They told me I would have some awesome experiences while I am studying abroad here, and Sunday I got to spend the whole day with my host mom and her family.. it was indeed pretty amazing. I didn’t have any plans for the day and Rosa had asked me if I wanted to go with her to watch her grandkids while the parents and one grandchild had an activity to do during the day. We would end up taking the train outside of Barcelona and spending the day at the most beautiful house in the most beautiful, quiet town in the country, sitting by the pool, and watching movies. Basically just relaxing and taking a break from the city.
What was definitely the most interesting part of this trip was the fact that from 9AM to 9PM, I spoke nothing but Spanish. Because the prominent language in Catalonia is Catalan, the grandkids and Rosa spoke Catalan but Rosa would translate in Spanish what was going on.
Let’s just take a minute to think about that. When I didn’t understand Catalan, I was given a translation in Spanish. This is the language I originally had very little to no knowledge of at the beginning of this journey. I of course am still bad at speaking and creating sentences, but my understanding of Spanish has sky-rocketed since I have been here.
The grandkids were a little skeptical of me, understandably. I was a little skeptical of how to communicate with them as well; if I would seem strange to them, say something that they didn’t understand (because most of what I say to Rosa is pieces of a puzzle that she puts together so we can communicate), or just make a fool of myself. But I feel like they accepted me and it was such a cool experience watching them as a family; the differences in culture, how they live, how they speak…
After the day, I really felt like I was a part of the family and feel like I’ve bonded even more with Rosa.
Here we all are (minus Laura, the middle grandchild)
I will tell you all, some of the best experiences you will ever get to enjoy are the ones outside your comfort zone. Hypothetically speaking, spend a whole day speaking your non-native language and see what you’ll find. I guarantee it’ll be worth it