Hi friends and family!

I’m Olivia from Cupertino high school and I’m here to give a GLIMPSE of how I, as well as the rest of our group spent our first free day (see what I did there ;)).

The group began their day of fun and relaxation at a comfortable 8am, woken up by my morning drumming against the doors. Everyone got ready at a steady pace, and we all gathered before heading to breakfast at Imabite one hour later.

An idea to purchase customized Leon baseball jerseys came up in yesterday’s nightly meeting, so after breakfast, everyone met up in the morning to make the trip to the store that makes them. One of our neighbors/frequent hostel visitors, Humberto, was generous enough to lead us there and help us order our jerseys. From there, we left in groups of 4 that we chose as our tour groups for the day.

Today was our first day to roam the city, and  we were all excited to have the freedom to explore, leader and structure free! My group made our first destination Central Park to scout out hammocks for our hostel. After hunting around trying to find the best deal, we were approached with a good offer and successfully purchased 4 hammocks. We then sprinted back to the hostel to make it in time for lunch, meeting up with the rest of the delegation so we could all walk to Imabite.

Following lunch we had even more free time, and this time my group and I headed back to the city center. Most of the other groups also headed to the same area to visit the market, make a smoothie stop, eat fried chicken, and converse with locals. We enjoyed scouting out the stores to pick up souvenirs and gifts to bring back home for our loved ones. And of course, we also made our necessary trip to the Internet café to use the computers and/or phones to contact family and friends (we love and miss you all!). Some of the groups decided to relax at the hostel and wash clothes as well.

After hours of walking and shopping, we all made it back on time for dinner at 5:45pm. Many of us were very full afterwards because of all the food we had eaten throughout the day.

Finally, we headed back to the hostel to have our nightly meeting where we went over our question of the day which was: What am I expecting from myself for the next two weeks (or 9 days)?. One of the responses included talking more with locals, even if speaking Spanish wasn’t easy. It was then time for the anticipated passing of the torch, where I handed leadership over to Gabi, who you will all hear from tomorrow!

Overall, today was filled with adventure and excitement, and we were all able to immerse ourselves into the culture to the best of our abilities, while shopping and eating good food. 🙂

Hasta luego!


Ps: Hammocks are so comfy to write blogs in