My host family is big and diverse. I have two host brothers, Carlos who is 21 and a fresh uni graduate. And Adrian who is 16 and in high school I also have an older host sister Valeria. She is already married and has a son named Pedro, or as everyone calls him, Pedrito.
The first few days here were a lil harsh. My family was super nice with me and I had an amazing relation with my host brothers from the beginning. But what made it hardsh was the language barrier. Even though my host mom and Carlos can speak English at a very good level, I still felt that I needed to learn their language so I could fit in even more.
Days by days I was learning some Spanish, but it was too slow. The reason is because I was still at a level where I needed to use a lot of English, and my vocabulary was awful. But even this didn’t stop me from having fun and making a deeper relation with my family. I got closer and closer to my brothers every day. We did a lot of things together, they are a great opportunity for me to immerse more and more to my community. We play cards, go to festivals, concerts, or just simply spend an afternoon together at the Grandmas house.
Valeria helped me a lot with my language learning, and made me feel more comfortable. Pedrito was my little friend, where he would use all his English knowledge with me, and vice versa.
As days were passing we made a lot of inside jokes, and got more and more comfortable with each other. They introduced me and helped me to understand the culture as I showed them huge interest in the Latino and Ecuadorian culture. And I also showed them my culture and the world that I came from. We listen together to the Arabic and Spanish songs. They taught me how to dance like a Latino, so did I with the Arabic dances such as Debke. We watch movies together, sometimes in English sometimes in Spanish. In such a short time a very deep connection was able to form, like we`ve known each other for ever. So far that we even insult each other and joke around a lot.
The feeling of me being an outstanding person faded away and instead I became the new son in this family. My extended family also adopted me and no longer was a guest behavior around, just US as a big family.
The cousins became real cousins, we hang out a lot together and became very close. One of our favorite habits is to go out to play basketball. They were ( and still is) a huge help for me to learn the language, and adopt the culture and costumes. Honorable mentions go to; Kevin a cousin who is currently at his 2nd year in Uni doing Medicine. Me and Kevin bonded very quickly where I consider him one of the closes people to me here. Sabastian my other cousin, or as we call each other “ Hermano“. Sebastian is a little teen boy, who is very funny, he can always make us laugh, and I really feel close to him in a sense that I care about him a lot. Maria , my cousin aka mi prima. The first time I met her was at a family event where we were watching a car race and since then we became very close. And Andrea , Maria`s sister. She is an amazing basketball player, who is fun the hang out with. These four people with my other 2 brothers are the people I spend most of my time with. They are the reason why I am the person who I am now. Also they were my biggest support and help for the language learning. They made me feel like actually part of the family. Simply just hanging out with them was/ is one of my favorite activities.
These people are now actually part of my life, I will not / can not forget them, they are here for me and I am always here for them. When they are happy I am happy, and when they are sad I`ll try my best to make them happy.