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Meet My Host Family

By Avery

Before we met our host families I was nervous, I was about to jump into a family of 7 with three pets who spoke Spanish! I was anxiously rehearsing what I would say when Vanessa called my and my host family’s name at the matching event. My fears, however, dissipated when my host sister embraced me in a hug, and then another one and a third. I got home to a banner and a delicious pan de coco, and felt immediately welcomed.

That is not to say every moment has been seamless. The second day I walked out of my room in socks and almost gave my mom a heart attack, similarly when I walked home in the rain or took a shower at night. I also got some deserved laughs when I stared skeptically at the chicken foot in my soup or the different intestinal part I tried. Despite a definite language barrier, my family is patient and interested in what I have to say. Without fail my mom and grandmother ask me how I slept each morning and how the day was in the afternoon. The grandmother and I are still working on understanding each other, but without words, she still has taught me a lot. I learned how to make emborrajados, how to crimp empanadas, and that the appropriate time to start Christmas music is October! Here, family (at least for the Molina-Alverez’s) is central to life. Whether it be going to the market, church, or eating lunch together I am amazed by how much time they spend with one another (without fighting). My siblings and I could take some notes.

Below are some pictures of my family:

Catilina (Just turned ten, our nightly games of stumble guys and Spanish/English work are always a highlight of my day)

Isabel (18, is the best dancer ever…and also an amazing artist. I did try to learn to Salsa….and despite many tries, I could never move my hips like my host family showed me)

This is a picture of the costume she made for our family Halloween event! We played musical chairs, danced, and ate lots of candy. Isabel is also the caretaker for Piggy, the family’s pet rooster!

Veronica (21, helped me figure out the bus system and is studying to become a dentist. She invited me to be a practice patient…but I’d rather not know if I have cavities)

Juan, 17 (an amazing soccer player, who always keeps me updated on the scores of the champion league games…very excited to cheer on Ecuador in the World Cup with him)

(My host mom, who feels more like my real mom than I could have imagined. One of the kindest and most generous people I have met)

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