To assist with my ability to speak Spanish I thought that it would be helpful to complete a homestay where you stay with a local Argentinian family. My host family was a single elderly lady named Ana. Ana is a lovely lady but I think my experience would have been more enriching if it had of been either more students in the house or a bigger family (Little tip for anyone thinking about doing a homestay).
Whilst I was staying with Ana her eldest daughter Pauline and her husband were also visiting. Pauline is expecting a baby in May this year. Meal times were often very interesting as it was normal for Pauline to lift her t-shirt up and have her belly sit at the table with us whilst we were eating our meal. It is never too soon to become part of the family right??
Ana lived in a lovely house that had a great view of the lake but was also on a rather steep hill which I got to walk up and down every day.
So that is my homestay family. Now I suppose you are wondering how I spent my time in Bariloche? Well a day in the life of a school kid (me studying Spanish) began at about 7.30 when I would get up to get ready for school. It was quite weird to be getting up at this time as it was still very dark outside and I would get to see the sun rise everyday which doesn’t generally happen at this time of day and year back in Aus. Although I am forgetting summer is almost over and winter’s short days are soon arriving.
Breakfast was always exciting as it would magically appear on the table every morning, thanks to my host mum who set it up the night before. Once I was ready for school I would put on my backpack and army roll out of the carport in order to not set off the security alarm. This always gave me a morning giggle as it felt like I was sneaking out of the house just to go to school.
Walking down the hill towards the town I had a majestic view of the lake which was different everyday depending on the weather. Classes would run from 9 -12 and then followed by either an extracurricular activity or a long lunch, a visit to the ice creamery, chocolate shop and then drinks at a bar.
Compared to the school I studied at in Buenos Aires the Bariloche Spanish school was far superior and more personal.
One morning on my way to school I thought I saw a guy that I had met at dinner the previous night. As we walked past each other we kind of looked at each other as if we knew each other. So I thought I would stop to say hi. Well boy did I get more than a hello that morning the man grabbed me quite passionately and went to give me two Spanish hello kisses one on each cheek. However these kisses were alarmingly close to my mouth and the hug embrace was quite intense to get out of. Whilst this was all happening I thought to myself “this is not the characteristics of the man I met the night before he was a lot more placid and tranquil…holy crap this is not the guy I met last night I have no idea who he is. Crap.. Crap… Crap.. get me out of here”.
Once I finally got out of the embrace I smiled politely and turned away as quickly as possible. Wow lesson to be learned here ladies… if you want to find a man in Bariloche just smile nicely at them no matter what time of day, morning, noon or night.
The worst part of the situation was he was wearing very strong cologne and throughout the morning I would get an aroma of his cologne coming off my tshirt reminding me of the morning’s disturbing experience. For the remaining mornings I made sure I walked a different route to school in case there was ever a re-enactment.
The end of the first school week finished with a game of ‘Truco’ an Argentinian card game that requires similar skills to poker except there is no money involved. Learning a card game in English is hard enough add Spanish to the equation and it is ‘muy deficil’.