Our day began with a very early morning wakeup: 4:00 AM. People stumbled out of bed and into the bus that took them to Jaleas Callejas Farm–a guava (guayaba) plantation. We arrived when the air was still cool(ish) and were promptly split into groups: harvest (cosecha), weeding, and trash/plastic pick-up. After a breakfast shared with the workers, the sun began to peek out and soon the groups switched to whacking seedpods off trees and more weeding and trash pick-up. The weather grew hotter and the students got a taste of what it felt like to labor for hours on a guava plantation. Some even made friends with the workers!

Students were provided with a refreshing mango juice. But back to work they went until around 11:00 when their feet were aching and the smell of guava “became a stank.” They were then gifted with the presence of a wise elderly man–Don David Callejas–who leisurely explained to the students a bevy of his opinions on a variety of topics, including–but not limited too–earthworms, politics, the Pacific Garbage Patch, and technology. At the end, he was still itching to tell the students more and asked to converse more with them next week. Don David was incredibly knowledgeable and had some wonderful advice and incredible wisdom to share with the students.

Following his speech, the students were again gifted, this time with a refreshing drink: A GUAVA SLUSH-mmmmmmm, so tasty. After this delightful slush, the students were blessed with a tour in which they got the chance to peek at the inner workings of the Callejas marmalade factory. Although we weren’t allowed in, we really enjoyed the view from the door. Students were then given the opportunity to purchase some scrumptious jam–get excited parents!

Students then returned to the hostel for a nice, hearty lunch of rice and salad. After their meal, two and a half hours of free time eagerly awaited them. Many of us ventured into the city and found ourselves at an Internet cafe, chatting with our friends and family back home. Others spent the time on a much-needed nap. After the free time, we had some time to prepare a lesson for English Tutoring later that night, which, as always, was a wonderful success, and the students left beaming and laughing, filled with positive energy.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, both of us–the leaders of the day–were sick and stayed at the hostel while others had a wonderful experience working at the plantation. But upon their return, we reclaimed our throne and led with grace and elegance for the rest of the day.

Much love,

Alya and Kseniya