I’ve moved in with my family: Susana (who works with pottery and ceramics), Edgardo or Pelli (who used to work in a bank and volunteers at homeless shelter), their three children (aged 26-28) Tono, Paz, and Fran, and la Suzy (our little dog, who is really more like a mop with eyes). They have been super-friendly and accommodating, though apparently I’ve been called “picky”—they’re not used to vegetarians here, and it’s also strange to them that I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine.
At first I was worried about being isolated from them because my room and bathroom are separated from the rest of the house; you walk outside from the kitchen, and I have my own little space. I’m sure this is fantastic for most college students, but when you’re accustomed to absolutely NO personal space, it’s a little odd. Anyhow, I’ve been eating one or two meals with them a day, so I’m slowly getting to know them, and I hope they won’t think I’m quiet or something awfully untrue…
I’ve also met my two foster-host-families—those of Emily and Charles. Emily’s family is fairly young, including a precious 20-month-old named Trini! Emily’s “father” works for the department of defense, and her mother works part-time as… some sort of engineer, we think. I spent more time with Charles’ host family when we went to church on Sunday. I opened the door, and Tomás, the 16-year-old brother, greeted me by saying, “You look just like my sister!” Sure enough, Charles’ sister is actually a clone of me. She’s my age, my height, likes to sing, and has long, curly red hair. Pretty awesome. Charles was basically transplanted into a family that very well could be his natural family (except Sam is much more irritating than Tomás).
Church was super-fun (I’m saying super a lot; it’s a Chilean thing, I think… everything is “super-bueno”… especially with my clone, Javiera). We were introduced to many “gringos,” because we know all gringos get along well. The music was great—we were in for a surprise when the band started playing the same Hillsongs song we’d been singing while walking to church (except it was in Spanish)! It blew me away. (God has this way of working out little things to give you exactly what you need at that moment.)
Anyhow, I still have much to learn about my family… but I’ll keep you posted!