Hello and happy Thursday. I don’t know if I just got blocked or if the other person’s phone died, so instead of wondering until WhatsApp shows me the two ticks that mean my message was delivered (and received), I’ll keep writing about my exchange.
That first school morning at Middle of Nowhere, Maine, was super long. We woke up really early because Ruth had band practice. Try to guess in the comments below what instrument she played and you’ll get a gold star if you do. She was the first to hit the shower, so Irene and I had to wait until she was out so that we could start getting ready. Apparently in Ruth’s house they had a five-minute-shower rule which I thought was very convenient for us because that meant we wouldn’t have to wait long for our turn. I also didn’t mind the short shower knowing that it wasn’t really the best idea to get my hair wet when I was going out.
Both Irene and I have sisters with whom we’ve had to share the bathroom to get ready for school. And we both knew there was this unspoken rule of not taking too long so that the other one had enough time to get ready as well. I don’t know if Ruth wasn’t familiar with that rule, and I honestly think she purposely took like half an hour showering just so that Irene and I had barely any time to shower and get dressed before breakfast. Or maybe she wanted us to be late for breakfast so that Susan would get mad at us. I don’t really know or care. What I know is that when Ruth walked out of the bathroom her hair was wet. She’d washed it, and I think she only did that to spend more time in the shower.
After a two-minute shower in a bathroom covered with little notes about how to brush your teeth and wash your face, and sticky notes that said stuff like “remember, Mama loves you!” and after eating the world’s most horrible oat meal in the history of ever (sorry mom, I know I shouldn’t talk about food that way but that shouldn’t even had been considered food), we headed to school, and man it was a drive.
I didn’t meet my super model friends as soon as I got to school because by then only the band people were there. I vividly remember the smell of people who hadn’t showered on changed their clothes in days as if their hygiene didn’t matter at all. Also, needless to say, we were bored out of our minds during that practice.
Before the school day was supposed to start, Eileen and Becky found me. I went to some classes with them and fell asleep while their English teacher was discussing literary figures and stuff I’d never been taught in my life. We then were taken to the elementary school to lead a class, and that’s when two of my teachers asked me and Irene to go outside with them to talk. I honestly thought we were going to continue the conversation from the previous day or another arrangement was going to be made, but instead our teachers wanted to tell us that Susan had called the Spanish teacher at the school complaining about us constantly speaking in Spanish. We tried to explain to our teachers what had happened, but they didn’t want to hear any explanations, they just wanted to scold us for having being disrespectful to Ruth and her family.
Irene cried again and this time I did too. I thought that it was clear that neither Ruth nor Susan liked us and that all they wanted to do was make our lives miserable for a week, for reasons I can just kind of make up but won’t know for sure. I cried because I wanted everyone to see what Ruth and her mom had caused us, how they were ruining our week abroad. If Ruth wanted to sabotage us, well good luck to her, because from that moment we knew that her mom had gone behind our back, she had declared war on us, and I wasn’t going to lose.
I didn’t cry any more that day. I was excited about the rest of the day with Eileen and Becky and away from Ruth. I did feel bad for Irene, who technically had to spend the day “shadowing” Ruth, but she was a smart girl and found a way to bend that rule. Good thing the other hosts were super nice and friendly. I’m still friends with most on Facebook and we follow each other on Instagram. Ruth deleted me the day after we left Maine.
Lunch was served at eleven thirty, which usually was the time when we had our recess in high school. I’d packed a “grilled peanut butter,” which was just about the only nice thing Ruth taught me, but I didn’t eat it because it was still really early for me to eat. It’s basically grilled cheese but instead of cheese you have peanut butter. I swear my backpack smelled like sandwich for a full two weeks after that day.
While having lunch with Eileen and Becky’s friends I found out that Eileen originally had signed up to host a French exchange student, but I guess that failed so she decided to go for the next best thing, a Colombian girl. That obviously stung a little, but with all that had happened already, I wasn’t going to let an imaginary French teenager ruin the rest of my day.
This is super long already, so I’ll leave it at that. Stay tuned for next week’s post to see what happened after lunch.
Love, Miss Camila