Thursday, October 13, 2011
Spent this last weekend in León with my host family for my sister's birthday. My host mom invited me to go with them, and to stay at her parents house. At first I'm not going to lie, I was a little eerie about going. I didn't know how I'd feel staying at her family's house, and I kind of felt like I was going to be a tag-along. I also knew there was going to be a big party for my host sister, and the concept of having to talk to strangers all weekend kind of scared me! But, I realized it was a great opportunity to see another city, to get to know my host family better, and to submerge myself in real Spanish culture. Let me just say that I am SO happy I went. Not only did it make my host mom and I a lot closer, but León is beautiful and is also a city I wouldn't have seen unless I went with her. The first day we were there, my mom wanted to give me a tour of the city she was born in (she takes a LOT of pride in being from León). We walked around by the river and the cathedral, and afterwards we went and got tapas together. At night, there was a big party for my sister's birthday and her cousin as well. I'm not going to lie, at first it was definitely a little overwhelming for me. Over time though, I realized that her family wanted to talk to me and wanted to get to know me, and definitely did not want me to feel uncomfortable or out of place. They reminded me a lot of the Puerto Rican side of my family back home; so much talking, so much food and a whole lot of yelling. We played a charades-type game at night (they tried to help me out as much as they could), and it was just really cool to see my mom and sister in their own environment. The next day my mom and I walked around again and talked a lot about her past and stories from growing up. Met up with the family again at night and went to a few different places for tapas. I did a lot more talking this time; my mom's brother was actually really interested in the things I had to say, which made me feel so much better. I was just really honored that she invited me to go, wanted me to see a very personal side of her, and opened up her parents house for me to sleep at. Overall it was a really good weekend :). Leaving tonight for Sevilla and Córdoba with my friends, lots of pictures to come!