Close-up of dishes of food at an outdoor table

Ele cooks; Tete sweets; Eleo sings

5 people standing in front of a large world map
Terézia Ligačová (Lužianky, Slovakia) Hania Robaszkiewicz (Puebla Mexico / Łódź, Poland) Eleonora Prudenzi (Rome / London) Lucas Hayes (Newcastle, Australia) Justa Sobótka (Puebla Mexico / Łódź, Poland)
5 people jumping in the air
Jump!
5 people landing on the ground after jumping in the air
Land!

Thursday Night

19 November ’15
The bus driver told Eleonora not to speak to anyone in Rosemead because it is a very dangerous city!

Then she got a little lost walking home.

Then her phone started to run out of battery.

Scary night!

WhatsApp screen cap showing texts from Eleonora saying that she's almost home, but that her cell phone, and hence her Google map, is low on battery

Friday

20 November ’15
Friday started off a lot better. We walked over to East Gourmet Seafood at Garvey Ave & San Gabriel Blvd for a little dim sum breakfast.

Justa, Hania & Terézia seated at a table at East Gourmet Seafood in Rosemead, Ca
Justa, Hania & Terézia enjoy their first dim sum breakfast ever!
Lucas contemplates a chicken foot.
Lucas contemplates a chicken foot.


Lucas contemplates a chicken foot.
Eleonora pokes at a Vietnamese breakfast pastry.

Venice Beach

After breakfast Hania, Justa, Lucas, Terézia & Eleonora headed off to Venice Beach. All 5 of them packed into the tiny Fiat 500 that Hania & Justa rented. They got to enjoy the eclecticism of Venice, dip their toes in the November waters, and experience first-hand a Friday afternoon cross-town commute in Los Angeles.

interior shot of 2 people in a Fiat 500
Justa & Lucas in the front seat
Interior view of a Fiat 500 with 3 people in the back seat
Terézia in the back seat along with Hania & Eleonora

Wall Warts Be Gone!

While the gang was off to Venice beach I noticed the chain of “wall warts” Eleonora needed just to charge her sexy new Alcatel phone from Boost Mobile (US$60 for a smart phone and a month of unlimited service!!) The sad sight gave me a sort of aesthetic toxicity and I realized I needed to change the tired, old wall outlet in the Budapest Train Station just as I had previously done for the Sonthofen Ski Lodge and Curaçao Beach.

photo of a string of international power adapters sticking out of a USA wall socket
BEFORE: Aesthetic Toxicity: So many power adapters just to charge a phone
photo of a USB connector plugged into a USB wall outlet in the "Budapest Train Station" room at Casa Glenn
AFTER: Aesthetic Bliss: Pure USB wall power elegance

Cooking with Fire!

… or, you know, a potato masher…

Photo of Eleonora Prudenzi's omelet sandwiches
When the tired travelers returned from their idyllic LA freeway commute, Ele made these delicious omelet-sandwiches. Mmm!
Photo of a bowl of Terézia Ligačová's "Avokado Pudding"
After Ele’s delicious sandwiches, Tete treated us with her amazing Avokado Pudding dessert! What a dessert she’s created! Such a unique taste experience.

Universal Eleonora

And then around the magical hour of midnight, “Eleonora #2,” aka “Eleo Rey”, aka “Universal Eleonora” arrived. Her presence was as robust as I’d imagined it would be.

Terézia Ligačová & Eleonora Rey on a couch as Eleonora plays a Venezuelan Cuatro
Tete curls up on a couch in the Sonthofen Ski Lodge as Eleo plays her Venezuelan Cuatro.

After hugs for everyone, Eleo sat down in the entrance hallway of the house and played a song for us.

Lucas playing a Venezuelan Cuatro late at night, in a candle-lit room
Lucas trying Eleo’s Venezuelan Cuatro as Tete, Eleo & I listen

A while later Ele went to bed. Eleo, Tete, Lucas and I talked in the Sonthofen Ski Lodge.

Another while later Tete crawled onto the other sleeping pad in Ele’s Budapest Train Station room. Eleo, Lucas and I stayed up a bit longer.

And another while later I went to bed. Eleo and Lucas continued to play the Cuatro and sing in soft melodic tones as I drifted off to sleep.

Saturday

21 November ’15

Hania & Justa drove their Fiat 500 to LAX for their flight to Mexico City and the drive to Puebla around 4:30 this morning. I thought I’d get up and wave goodbye, but I slept through it. Lucas woke up, at least enough to see them depart.

Hania & Justa and Eleo slept under the same roof for a few hours, but they never, at least in waking life, met. Hania & Justa went to bed before Eleo arrived. They departed before she awoke.

Eleo Rey in the kitchen with a cutting board
Eleo ventured off to the Asian Market this morning and proceeded to prepare the most authentic Venezuelan breakfast she could with ingredients from the Asian Market.
Terézia Ligačová & Lucas Hayes at an outdoor table drinking smoothies
Lucas enjoying the unique, not-gonna-find-at-Robeks-or-Jamba-Juice notes of Eleo’s smoothie as Tete skypes with her mom and boyfriend back home in Slovakia
people sitting around a table and eating a meal
Lucas, Eleo & Tete at the IP3 diner enjoying Eleo’s plantains, tofu, and other culinary delights
Close-up of dishes of food at an outdoor table
Eleo’s breakfast / lunch

Launderland

Terézia wanted to wash some clothes. Lucas was thinking of getting a guitar when he was down in Central America. Inspired by Eleo’s Cuatro, I suggested Lucas might like to take a peek at the Pawn Shop down the street.

Lucas & Terézia at Launderland
Lucas & Terézia at Launderland
Eleo Rey posing and grinning at Launderland on Garvey Avenue in Rosemead, CA
Eleo loves Launderland!
Tete putting a towel in a washing machine
Tete washing her very patriotic “USA Beach Towel” (made in China, natch!) She was excited to have her First Laundromat Experience! They don’t have Laundromats in Slovakia.
Free WiFi sign on the wall at Launderland
The washing machines at Launderland look like they’re from the Eisenhower administration… but who cares… two words: FREE WiFi!
Terézia Ligačová puts quarters in a vending machine that dispenses small packets of soap
Tete buys soap.
Tete, Lucas & Eleo hugging outside the Pawn Shop
After looking around a bit in the Pawn Shop, it was time to say goodbye. Lucas was headed south to Central America. Tete was headed west to the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, and other canyons. She said Slovakia had lots of mountains, but no canyons. Eleo was headed to the coast to meetup with a new friend at a recording studio in Huntington Beach and work on some new music.

What are your educational insights?