|The best host mom in the world!|
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!
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,