We have been living with our host families for two weeks now and we have another two weeks to go. It’s incredible how many relationships I have built here with my peers and also Mexicans I have met through excursions and guest speakers. But most important is the relationship I’m currently building with my host family. I’m one of the lucky ones that live by the ravine in Lopez Mateos. I will definitely remember walking up the steep hill and pyramids stairs every morning to get to the main street. Although I have to travel further than other students to get to classes and to use the internet (because my house doesn’t have internet), it is worth it.
|Lopez Mateos neighborhood stairs|
In my host family, I have host parents, a host sister who has a two-year-old daughter, and a host brother who’s married. The first week of living with my host family was adjusting to one another’s schedules and trying to get comfortable living with one another. But by week two, I’m more comfortable with my family and they’re comfortable with me. Even the house dog was getting used to me, she doesn’t bark at me anymore like she used to the first week. We communicate better now and although my Spanish isn’t that great, they’re helping me learn new Spanish words. I still struggle to pronounce them and even though there are times when I just want to give up, they make sure I know that they won’t give up on me. Sometimes we have some good laughs!
During our first weekend together they invited me to their family hangout. They took me to the water park in Temixco, just south of Cuernavaca. It was a great way to spend family time with my host family and a great way to get to know them a little bit better. I’ve come to realization that every Sunday is my host family’s family time and they tend to do things together as a family. It’s amazing how much I have picked up living with my host family for just two weeks and I’m pretty sure they have learned a lot of things about me too.
|Temixco water park|
I know I will miss dinner time with my host sister and mother; having Sundays as family day and hearing my host niece greet me every time I walk in the door. I will also miss walking up and down the painful steps and steep hill down the ravine of Lopez Mateos. But I won’t ever forget the relationships I’ve built with many wonderful people in Mexico and especially my host family. I will miss the laughter at the dinner table because of my pronunciation of words and the cross cultural stories we tell one another. Every night at the dinner table is story time and I will miss that. But most of all I will miss how I felt like I was at home with my host family. They welcomed me with open arms and protected me. They taught me more about the Mexican culture and taught me how to cook Mexican food. They’ve helped me learn more Spanish words. I can't thank them enough for every experience I've had with them.
-- Jaia Chang