Mãe Jana

Hello everyone, first of all I want to apologize for not having written a blog yet. However, today I had a talk with my host mom and that inspired me to write a blog.


Mae Jana, mother Jana, in English, is my host mom. She is thirty-year-old woman, full of energy, and super charismatic. It was so hard for me to see her as my host mom, as she is so young, but time has been helping to build such a great connection between the both of us. Being honest, I felt very scared during the beginning of my experience in the house; due to the fact that I felt judged, indirectly, by many people. I thought I shouldn’t say my opinion about anything in order to have a peaceful environment in my house and with my community. I was trying to be open and understand their society and their way of thinking; but I found it very hard. However, suddenly I started talking more with my host mom about my feelings, and that was when I felt the happiest moments began to arise. I starting trying to find ways to bond with my host mom, so we starting baking together, I made an apple pie for her and I thought that was the starting point of our relationship.


My host mom is, perhaps, the most inspirational person I have met so far, she got married at age of sixteen, and she is one of those people who lives life to the fullest. My host mom is an English teacher, she works the whole day with students from eleven to fifteen years old. She sometimes comes back from her job very sad and disappointed at the student’s behavior, she wonders if to be a teacher was the right decision for her, however, she never gives up. She is very positive about life, and most of all, always with a smile no matter how bad her day was.


Mae Janaina is very passionate about people, knowing their stories, and learning a lot from them. My mom is a total artist, she sings so well, and plays the piano. Music is her passion, she writes and composes songs, and recently one of her song was recorded by an artist in Sao Paulo, Brazil. That song is going to be part of a new album.  I think my mom is very hippie, she is not so worried about stuff, she dreads her hair, dyes her hair, gets tattoos, she had piercings, and she dyed my hair too – hahaha. A funny fact about my mom is that she is deeply in love with the actor Daniel Craig; if she reads this I am probably gonna be in trouble – hahaha.


I want to thank Global Citizen Year for having me placed in this family. They are very different compared to my family in Panama, however, I feel I am having such a great learning experience. I still have many challenges and differences with other family members; but I am pretty sure time will help me out to be closer with them too. My goal for this year is to be closer to my family, especially to my host dad, even though we think differently about so many things I feel like we are already, in our way, getting to know more about each other.