When my roommate and I first arrived to Granada, we were pretty exhausted from travelling and completely clueless about navigating the city, both in terms of the physical area and the specific culture that Granada has. Our host parents, Merce and Ignace, along with their son Lorenzo, have been such angels in welcoming us, teaching us, and making Granada feel like our home. Merce, Ignace, and Lorenzo, we dedicate this blog post to you!! Here are 10 things we love and will forever be grateful for:
- The genuine care. From the start, Merce and Ignace took us in and made us part of the family. They look out for us as they do our host brother, making sure we’re happy and healthy and taking care of us when we’re sick or stressed. When I got covid earlier in the semester, Merce was what got me through!
- Theadvice. They’re always looking out for us, making sure we’re staying safe when we’re out at night, offering support and cups of tea when we’re stressed out, and sharing events and opportunities in the city. They really just always want us to have a good time here!
- Merce’s cooking. She’s such an amazing cook, and I’ve never been so well-fed in my life!! Every lunch time we sit down as a family and feast on soup, salad, and the main course - always different, and always delicious!!
- The thoughtfulness. Both are always checking in on us and sometimes treat us to little thoughtful surprises, like pancakes in the morning or cookies in the evening. My favourite is when Merce makes me a packed lunch on Tuesdays because I don’t have time between classes to come home for a big lunch. Inside my little paper bag is always a huge amount of food to keep me going through the day, complete with a little sweet treat and a carton of vanilla or chocolate milk! It’s adorable and makes me feel like a kid on a field trip, but I love it so much!
- The recommendations. They know some of the best spots in the city and a lot about Spain in general. We know we’re going to have fun when we go to a Merce-approved spot or event!
- The fun. There’s never a dull day in this household, and my host brother and puppy provide endless entertainment as they play fetch or chase or ‘surprise!’. Ignace always comes home with funny stories from work that have us laughing so much we can’t eat at lunch!
- The unlimited cuddles. This one refers to our younger host brother and our puppy too; if we’re feeling down or tired, they’re always there to give us a hug and cheer us up.
- The respect. I was worried about a lack of privacy when living in a household with another family, but thankfully they always respect our privacy and personal preferences. I have my own room that I can hide out in if I want to be alone, and we have the freedom to live our own lifestyles and do what we want with our time, as long as we have basic manners and mutual respect for each other and the family.
- The acts of kindness. Ignace knocked on my door and gave me a pot of honey and a clove of ginger when I had a sore throat and couldn’t stop coughing. Merce saw that I bought a certain brand of cereal to snack on and then started buying it just for me - I never had to buy it here again!
- The conversation. We always have so much fun talking together, sharing little details about our daily lives here and at home, learning about each other, and laughing together. It always cheers me up if I’m sad, animates me a little if I’m tired, and helps me thrive here in Granada. Plus, my Spanish skills have improved so much!
Overall, our experience with a host family has been wonderful, and Granada wouldn’t have been the same without the support of our amazing hosts. Merce, Ignace, Lorenzo and Negrita, WE’LL MISS YOU!!
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<p>Hi, I’m Sonya! I’m a junior at Bryn Mawr College, PA, and my majors are Neuroscience and Anthropology. I’m originally from Letterkenny, Ireland, but now live in Northern Ireland (when I’m not at school, of course). I love to travel, paint, swim, meet new people and try new things. This semester I’m studying abroad in Granada, Spain, and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you all!</p>