I was having the hardest time getting myself to stop reading and leave the house. I was planning on visiting a few more houses that afternoon but Ana had left and I had the house to myself and there was electricity which means there was a fan –  “LAURA!” I heard shouted in an American accent.    

I was behind the house, toothbrush in mouth, cup of water in hand. I ran to the side of the house and saw Aimie Lisa and her cousin, Mario, sitting on horses in front of the house.

“Do you want to come with us?” Aimie Lisa asked.

I hesitated (my being outside brushing my teeth indicates just how close I’d been to leaving the house. I was even wearing the drawstring bag I carry my notebooks around in…) for about three seconds.

I held up two fingers.

“You need, two minutes?” Aimie Lisa guessed. I nodded. And like that, it was done.

Since I had the least amount of horse riding experience I got the horse with a saddle. We trotted off and after about an hour and a half, we arrived at a small community of about 20 families situated on the rising hills.

Mario’s sister sent her daughters to go buy us soda and she put coffee on – coffee beans from a nearby a tree in her yard, oh my god so good. We drank it all and died happily from the caffeine overload. As itt started getting dark we reluctantly got back on the horses (Have you ever ridden a horse for four hours? Boy, is it not the most fun thing ever. Especially the next day.) and headed home.

We took a shortcut home and I am apologizing to you personally that I didn’t have a camera because it was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen since I got to this country. It was dusk and we were so high up that we could see everything. The dark greens were kind of muted, covered by a fog and all you could see were trees and hills that overlapped and climbed as far back as you could see. For the first time I got a view of the valley where we live. It was incredible. I promised myself that I would go back at dusk again for pictures.

The short cut lead us back to the main road and we rode b accompanied back on a high from such a beautiful view, and probably the caffeine, accompanied by bachata from Mario’s phone, and I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty baller.

I got home as the stars came out. I was covered in mud, but I shivered happily as I ‘showered’ before bed. 

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