Monday, May 21, 2012

Home is where there are people who love you

The best host mom in the world!
Now that it's been over two and a half months, I figure it's time for ya'll to "meet" my Chilean family!

First and foremost comes Mama Lorena. My host mom is the best one anyone could ask for. (Don't ask Colin though, he's pretty partial to Mama Patty...) Since the very first day I showed up when she greeted me with hugs and kisses at her door, she has never failed to ask me how I'm doing, how my day was, how classes are going, what my plans are, and most importantly, if I'm hungry. Every day. Several times a day. It goes without saying that it would be impossible for me to ever go hungry here, thanks to Mama Lorena. In fact, quite often I have more than I could possibly eat, since apparently the word "no" has no meaning here. That, or secretly it means "yes, please."

Let me give you an example:
*here I am, seated at a typical lunch in my house, table set, food in front of me, ready to eat.*
"Do you need anything, hija?"
"No, Mama, everything looks good."
"Are you sure? We have more meat if you want it..."
"No that's ok, this will be plenty."
"But you didn't eat very much for breakfast this morning."
"Don't worry, I'm not terribly hungry."
"Well... I'll just bring it out for you, just in case."
*at which point she brings a little plate just for me with some more meat on it, with extra silverware and another napkin just in case.*

Now, I'm not complaining, but it does make me laugh.

On top of taking care of the family,
Mama Lorena finds time to do fun things
like go ziplining!
When she's not making me delicious Chilean food for lunch, Lorena spends most of the rest of her day washing/drying/ironing our clothes, sweeping/mopping the floor, dusting, or washing dishes. How three people can make enough work to fill entire days, I'll never know. But then, I've never lived with Sidney before.

My host brother, Sidney, is 27 years old and a kinesiologist. Besides being a great host brother, he's also a walking tornado who could probably create enough housework for five people! He works most afternoons doing physical therapy with his patients, all of whom are over 60 years old. He's currently trying to spend his nights studying for a class that will certify him to do some other kind of therapy, but I'm not sure specifically. However, just like any good Chilean man, when there's a futbol game on, not even food can tear him away from the TV.

Like I said though, he's a great brother, and a fountain of knowledge for the confused foreigner living in his house. He invited Colin and I to his birthday party back in March, where we met his best friend, Francisco. The four of us have gotten together a few times to play Wii and had a blast together!

Knowing Sidney and Lorena, it doesn't surprise me that my "extended family" is equally welcoming and friendly. As I mentioned in the post about our trip to Patagonia, Lorena's daughter Loli and her family pretty much literally took us in off the street one night. Not many people are blessed to find themselves among friends 1400 miles from a place that's already 5000 miles from home, but Loli, Pablo, Benjamin, and Sofia welcomed us with open arms, fed us, talked to us, and even played play-doh with us before they drove us to the airport and sent us on our way back "home."

Loli, Sofia, Benjamin, and Pablo, who took in six gringos far from home

Sofia and I make the BEST play-doh animals!

And not just the younger generation is welcoming. For Mother's Day, Mama Lorena and I went to Los Andes to spend the day with her parents. My "grandparents" also welcomed me into their home, took me to lunch, and wouldn't take no for an answer to anything.

Me and the abuelitos, plus Mama Lorena's neice, Isadora

In short, I couldn't ask for a better Chilean family. I have been truly blessed in knowing them, and they have made this place a home away from home. 

With love from Chile,


  1. Makes me happy you are so loved.

  2. The title of this blog post is sooo true! I'm very glad you feel at home in Chile! Your description of Mama Lorena made me smile and smile and smile. I found your words to be true of my mom and me also. I guess loving mamas are the same all over the world! I want to add zip-lining to my resume, too!

    It seems to me that as long as there are people, there will be a need to clean up. Us messier types, though, well, "we don't get no respect." ; ) I'm so glad Sydney is gainfully employed in his field of training. There is a growing concern in America for educated, younger adults because they can't find work. Does Sydney have Just Dance Wii? I would pay money to see him, Francisco and Colin playing that Wii game!

    When ever you can, please give everyone in your Chilean family a hug from me for giving you a home away from home.

  3. Mama Lorena is so sweet! I loved that she talked to me when we skyped! I think you have the best host mom too.