El Jugo De Kambic

Lily Ellenberg - Ecuador


October 18, 2011

The second week with my Napo host family has begun. My family consists of parents, Irene and Juan, and two younger siblings: one boy, Kambic, age nine, and one girl, Nina, age three. They are both rather adorable if I do say so myself.  Kambic acted comfortably towards me from the first day, but I had to gain Nina’s trust and love. She now knows my name and calls me Lily or yanya, another word for sister in Spanish. My host parents are wonderful, both very kind and caring. The first week sand fleas ate up my feet and my mom applied cream to every last bite for me.

My little brother, Kambic or Kambicho as he is called by his parents, is a bit of a sly fox, which I love. When he is angry his already large lips push out in a pout which slightly obscures his speech and does absolutely nothing to support his cause against the parentals. He loves listening to music on my ipod and playing games on my laptop. The other day, in nothing more than his blue boxer briefs he was listening to some tunes in the kitchen. All of a sudden, he breaks out in the silliest dance I have ever seen, then stops just as quickly as starting. This elicits loud peals of laughter from everyone in the kitchen. Kambic looks up at us with a little smile then turns and continues his musical enjoyment. When pushed to dance again he simply shakes his head.

The next day after school Kambic wanted blackberry juice, however Irene was busy and would not prepare it for him. So, he set off to do it himself. He mixed water and balckberries into the blender which resulted in a lumpy purple-red concoction. He then strained the pulp from the juice, added an obsene amount of sugar and poured himself a large glass. The rest of the afternoon went on as usual. Nina playing and screaming with happiness until something doesn’t go her way, then the happy yells turn into shrieks of despair. At dinnertime I chose the orange juice to drink, which Juan noticed, “you dont like Kambic’s juice?” he asked with a smile, Irene and I both giggled and shook out heads. After dinner, Juan took the pitcher of Kambic’s juice from the counter and poured it into the dog’s food pot outside. The animals, Traviesa and Chica, came running, took one sniff and promptly turned on their heels and ran back into the yard. With that, Juan Irene and I dissolved into laughter, and between giggles Irene sighed, “even the dogs dont like cambik’s juice.” It is moments like these, of non-verbal communication, that make me feel as if we were growing closer, as if, little by little i am being let into their family.

Lily Ellenberg