Saturday, July 11, 2009

Home Improvement

So as I had mentioned in a previous post, it was necessary for me to change homestay accomodations. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, the school where I am studying Spanish arranges a homestay with a Mexican family so that one can get the full immersion experience. But my first week here was not ideal, as my accomodations and family were not hospitable. I was living in their basement, with no door, just an open staircase. It was a nice room, with great views, but the mattress had a massive depression in it, and required several layers of towels until I got it level. The family consisted of a mother and father (both about 37 years old), and 3 kids, ages 17, 16, and 5. However, once they discovered that my language ability was so low, I think they gave up trying to communicate with me, and therefore, I spent most of the meals eating silently. As both parents were working full-time, meals were simple and hastily put together, and left much to be desired. But again, what did I know, as I thought this was the norm.

After talking about my situation to the school and other students, it was apparent that my homestay situation was not healthy, so I decided to switch, requesting a family who might exercise more patience with my child-like language ability.

The new family consists of an older couple and their divorced older sons, plus their kids. However, I live separately in a castle-like addition overlooking the city, mid-way up a mountain slope in the historic city center, and have complete independence. I only visit their house for meal times.

Celia, the mother of the family, is an incredible woman. She cooks gourmet vegetarian meals for me, sometimes involving 4 different courses. She meditates 2 hours per day, and we often discuss the meaning of life, the painful emptiness, and the futility of chasing after "things". Of course, I only comprehend about 40% of what she is saying, but she speaks slowly and clearly enough and is patient when I finally decide to attempt a response.

Also living in the main house is one of my better friends from the school, and we walk to school together every morning as if we were in gradeschool. So I am really glad that I had the courage to change families, and to act on what I felt was a bad situation. Here are more photos of my new, temporary home, shabby exterior and all.

1 comment:

  1. It looks bright and cheery to me...this is certainly better than a basement. Actually, it looks kind of swanky.