For three of the four weeks I’m in Chile, I get to live with my host mom, Claudia, and her twelve year old son, Lucas. My host mom is an incredibly talented photographer, and her house is full of her photos and different types of artwork. She’s completed many projects and books capturing human rights abuses against indigenous communities, as well as ones focusing on environmental issues like pollution in the north caused by mining companies.
My family lives on the fourth floor of an apartment building in Bella Vista, which is a very touristy neighborhood with a lot of restaurants and clubs. At night, with the music pumping and the colored lights flashing in my room, it feels like I am right there in the club!
Claudia and Lucas pretty much only speak Spanish, and every night we have dinner together. This is one of my favorite parts of being here. My host mom is a great cook. She makes lentil dishes, veggie dishes, rice, and more. Also, we always have tea with dinner. Tea is huge in Chile. I already love tea, so getting to drink tea with all of my meals has been a dream. Plus, Claudia taught us how to make fresh tortillas made of corn flour, water, and salt. I love making them and eating them for breakfast with some eggs or fruit.
Each day we have great convos about life, family, entertainment, and about Claudia’s personal experience with human rights abuses in Chile. Besides having deep conversations, dinners are full of laughter, and when it is hard to understand one another we use our body language and strange noises. One night my roommate broke our host moms chair and we all still laugh about it.
I love my homestay family, and I am so thankful to get to spend an entire month with them.