Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thursday, July 10

Today was the first day of the real alianza. We would spend the whole day in the gym watching a bunch of different activities and competitions. First came the “igualito a” which is where each alianza had to recreate two songs sung by famous people. Our group did Tom Jones and Ricardo Arjona. Tom Jones was hilarious because he sings “sex bomb” and Javier danced all sexy while some girls from my class acted as backup dancers in super high stilettos fawning all over him. The next competition was the live music.
From my alianza, Fernanda and Rocio (a girl from a grade below us) were singing “Counting Stars” while Angulo played guitar and I played flute. The flute part was literally 3 notes and incredibly easy, so I wasn’t really nervous to play it in front of the whole school. Another group from our alianza sang “A Thousand Years”. We were really happy with our performance and everyone said we did really well. We ended up getting second place! Next came the fashion show of recycled clothes. For all the hectic hot gluing that had taken place that morning in our classroom, our outfits really looked excellent and I was proud of all the help I had been able to give.
After that there was a lull in the activity while the little kids did relay races and obstacle courses. We went back to the classroom to talk and chill for the rest of the day.
Cristobal and Louis had come to school that day for the alianza and I hung out with them for a little while. I was sort of surprised by Cristobal. He had just come back to his school and was seeing his friends for the first time in a year and he didn’t really seem excited at all. I talked to some of his friends who had excitedly run up to hug him and ask him about his exchange only to be met with a surly “good” and nothing more. They were a little offended by his lack of excitement and I also frankly found it shocking. I would later learn that going home is not as emotive as one might think and that really for the first week that a person is back, they are not thinking about how happy they are to be back in their country but about how much happier they would be back in their host country with their friends and family.
After school got out at 1, Mariana and I walked into the center to eat at a Korean place called “The Rice”. Louis, Cata, Pablo, and I had met the owner at a bar about 2 weeks ago, and I said hi to him. He ended up standing by our table and awkwardly talking to me in English the entire time Mariana and I were eating. It was incredibly uncomfortable and that fact that the food wasn’t very good only made things worse. We walked back to school and had barras until 6. Then after 6, Fernanda’s mom drove Fernanda, Lila, and I over to Maca’s house so we could continue practicing barras. It was dark outside and absolutely freezing cold, and we were all starving, but we went outside and practiced the dance a bunch of times and it was kind of a bonding moment. My whole class was there, plus the girls from the grades below who were a part of barras. We talked and ate chips when someone finally brought something to eat, and Sole’s mom came to pick us up at 9:30. She dropped me off at the Jumbo, where my parents were waiting for me. We drove home while I told them all about the alianza. Then I showered, prepared all my stuff for tomorrow, another hectic alianza day, and went to sleep.

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