First, take your very best friend way out into the middle of the country to visit your favorite people in the world. Make sure you stop for ice cream along the way. If your friend is an international student from Guatemala, she may want to stop and take a picture of the crazy hybrid animal grazing in the fields of a suspicous looking farm (it appeared to be a cross between a cow, a buffalo, and a goat).
When you reach your rural destination make sure you are greeted by adorable kids who have cleaned their rooms, put on special outfits, and drawn pictures in preparation of your arrival. The rest of the night you are free to play basketball in the living room, observe a break-dance competition, sing spontaneous duets to your little brother in Spanish, and get your hair done by a pair of 5 year old hair stylists. At least 15 barrets and clips should be involved in your new look.
Your proud Ethiopian siblings will probably want to teach their Guatemalan guest all about their culture, so be prepared for a mini Amharic language lesson. The colors of the flag are a good start. Say it with me: aronguadey, biCHa, kai. You can continue the culture lesson with a BIG meal of injera and wat (with mango rice on the side).
After dinner head outside for a bonfire! Warning: you may grudgingly have to admit there is something good about your family's new location as you can actually see the stars. Eat lots of s'mores, but try not to sit on the package of graham crackers.
After you've had your fill of s'mores you should go put your pajamas on. This way the littlest kids will think you are going to bed just like them, when in reality you are going to sneak off to watch a movie with the teenage siblings. Even if you fall asleep before the movie ends you will have fun hanging out.
Oh, and make sure you take LOTS of pictures! This way, if you have another hard week you can look at them and remember how much you have to be thankful for.
It didn't take my parents long to figure out why Gloria and I are best friends--she takes almost as many pictures as I do!
Last step: Take the strength and renewed energy you got from the people
who love you most and store it up for the week ahead!
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