PictureWe're home!
post by Helen
I have to admit, I was a little nervous about leaving home to live thousands of miles away for the summer. I had never been to Mexico before, and I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Despite whatever worries we may have had, Alex and I now feel completely at home here thanks to our wonderful host family! 
     Our host dad is named Filemón. He and our host mom, Vicki, both grew up in the nearby pueblo of Macuiltianguis in the Sierra mountains. Zapotec is Filemón's first language, and both of our Oaxacan parents have been teaching us  words almost every day! 

PictureVicki making delicious quitoniles from the garden
Vicki has been teaching us how to cook authentic Oaxacan food. Yesterday, Alex and I helped make pollo a la naranja for lunch. Everything we eat is picked from Vicki's incredible garden or bought fresh at a market. While we're there we sometimes pick up chapulines--one of my new favorite foods! It's actually dried grasshopper with chiles, and it's delicious. Alex and I have enjoyed them at family meals with people from all over the neighborhood, as our new parents have introduced us to nearly everyone in the neighborhood as 'nuestros hijas' (our daughters). 

Vicki's also teaching us how to embroider napkins with gorgeous floral designs. I'm so excited to start exploring a new hobby! Alex has made a lot of progress, and is almost done embroidering the stem of a rose!

We also have three host brothers: Andrei, Alan, and Pavel. We haven't been able to meet Pavel yet, as he's still finishing up his year at university. Thanks to Andrei and Alan, we've been able to really experience Oaxaca City from true experts! So far, we've seen a lake in the town San Andres de Huayapan, gotten a private tour of an art gallery in downtown Oaxaca, and seen the new superman movie! Brook has gone home and will be back in July, but she has left us in very good hands...

We're so incredibly blessed and lucky to have such an amazing family to live with for the next 9 weeks!