While Addy and I often joke about how our family is crazy and our house is basically always a three-ring circus, we most definitely have the best family in Salamanca. Some people in our program have families that are just them and their parents or other versions of a small family. Some people have medium-sized families and relatives that visit at various times. Then there is our family. There are always various relatives in the house, talking, yelling, and making chaos in general. So here’s to our crazy family.
To Ana, our mom. She is constantly doing something; from cooking delicious meals, cleaning, talking to our host sister in London, talking to everyone in Spain, or just running around the house for reasons Addy and I have yet to figure out.
To Luis, our dad, who can express entire novels with one look. Ana can talk. A lot. So Luis doesn’t always have the opportunity to say anything, so while Ana is talking away at a meal we can look to Luis who can express anything from boredom to exasperation (all the time) to humor with one shake of his head or roll of the eyes.
To abuela who once babysat us for a week. We may be adults but we apparently still babysitters while our parents are gone. From her declaration that all of her kids and grandkids are “fatal” at art to her catchphrase “venga,” abuela is amazing. I know she is in the house when the word venga comes floating into my bedroom as she wanders past, probably thinking about how her, “10-year-old grandson draws like a 3-year-old.”
To tío and tía who live across the street and randomly show up in the house and babysit us when everyone, including abuela, go to London.
To tío from Germany who came last weekend too and showed us all 20 of his drawings of the family and made us guess who they were. Who also believes that wine is a good substitute for fruit or yogurt because it is the water of youth.
To Marcos, our host cousin, who is the reason Addy and I know the word for swallow. Addy made him laugh while eating yogurt and we just had to tell to make it, “go to his stomach” so that he didn’t spit it up. The cousin who knows exactly how to push Ana’s buttons and make her even more scattered and panicked than normal. Who tells Addy and I jokes that we never understand the first time… Or the second time, because he omits all extra words and just gives us the important verbs that do not form a full thought. Who, along with his friend, is the reason why Addy and I know how to play tag in Spanish.
To Luisjo, our host brother, his girlfriend Lettie, and their dog Kira, who come on the weekends. Kira is always excited to see everyone, Lettie wins almost every race she is in, and Luisjo who, according to Marcos, looks like the owl from his English textbook.
To Sol, our host cat, who knows I don’t like cats and expressed her distaste for me by throwing up in my room and outside my door and then hid under my bed.
And finally, to rest of the family and friends who have shown up in our house at random times and Addy and I sit in our rooms and wonder exactly how many people can fit in our house at one time and have made our Spanish experience crazy but amazing.