Meleny's Exiled trip to Peru left her stomach in knots -- and then all over the floor. The dirt floor. This is one ex-Super Sweet 16er who wasn't a happy camper during her journey abroad. Check out Meleny's diary below to get all the gory details...
THE NIGHT OF THE INTERVENTION
Tonight I’m leaving for Peru. My dad told me that I'm going to be living 12,000 ft up in the mountains. I'll also be meeting a girl my age named Helen, as well her family, who are a part of the Quechua people. I’m going to be living with them for a week. This is the first time I’m going to be away from my family for that long. I'm really nervous about the people, where I’m going to be sleeping, what I’m going to be eating, etc. I hope that I come back as the person my family wants me to be...
I met Helen and her family for the first time today. Everyone was very welcoming, but they were dirty and some of them were missing teeth. Helen then showed me her house, which was actually a hut. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. It had dirt floors and there were guinea pigs running around all over the place. Her kitchen and her bedroom were all in the same room, which was actually the only room in her hut. Helen's whole house is the same size as my bedroom alone. There are no bathrooms here or any electricity. There’s no gas stove or heat -- they cook their food over a wood fire. There seems to be a lot of bugs in the hut, which is making me feel itchy all over.
The guinea pigs aren’t cute to me at all. They remind me of rats and the noise they make is super creepy. I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep tonight -- I'll probably be up the whole time making sure no bugs or guinea pigs come into bed with me.
I don’t feel very safe here at all, and I don’t understand why my dad would do this to me. I’m so mad at him. I just hope the next week flies by because I already can’t wait to get home.
This trip feels more like a punishment than a positive experience. Last night I slept in a tent -- it was so cold and when I woke up my face was all swollen and it felt really weird. I scared myself when I looked in the mirror.
I woke up this morning really sick. I kept throwing up, I had a bad head ache and my heart was racing. I also couldn’t breathe that well. Helen had Roberto get the doctor. When the doctor saw me he said that I had altitude sickness and gave me oxygen treatment. I still felt sick afterwards and kept throwing up. I've never felt so miserable in my entire life. I just hope I get better and this week goes by faster so I can go back home to my family and to my comfortable home. I miss everyone so much -- most of all I miss my cell phone.
I still feel like crap but I’m going to stick it out and try my best to adapt to Helen’s way of living. She said that we’re going to celebrate my feeling better. I have no idea how we're going to celebrate because there’s nothing fun to do around here. All they do is work. Maybe she’s going to make me eat more nasty potatoes.
Things aren’t so bad here after all. Helen and I moved a herd of llamas into the coral and it was the most fun I had on this entire trip. There was a baby llama left on the hill that couldn’t make its way down to the coral on its own, so I went up the hill and carried it back down into the coral with its mommy. Everyone was so happy and they all started clapping for me.