By Courtney C., Guest Blogger and Peru study abroad participant
Now for a little bit about my family…..
When I arrived at the airport, my host parents, Belinda and Cesar, were there to pick me up with great big smiles on their faces. I explained to them that I don´t speak much Spanish yet, but that I wanted to try to speak as much as possible. They were very understanding and they have been very welcoming. That first day they explained to me that to avoid a bad case of altitude sickness, I needed to drink some coca tea and go straight to bed for a few hours, and so I did. That evening their family had a huge family gathering because one of their nephews, who now lives in New York City, was coming in for a couple of days, so when I woke up I had a lot of friendly faces to meet. The food was fantastic—lots of vegetables and some grilled meats such as chicken, sausage, and even slivers of cow heart of a stick. It was all really tasty especially when dipped in a special sauce that they made with various herbs and spices.
My host parents have three children: Ursula (I think she is around 30 years old), Adriana (I think she is in her late 20’s), and Cesar (I believe he is around 20). Adriana is married and has two sons, Augustine (around 2 and a half years old) and Nicolas (8 months). Adriana’s family lives in an apartment that is enclosed with her parents’ home by a big gated wall. Ursula and Cesar live at home.
All of the food is great so far and I help by setting the table or washing the dishes after a meal. I love to cook, but I haven’t had the chance to help yet because of my class schedule. I have had many dishes that I want the recipe for for!
My bedroom is simple and cozy and the view is pleasant too as I can see some cute houses and the mountains in the background. The only two ¨social rules¨ that I have found different is that you should always come to dinner with your shoes on as it is considered impolite to come barefoot, and in fact, it seems that the whole family wears their shoes at all times in the house. I prefer to be barefoot! But I think I can manage. Second, you are not supposed to dispose of toilet paper in the toilet (this goes for all toilets, not just in my host family’s home), but rather in the trash can next to the toilet. This rule is more practical than cultural because the pipes here are old and narrow and they can easily clog, although it is hard to get used to because I have been trained otherwise.
This weekend I am going on a trip to Puno and Lake Titicaca, so next week I will fill you in on my trip there as well as about my school.
Learn more about Peru Spanish schools