her eyes went wide as she shoved her hands underneath the dispenser. In her excitement, the gum ball fell to the floor where it ricocheted off the wall and she literally scrambled for it on her belly, but it seemed to bounce off her hands every time until it hit my purse. I picked it up and she snatched it quickly from my palm, as though this gum ball was her only food (which it definitely was not as her family had piles of food on their table) and shoved it in her mouth before anyone could stop her to clean it off at all.
A small piece of the beautiful garden
Later in the day, we finally made it to my host grandmothers house. Now, technically, according to the information given by Javier, we could have just been going to see her, but knowing this was Sunday lunch (pretty much the biggest meal of the week), I assumed there would be family, but even I hadn't expected that 5 of the 8 siblings would be there, 6 of their children, and multiple spouses/significant others. At the table, it was much more difficult to understand, but after we ate, I was talking with some of the cousins or nephews or brothers or whoever they were and it was much better. They asked me if I wanted to see the grandmothers garden; that it was her pride and joy. I have never seen so many plants. It was absolutely beautiful and they told me it used to be twice the size. You'll be able to see more pics on Facebook soon too. I ended up talking with a couple of them for a long time, and they are honestly so helpful that it doesn't matter that I even know that what I'm saying isn't correct, because they help me and understand me.
Javier's family was so nice and after lunch, we went and watched the parade (tomorrow is El Dia de Arequipa so the festivities start today) and I got pulled into the dancing and spraying foam part and Vicky and I both got the pink powder in our hair...more on that later...
Traditional dance in traditional dress
Tonight, we are going to a huge party for the birthday of Arequipa. A lot of dancing a it should be super fun! Who knows, one of the cousins Salsas so maybe we'll throw some of that in there too!
Alright, we're taking off!


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