Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fiesta de Despedida

Yesterday, our friends asked if they could have a goodbye party for us today. I told them I would cry. It was only a very small lie. Today, I got to the department of lenguas and there were PEOPLE sitting on OUR benches singing cheesy English songs I had never heard. They clearly didn't understand how life works, and how it has been working for the past few weeks.

Today, we came together at the usual time and located to an unusual place, benches a few yards away from OUR benches. Our amigos whipped up some mayo/tuna dip and we ate crackers, dip, all kinds of chips, and drank Coke. Even I drank the Coke, I was feeling just that festive.

After we ate all the food, it was decided upon, and not by the gringos, that we would play a crazy game of casa/inquilino/TERREMOTO, like we played at the Vida Estudiantil meeting last week. I had a negative first impression of this game, as I quickly realized that there was no winner in it, and therefore, I could not win. I don't like games, but I do like to win, so I generally figure that if I'm going to play a game, I might as well try to win it. Not that I'm competitive...

Despite whatever competitive issues I may or may not have, every time I play this game I have a ton of fun. We played until people decided they were too sweaty. This is more significant than it may sound, given that these particular friends are cold everyday. Yes, we are in Ecuador. Yes, we meet outside. Yes, they wear sweaters in 80+ degree weather. And yes, at least one of them is always still cold. On this team, we know a lot of science, but not even science can explain this one.

It then came to pass that I led the group in two enthusiastic rounds of Down by the Banks. If you don't know what that is, or the gibberish lyrics to the song, then that is probably because it is more of a regional thing than I ever knew. Generally, I stick to teaching this game to kids 10 and under, but, at our cores, us college students and 10-year-olds are made of the same stuff.

It was a grand time. Tomorrow is the real goodbye: our last day on campus. This week, I have realized how, though I know little about my friends here, I love them deeply. Tomorrow will be hard. And I may cry, just a little.

Keepin' it real,

Jenna B.

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