After arriving on the island we all greeted by the local families who were clearly excited we had come to join them for an overnight stay. They had also brought a band down to the docks which played music and followed us up to some of the main houses on their island. It felt like we were quite important with a marching band following us. The first thing the locals wanted to do is challenge us to a football (“soccer”) game. We had all played soccer quite a few times with mixed results – mainly due to not being used to the altitude. I was pretty excited to play this time because there was a big crowd and I had heard the locals are pretty competitive and physical which is the type of football match I enjoy most.
We started the game and immediately went 1-0 down. Pretty frustrating! However we went on bit of a spree and a few minutes later we were 3-1 up. The game was pretty close and for locals who spend a lot of time on the island they were technically pretty good! It finished 6-5 to us and was nice to get a good result at last!
The local families then brought traditional attire for us to wear and began with dressing up the girls in colourful skirts. The guys also got dressed up in a colourful poncho. We were then shown the local dancing and had to copy with a partner. It was hard work and I realised how bad my multi tasking is and also my co-ordination!
After this we were all taken to our separate family houses. I was sharing with one of the guys who could luckily speak some Spanish. These families could not speak English and it made me realise how important it can be to speak more languages – I think in the U.K we are genuinely a bit complacent when it comes to languages and we rely on the fact most countries speak English to some degree. The local family cooked us an amazing meal on a fire based stove. This was all hand made. Their table, table cloth and plates/cups were all handmade it was incredible. They were grandparents on the island and were really pleased we had decided to come and stay with them.
After a nice dinner we helped with the washing up – it felt like the least we could do!
We got to bed around 8.30pm and set the alarm for 6.30am. It felt nice that we could get a proper nights sleep to recover from the past few days. In the morning we have the opportunity to help the families with their every day tasks which can include farming.