Wry Exchange


This Turkey is Delicious!
11-23-07, 12:08 pm
Filed under: Exchange Students, Home | Tags: , , , ,

 Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful.  The students wiped out three turkeys with all the trimmings.  Jon´s pie turned out very well, and was cut into tiny slivers so everyone who wanted a taste got one.  We forgot our 60B pie plate.  Jon and I laughed knowing that it would be the first thing Sparky would say.  The roasting pan sized macaroni and cheese was emptied, too.  It could be a compliment, but exchange students are locusts.  Nah, they liked it.  I tried tres leches for dessert.  It translates to three milks.  The top was heavenly whipped cream, the center was a spongy pudding, and the final layer was a thin cream.  It was wonderful.  All of the food in Bolivia has been great.

One of the program directors invited me to go with a group to Argentina for four days.  I burst out laughing, not the appropriate response when I learned he was serious.   It´s the same time as Sparky´s graduation, so I can´t go, but it was a very nice offer.  So many people I´ve met in Bolivia and Chile have been exchange students 10, 20, even 40 years ago.  They all give back to the program, and remember even tiny details.  Host families in the US should know that each kindness is remembered and cherished.  People reminisce about a dinner or an evening of bowling.  It´s made me realize how important each moment is to FES.

Among my former students at the dinner last night was Jorge, one of my favorites.  He´s not online much, so we haven´t kept in close contact.  He´s busy with college, a girlfriend in Argentina, partying, and his family´s farms.  He was in trouble a few times back in the states, and I´d write to my counterpart to ask her to lecture him and inform his parents.  There isn´t anything like a kick in the ass from a Latin father.  I mentioned to an adult how much I loved Sparky, and he replied, ´Yes, but Jorge, too, otherwise you would have sent him back early.´ True.  I like the bad boys-well, the good natured bad boys.

Sparky´s family and I are going with Jorge today and tomorrow to his home in Samaipata.  The Lonely Planet guidebook states ´Samaipata is one of the top gringo-trail spots over the last few years.´  It´s supposted to be a beautiful town with pre-Inca ruins.  The site is called El Fuerte, and is from 1500BC.  It´s still being excavated, and so far over 500 buildings have been found.  The main site is a stone slab over 100 meters long, and it sculpted into seats, tables, tanks, conduits, etc.  The purpose of El Fuerte is unsure-theories range from religious worship to aliens.  I think this is one of the ‘activities’ Sparky told me I had to bring tennis shoes for.  The guidebook mentions altitude, sun, heat exhaustion, etc.  If I look like I´m about to croak, they can sacrifice me. 

Oooh, one of the men at dinner last night was an American Airlines pilot.  He delivers pens and pencils for the poor children at least once a month, and is well-liked.  The other adults were teasing me about my four days in Santiago, and said surely it wasn´t an American flight that caused problems.  I replied ´This turkey is delicious!’   Jon and I took a taxi back to the house, and he regaled me with taxi/gringo horror stories.

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