I had the chance yesterday to snap some pictures of where I am staying in Spain and I wanted to share them with everyone! Before I do that, I want to tell you a little about my “homestay”. A homestay means I live with a Spanish family (who cooks for you) and an American roommate (Kayla, my friend from St. A’s)
My Spanish family is actually just a host Mom. She is in her late 60’s and has 3 sons who are all in their 30’s but moved out! We actually had the chance to meet the three sons, her daughter in law and granddaughter on Saturday because they all came over for lunch!!
Our host Mom has been very nice to us. She speaks NO English, whatsoever. This was definitely a struggle at first, but I can already tell it is getting easier. She is very patient with us and tries to fill in the words we are trying to say but don’t know. Our host Mom makes us breakfast, lunch and dinner for us each day. She has been very understanding about foods we do not like and has made some delicious Spanish meals for us!!
The first day we arrived at the apartment with her, she showed us around the apartment and then gave us each big hugs. She said (in Spanish) “I want you to feel like this is your home, you can watch TV whenever you want and help yourself to making food if I am not around”. She is really kind and always a welcoming face when we come in!!
We haven’t had too many embarrassing moments yet with our host mom. Frequently, we don’t understand what she is saying to us and have to ask “Que?” (what?). She always says, “tu entiendas” at the end of everything, which means: “Do you understand?”. The first couple days we said “Si” to almost everything she said, even if we didn’t understand. Now we ask her to explain words. She will get louder when she repeats herself, which seems to be a Spanish thing. The louder you talk, the better we will understand? Sometimes, but not usually.
Before I show you pictures, I want to share one truly funny story with you all. It is actually embarrassing, but since we are in a new place and country, we were unsure of a lot of things in the beginning. Let me explain. When we first arrived to our room, there was a large towel folded on each of our beds. It’s about the size of a blanket but the texture of a towel. When she showed us our bathroom, she pointed out a drawer with smaller towels in them so we thought that these larger ones were blankets for our bed….
Today when I came home from school for lunch, my host Mom asked me why we keep our towels on our beds. She said we shouldn’t leave them there because they are wet. I had to very awkwardly explain that we thought they were blankets and have been using the hand towels when we shower….She thought we were funny but told us to use the big towels. She got us each a real blanket for our beds to keep warm! Looking back on it, I can’t help but laugh!!
Now let me take you on a tour of mi casa!!
This is what our apartment complex area looks like when outside.
When you walk in, this is the main hallway. To the left is the kitchen, to the right the living room. Straight down are the bedrooms and bathrooms.
This is the kitchen. We eat breakfast at this little counter.
View from the counter looking out of the kitchen.
This is the living room. Our host Mom sits in the green chair on the left and watches TV. We also eat our lunch and dinner together at this tall table. See how there is a long skirt around the table? The first night we ate dinner, our host Mom told us to put the table cover over our legs like a blanket while we were sitting on the couch! Turns out she keeps an electric space heater under there to keep her warm when eating and watching TV!!
This is the view of the living room when sitting on the couch. That is the table we ate at when her family came to visit.
This is looking straight into the living room. There is a small balcony through those sliding doors.
The bathroom that Kayla and I share.
I know it is weird that I took a picture of our shower, but I can’t get over the fact that the shower head is in the middle horizontally, instead at one of the ends! Every time I wash my hair, I hit my arms on the doors!!
This is our room!! Kayla took this picture when we first finished unpacking! Since the room is messier now, I’m using this picture instead of the one I took! To the right are our two desks, and to the left near Kayla’s bed are our two closets with drawers! In the back corner near our coats, there is another slider that leads onto the same balcony as the living room. It brings in a lot of natural light during the day! Here’s the view!
Here’s a picture of my lovely desk!! I have some pictures of friends and family on my bulletin board, which is a nice piece of home to wake up to each morning! We also have really nice shelves above our desks which comes in handy!
This is my home for the next 3 months!! I’m lucky to have such an awesome friend for a roommate and a really sweet and patient host Mom! I’m very happy with how everything worked out!! Stay tuned for a post on my first day of classes! xoxo