San José de Minas – 1st Weekend

Brooks and I arrived at our host family just yesterday afternoon.  When we arrived we had a late lunch snack which consisted of bowl of fruit (watermelon, papaya, mango, pineapple, strawberries, and grapes) and juice (naranjilla).  For dinner we had a large plate of rice, peas, a side of vegetables, juice, and hot tea.

After dinner, our older host brother, David (only home on weekends), took us out to what he called, “festivities.”  These “festivities” consisted of street vendors, a $5 concert in their local stadium, and a whole lot of bailando (dancing).  There we ran into other friends from the TBB group, along with their house families.  Soon after we saw everyone, David walked Brooks and I home because we were tired from all the travel coming from Quito that morning.

Waking up the next morning, Brooks and I couldn’t have felt more rested.  I woke up around 8:15am to a knock on my door saying breakfast was ready.  For breakfast we  first had a bowl of fruit, then a freshly made waffle with cheese inside, along with a hard boiled egg.  This was all served with naranjilla juice and  hot milk with a side of instant coffee.

After breakfast we were given a tour of the town by our younger host brother, Sebastian.  We ran into friends in the town square, in front of the church.  All of us walked around a bit, then planned to meet up later after lunch.

For South American culture it is common to always go home for every meal.  Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, served with three courses.  Typically lunch starts off with some variety of soup, today we had potato soup with cheese.  It is then followed by a bigger main plate.  Our main portion was a large side of rice, llapingachos (fried potato pancake, sometimes stuffed which cheese), beets, and juice (papaya).  Normally there is a dessert afterwards, but we didn’t have one for today.

Around 3:30pm, Brooks and I met up with friends to go play basketball at the nearby stadium.  At 4:00pm we walked over to another stadium that held bullfighting.  Watching the bullfighting go on was crazy.  Random locals would jump down from the stands into the center ring with the bull.

We met up with our program leaders there and invited them home to meet our host father, Victor.  He told them how glad he is to be hosting us and has invited the entire TBB group to his farm and give us a barbecue.  Victor had also mentioned that he owns two other homes, one in Quito and another in Cotopaxi.  The program leaders were shocked and told us we were both very lucky to be living with the Velascos.

Brooks is currently taking his second nap of the day, while I’m waiting for dinner.

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