In my time in Granada, I’ve met so many different people. From professors and other students, to waiters and shopkeepers, I interact with locals everyday. The local that has impacted me the most, however, is my senora, Eva.
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Eva is a typical Spanish señora, in that she cooks all the daily meals, and keeps the house clean and tidy. Eva, however, is so much more than that. I’m so grateful that she is my senora. From the first day in Granada, Eva made me feel welcome in her home. She always reminds me that her home is my home for 5 months. Unlike other home stays, I am allowed to go into the kitchen and watch TV in the living room whenever I please. This welcoming quality extends even further, as Eva always encourages me to speak Spanish by asking me questions that I can’t only answer "si" or "no." Even though my Spanish is far from perfect, she always reminds me that she understands what I’m trying to say, usually by responding “claro,” “vale,” or “si.” Sometimes, she even corrects my Spanish, which has helped me improved on some little quirks in the Spanish language. My conversations with Eva aren’t just about my day or a certain class, either. Eva and I have had conversations about the royal family in Spain, TV programs, and health, just to name a few topics. I can tell that Eva really listens to me when I talk. She also asks follow-up questions a day or two after we had the conversation. My Spanish ability would not have improved to the extent that it has if it weren’t for Eva. Like my actual mother at home, Eva was also concerned when I had a stomachache and pain. She constantly asked how I was feeling, and even cooked me individual meals, different from everyone else's meal that would be easier to digest. She even told me that she would take me to the doctor if I didn’t get better.
The reason that Eva has impacted me the most goes beyond her welcoming nature. It also involves her daily life, as a mother to Jorge (age 12) and Paula (15 months). Jorge is experiencing growing pains, as I like to refer to it. He is constantly on his cellphone, or computer, and has difficulty listening to Eva. There are times where he simply disrespects his mother. At moments like these, Eva’s disciplining nature is much more distinct. When disciplining, I have never even heard Eva scream, despite Jorge’s attitude. She is always calm and collected, as she tells Jorge that he needs to listen and follow rules. With Paula, Eva is the kind, attentive mother that every toddler needs. She assures that Paula is a healthy, happy toddler, while parenting Jorge at the same time. On top of that, she has me and my roommate, two young adults, living with her.
I’m thankful that Eva is my host mother. Her encouragement and attentive nature has translated to my Spanish ability improving drastically, and making me feel welcome 3,000 miles away from home. Eva is more than my señora, she is truly my Spanish mother.
Mia Polizzotto is the Spring 2014 CEA MOJO in Granada, Spain. She is currently a junior at York College of Pennsylvania.
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