I woke up at 5:30 am. I was so excited to woke up early and witness the outside environment in the morning; because it reminded me of some childhood memories. However, the moment I went outside, the cold breeze hit me. It was freezing! I am pretty sure if I checked the weather app that morning, the temperature would have been 10 degrees Celsius, or less! To me, that place was extremely quite yet beautiful at the same time! The sun was rising gradually, the temperature was slowly rising with it, and the only sound I heard were birds singing far away. it was a joyful feeling, I felt!
I head to the main room, where all family members and my group should be gathering for breakfast and orientation, After I washed my face and felt my cheeks were ice cubes. There were Matt and Lindsey preparing breakfast, me, and two other group members in the room. After a good breakfast, we went for an orientation with Mariano, the father of the host family. He took us on a tour around his farm, and he showed us his separate storage room where he dry corn and other kinds of grains to use it for cold seasons. But what captured my attention the most during the orientation was the variety of colors of his corn. Mariano explained, they use corn based on people’s needs and its value. The black/ purple corn benefits hair and sight, the red colored corn benefits the blood, and the yellowish/ white corn benefits the skin; according to him.
After the farm tour, Mariano went to show us how he makes his essential oils. He has a station where he produces essential oils. Some of the oils Mariano makes in his farm were traditional medicine. Others were aromatic; he sells them for revenues only. He collects leaves from nearby trees and store them in large plastic bags. Then, he transforms the stored leaves to the first container and lights fire underneath it to heat it. Next, he adds pressure on top of the leaves by stepping on them. The produced steam goes through a pipe into another container where the drops were gathered to make oil. The process could sometimes take an entire day for Mariano, yet, it seems that he enjoyed it very much!