Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kissing games, Tribal rituals, Paper airplanes! Go AFS.

Howdy Y'all.

How's life been this week? Mine has been OK.   I have been thinking about my year in depth; reflecting, contemplating.  Especially this past  weekend since we had the last AFS orientation.  It was bittersweet.  Seeing the kids who are just beginning their journeys and realizing we are ending ours.  

I have been listening to the same song on repeat since the beginning of last summer.  This awesome band, Bon Iver (pronounced [Bonne Hiver] like French) is from Wisconsin and has preformed all over the world.  They have built up quite a lot of fame recently. Their first CD "For Emma, Forever Ago" was written during the long cold winter in Wisconsin a few years ago.  My favorite song is "Skinny Love."  It reminds me of Wisconsin.  You can envision yourself Up North in winter, but your're not that cold because your bundled up in warm blankets.  It's very Nostalgic.  Here is the link if you want to check it out.  He has an odd voice but I love listening to him, and the guitar, and the lyrics.  Just wanted to let you know that is how I dealt with the sadness I sometimes got when I wanted to go home.  I still listen to the song now.  I love it.

Anyway.  Back to the Orientation.  I met some pretty incredible kids.  They all had their quirks and flaws, but then again...Who doesn't? I sure as hell have mine!!!
I got picked up on Friday afternoon by my liaison Barbara.  She drove Maria and Ally (of course) and I up the coast about 30 minutes to Torremolinos.  It's a great little tourist trap.  You have your shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, beaches...etc.  And it's teeming with British people.  All I heard were English people yapping all around.  I quite love their accent.  Although I do a lousy impression.

I didn't realize that the new AFS kids in Andalucia were planning on attending our meeting, too.  The thought did pass through my mind because I read in past blogs that this usually happens. Anyway.  I got there and I started chatting with two really nice girls named Ana and Maria.

Ana is from Jaen and is going to Finland.  Maria is from Malaga and is going to be living in Michigan, right outside of Chicago. I roomed with the two girls and another friend Jaime.  Our group, which included me, was called the 'hostings' because we are already here on our exchange and the other group was called the 'sendings' because they are about to embark on their adventures.

Activities ranged from group discussions to everyone playing games together.  My favorites were the Kissing game, the Massage circles, and the shouting circle.

The kissing game was by far the most exciting.  The girls had a letter.  The boys had a number.  Someone was put in the center to start.  If it was a she, she called out a letter (girl) and a number (boy). The boy had to try to kiss the girl sitting in the center (who can't move) on the cheek before the other new girl called into the center stole a kiss on the cheek from him. If the boy kissed the girl in the circle, the new girl called would be the one in the center.  If the she stole a kiss from him, he sat in the center.  Then he would call a new letter (girl) and a new number (boy) and the girl would have to try to kiss him before the new guy stole a kiss from her.  It got pretty rough.  I got knocked to the floor on some occasions.  Other guys got tackled by girls trying to prevent them from kissing the girl in the center.  It was all fun and games.  Sometimes you just had to laugh at some of the pairs who were called out.  You knew that they wanted to kiss the other person.  ONLY in Spain.  I would LOVE to play this game again.  But I don't think many kids in other countries would be to comfortable with this one.  Or parents...

The other exciting activities we did were going to the beach during the day.  And just going out at night.  What happened in Torremolinos will stay in Torremolinos.  Crazy kids.

The other interesting thing was when the 'hostings' invited the 'sendings' to a sacred ritual.

Actually the whole point of the exercise was to teach them that coming into a new culture is not always easy.
You might know that it will be different.  But you have no idea what to expect.  Anyway.  Our tribe was called the Albatross.  We all wore white tunics.  I was the queen of the tribe so I had a special head part to play. We had our own gibberish language and nodded yes when we were saying no and vice-versa.  Being the queen, I had to welcome each lady with a greeting, and feed and quench thirsts for everyone.  The Food was different.  We tricked them and feed them crackers with ketchup that looked like chocolate because we mixed chocolate sauce into it.  And after I feed them (which most of them burped or gaged) {nor could they spit it out because we had no napkins or trash cans} I went around with the water....with a little vinegar mixed in.  I directly feed the boys.  Put the cracker into their mouths.  Held the water cup to their lips.  The king had a huge elaborate throne... while I sat on the cold ground even though I was a the queen.  The other boys had chairs too and could keep their shoes on.  The girls had to sit like me on the ground with no shoes.  It all seems pretty sexist, huh? Such a chauvinistic society!

Actually in this culture. The men are considered to be un-pure, dirty. They can't touch the food they eat or have direct contact with the ground. So they have to keep their shoes on. Their women will always feed them.  The Women are considered sacred, pure and natural beings.  We don't need shoes. We can feed ourselves. You see where I am going.  I bet even you thought that the tribe I was describing before was sexist and chauvinistic! Never Judge.  This was all a valuable lesson.  Even to me.

I can't wait to see some of the AFS kids who are going to be living right in my neck of the woods.  I really want to help out that the  orientations and everything like that.

I'll write a new post about my feelings on coming home.  I am going to Bilbao this weekend.  It's way on the other side of the country in the North. I can hardly wait!!!!  

Ally, Julian and Me

I find this to be the cutest picture ever.

Me and my Host Momma

The pictures are kinda moving backwards.  This was at the end of the weekend. 

Not gonna lie.  I Kinda look like a DSHA girl here.  Ohh slowly but surely. 

This is what I do...

Obviously the greatest group of kids EVER!


And yep! That's pretty much it!  Long post.  But I know you guys love reading.  BTW I hope you have all liked my friend Ally's Photography Page on Facebook!
Here is yet another incredible picture.  Suject, me of couse :)  Hahaha



  1. Sara is my host mom for next year!

  2. hi. not to sound creepy, i know exactly who you are :) send me an email:


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