Skip top navigation

Study Abroad

Too many plantain chips…

May 16, 2019

Today, although I usually help with the stove project, I found myself in the kitchen cooking for the students. The faculty handed us a pan, salt, some oil, lots of plantains, and a knife. I was working with Amanda and Aly, and we thought we would be done in at the most thirty minutes. We were wrong. It took probably two hours, and we were worried that our groups needed our help more than the children needed plantain chips. 

 Once we finished and gave the students their snack, all of our worries disappeared. They were excited for the food, and were very curious to learn how we had cooked them. They stood with us in the kitchen and asked us questions about ourselves, about the cooking process, and they giggled and whispered to each other when we responded with our very limited Spanish. Even once they had eaten, they followed us around giggling and tugging on our clothes. About an hour later, we sat down with the children to have lunch. At first we sat separately, with Lasell students inside one of the classrooms and the school children outside. After about five minutes, however, the kids slowly started to trickle into the classroom. Soon we were all sitting side by side, sharing our food and asking each other questions. As impactful as it was to be able to give the kids English lessons and build them stoves and greenhouses, none of that seemed as personal as simply sitting in a room eating lunch together. After we were done, each of us (the Lasell students) had our own small group of children dragging us around, trying to play with us and hold our hands. It was hard to leave at the end of the day, because the kids kept asking us if we could come back the next day and play with them. But once we told them that a group of us would be coming back next year, they seemed just as happy as they had been in the beginning of the day.