Hello and happy Thursday. It’s time to go back to Camila’s teenage years, specifically to the couple of weeks I spent in the States on what my school called an exchange but was really a long vacation. We first to New York to do the touristy stuff, then spent a week in Philadelphia, and though it was a really great week, it was pretty uneventful. My host was a sweetie, and I have her and some of her family members on Facebook. Then we went to Maine, and there is where all the weird stuff happened. I honestly felt like I was in a TV show or something.
We took a jet (yes, literally a jet) from New York to Maine, but the school was so far up north we had to take bus to actually get there. It was early January and everything was covered in snow, which I didn’t really love because after a few days in the winter I’d discovered I didn’t really care for it. Now mind you, I had spent time in a very mild winter, nothing like what was expecting me and all of my Colombian classmates and teachers in Middle of Nowhere, Maine. If you find this insulting, then you should think twice before writing “Columbia” or referencing Narcos to one of my compatriots.
Anyway, since the moment the bus approached the school I felt that everything was so stereotypical it wasn’t even funny. I mean, there was a group of very white teenagers waiting for us with signs that had our names on them. Apparently because I’m a vegetarian it was problematic to place me in a house. That’s how rural this situation was. Nobody wanted a girl who didn’t want to eat meat because they probably didn’t know what to feed her. I got an email, though, when I was already in the States, that said I had gotten a host family. Still, it was weird to look at all those pretty name signs and not seeing mine front and center.
The reason why mine wasn’t front and center was that my host, whom we’ll call Ruth from now on, never ever stood front and center. First, she was to tall to do that, and second, she was an outcast. Now when I say outcast I don’t mean fifteen-year-old-me wearing all black clothes and listening to indie bands. I mean she wasn’t one of the cool kids. I later discovered that it was pretty much her choice not to be one.
Ruth had made a poster alright, but it was the kind of thing you’d think a small child did with very dry markers. I thought it best not to acknowledge the poster altogether when I approached her to say hi. I didn’t really say anything for a few minutes because, to be honest, I had no idea what to say. I was mentally cursing my luck at having to stay at the nerd’s house for a full week while all the others could be with the Abercrombie models.
I guess I then saw two of the cutest girls in the universe, whom we’ll call Eileen and Becca. I recognized Eileen’s last name because she was supposed to host me and said no, probably because I was a vegetarian, maybe for some other reason. The truth is, I wasn’t really hurt by that rejection because actually she approached me and Ruth with her friend and told me that her and Becca would be my hosts during the day at school and that then I’d go to sleep at Ruth’s house. And I was thrilled at that moment. Did I think it would be an unfair arrangement? No. I was seventeen. I only care about being with the cute (popular) girls. Eileen and Becca told me to join them, which meant I didn’t have to hang out with Ruth anymore, at least while at school.
This is obviously just the beginning, so stick around for part 2 of this Throwback Thursday. In the comments below tell me whether you belonged to any clique while you were at school.
Love, Miss Camila