By Olivia Chase
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
One of the things I was most worried about when coming to Madrid was my homestay. “Would they like me? Would I like them? Would I like the food they cooked? Would they be able to understand my broken Spanish?” After almost four months here, I can definitely say that I couldn’t have been placed with a better family. I am living with a family with three young children: ages eight, seven, and three. And while, as you can imagine, there has been one than one temper tantrum, I can truly say that I have found a home here in Madrid.
I participate in family game nights, watch “Bob Esponja” (SpongeBob Squarepants), and sometimes help my new brothers and sisters out with their English homework. To be honest, embarrassingly enough, they sometimes even help me with my Spanish homework. You don’t want to know how many times I’ve heard, “This is what you’re learning?? I learned this is in kindergarten!”
Me reading to 3-year old Cloe
By far one of the best weekends I’ve spent in Madrid was when I went to my host family’s country house about an hour north of the city. When I say country, I really mean country. Besides the house, there was nothing around for miles but pastures and cow poop. We spent the day playing hide-and-go-seek, reading books in hammocks, grilling salchichas (hot dogs), playing a friendly boys vs. girls game of fútbol, and just sitting around the table talking in Spanish. It was such a simple day, but it was the company that truly made it such a memorable afternoon.
My family's country house
With only one month left in Madrid, I know one of the things I am going to miss the most is coming home after classes to the sound of Inez and Cloe fighting over the doll they are playing with while Yago is yelling at them to be quiet so he can finish his deberes (homework). It’s the little, everyday family moments I’m going to miss the most. It’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to such a wonderful family, but I’m comforted by the fact that I know we will keep in touch and that I will always have a home in Madrid if/when I return.