I’m slowly getting settled into the Spanish lifestyle but continue to learn new things everyday. In this blog I’m going to shift away from the professional internship aspect of my time in Madrid and focus more on the culture and family aspect, an equally important component of this experience.
I continue to form a bond with my host mother, Asun, that I’m always going to remember. We eat dinner every night in front of the TV, sitting next to each other on the couch. The most common dishes that she makes for me are fried eggs with fried garbanzo beans (so amazing), gazpacho, chicken with carrots and onions, salad, scrambled eggs with bacon mixed in and tortilla Española. Asun has made other things as well but this is what comes to mind as a write this.
Aside from the delicious food, I appreciate this hour (or sometimes more) that Asun and I share together at the end of the day. As we watch Spanish reality TV or some news parody show, we talk about our day (the good and the bad). Not only is it allowing me to practice my Spanish but I’m also forming a new relationship and learning about the day in the life of a Spanish woman. Our topics of conversation have varied from food, family, work, school, art and everything in between.
The other day Asun took me to a dramatic reading of a play about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (in Spanish!). There were times where I got lost because some of the actors spoke so incredibly fast that I think even other audience members were struggling to pay attention, but I’m really glad I went. It was interesting hearing a story of American History in Spanish and from a Spanish perspective. After the play, Asun and I went to a nearby “cafeteria” (cafe) and ate typical Spanish tapas and had a lovely time eating, laughing and realizing that we had a lot more in common with each other than we initially thought. For example, Asun works at Cruz Roja Hospital and teaches Spanish classes to refugees (as mentioned in my other blogs I’m interning at a center for refugees).
While I am forming new bonds and new family here in Spain, I still talk to my family at home almost every week. Although this might seem like a bad idea when studying abroad, I have always been good at being able to balance different parts of my life. Talking to my family members at home does not make me home sick or feel disconnected with what I’m experiencing in Madrid, It only makes me more excited to talk to them about my experiences and let them know when I’ve had a great day. My sister and Mom are coming to visit me this week and I can’t wait to (attempt) to show them around.