Friday, May 15, 2009


So, we graduated this morning. We're officially CEICA Spanish School graduates. It was a lot of fun.
Yesterday Callie and Wendy made cookies and baked a cake to serve at our momentous occasion and they were delicious.

We had class as usual with Mary--couldn't miss out on our last hours of learning--and at 10:30, Callie, Wendy, Wendy's teacher, and I ran to the market to get flowers for Carmen and our Host mom's. We made it back to the school at 10:59 (and graduation was at 11--talk about cutting in close). So the moment we walked in the door, we ran to our classroom and I got my little speech thing that I had so thoughtfully prepared (haha).

The living room area had been transformed to a lovely....circular shaped seating arrangement, and almost our entire Extreme Family was there to celebrate with us.

Carmen began the ceremony with some nice words about how she's enjoyed having us and how we have brightened the school. The school bought books for all of us--novelas for the girls, and dictionaries for the boys (because the girls learn so fast, and the boys might need some more help). Then they passed out our "diplomas," really just certificates of completion--but they look beautiful! Roy (our professors) gave Callie hers, and mi abuela gave my and Wendy ours, and Carlos gave Andrew his, and (you wanted to know who gave each person their certificates right?) Henry gave Tyson and Tracy theirs, and Brad and Michelle's professor gave them was all very special.

Lucilla (mi abuela) gave a short little thing about being a host family and she's enjoyed it, and then I got all embarrassed because she talked about me....blah blah blah....and I then I talked and thanked everyone for being there (in spanish, because I am now a spanish school graduate). Wendy was "supposed" to sing a song, but she's not healthy today and doesn't have a good voice, so she got out of that one.

When we were finished with that, we all ate the delicious cake and cookies and took a million pictures....

It was a real graduation. It was a blast. Wish you could have been there.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Last night, my precious host mom prepared dinner for Wendy, Callie, Andrew and I. She's asked me several times in the past week about the menu and the time for the meal. Yesterday morning, she told me that she was going to play music in English and that we could talk in whatever language that we wanted. It was so cute!!!

So, I went to school and Carmen--the director (a darling woman of about 65 years who is sweetly intimidating and gives you a sense of incompetent confidence) --came into Callie and I's class. Callie and I are planning/putting on the school's first graduation ceremony. (The school's been running for 10 or 11 years and none of the previous arrogant American's have wanted a ceremony....but, we're all for pomp and circumstance) Carmen wanted to talk details and order of ceremony. She said the school could provide pisco sours for everyone: which is the drink of Arequipa--it's alcohol mixed with sprite. We kindly declined as good Nazarenes:) I jokingly said we should sing a song, and now we are going to sing something grand that is yet to be decided (and there is less than 48 hours between now and the grand event). Anyway, as Carmen was leaving she says "I'll be eating dinner with you guys tonight!"

The day passed (Callie and I went to an incredible Crepe place that you would expect to find in France, and spent the whole afternoon there playing card games and eating heaven), and then went back to the house for dinner.

Our relaxing English evening turned into a Spanish evening. The food was fantastic, and there was a lot of laughter. It was the first time my host mom had ever had friends of her students over, and the first time Carmen had ever eaten with her students. We had a good time I think:)

I'll let you know how graduation goes. It's on Friday at 11 am. Should be a momentous occasion:)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2 semanas y contando

6 days and counting until I finish language school. Wow, Crazy!

Callie, Wendy, and I spent this past weekend with Jill Tibbs and her precious children. It was a heavenly weekend!! We came over for dinner on Friday, and stayed till dinner was over on Sunday. Jill definitely has the gift of hospitality and a way of making you feel completely relaxed and at home. She also has a gift in the kitchen! mmmmm!!! good food! Saturday, pobre Wendy was sick, so the rest of us got out of the house and got our hairs cut. I get nervous getting my hair cut in the States--by people I know and trust. Let alone people I don't know!!! and I don't know much vocabulary when it comes to hair cutting....But it turned out really well. Jana got the winning look--but then again she is 3. 3 year olds are pretty much guaranteed to look cuter than anyone else:)
Sunday, I finally met Vivian!!! The infamous young woman from Puerto Maldonado who met the Lord this past summer and completely turned her life around. (For those of you who went through the Extreme Mobile, she is the young lady featured in the 3rd room.) She is so nice! Her Spanish is obviously a few notches better than mine, but I was able to understand her fairly well. Her son is beautiful--Fabio (perfect isn't it?!). He's 1 1/2 years of adorableness. They're staying at the office right now, so I am excited to get to know her more and pump her with questions about Puerto Maldonado--the people, the culture, the heat, the food, the spiders....

Last night we celebrated Tyson's birthday at a sweet chicken place!!! I've had some pretty good chicken in my day, but jiminy cricket!!! This was some great chicken. Oh, but before that, Callie, Wendy, Andrew, Tyson, Tracy, Kai, myself and a taxi driver all fit in the same taxi. Wow! Tight squeeze! In the States that never would fly!! I don't know how they all made it in the backseat, but Wendy and I shared the front passenger seat, and my rear end was constantly in the way of the Driver's shifter. I'm learning a lot about how to fold your body into any space that you're given when taking transportation....

Mi Abuela made apple pie for me! It was soooo good! The crust was a good half inch thick on top, and a quarter inch thick on the bottom. Now, my parents can testify that I am a pretty picky crust person. I have been spoiled with amazing crust all my life, and so I just don't eat bad crust. But this was different than any crust I've had before. It was delicious!!! She served me a huge piece for breakfast and said I could have more with dinner. And, then, after lunch, she brought out these incredible marzipan fruits. I should have taken a picture. But I ate a little peach and an apple--but they were just marzipan shaped and colored to look like these little fruits. So cute!! and yummy. And then!! Yesterday I translated a recipe for mi abuela, and today, she asked me if I wanted to make it with her tomorrow night!!! I'm so excited!!! I feel like she really likes me! It's a great feeling.