The longest I have been away from my parents has been two weeks. Although the two weeks I was away, I was actually spending time with my family and grandmother in Mexico. Therefore, I didn’t really feel like I was away from my parents since I consider Mexico my second home. I have officially been away from my family for a little over four weeks and it is crazy to admit that but I miss my home, family, and routine. These four weeks have helped me reflect on my relationship with my family and culture. I make sure to call my parents every day to keep in touch and also to help get rid of the homesickness I experience. While here I noticed myself craving spicy and Mexican food since this is what I eat on a daily basis back at home. My roommates took the initiative to look into Mexican restaurants in hopes of helping me get through the homesickness I was experiencing. We were able to find an affordable taco shop just a few blocks away. I enjoyed being able to help my roommates and friends choose tacos based on my knowledge of the different seasoned meats on the menu. Despite the tacos not being close to the tacos I have at home, I was happy to be in an environment where I could share the experience with others who are not as familiar.
As everyday goes by I am able to see how different I am from those around me and it makes me extremely happy to a point where I feel empowered. Most of the students who came abroad are English speakers. Therefore, some began learning Spanish in high school and others until college. I am the only student here whose first language was Spanish. This is very interesting to mention because all of my peers are taking Spanish-related classes and they approach me with grammar questions. It is funny to say that the majority of the time I do not know how to help them since grammar was not something I learned. I realize that I have been able to learn Spanish just from listening and interacting with my family. The professor I have created a bond with mentions how powerful this is because my Spanish is fluent. I have been able to help my peers practice their Spanish by having conversations strictly in Spanish and answering questions when they need help with how to say a certain phrase. Multiple of these individuals have thanked me because it has helped them get the courage to speak in Spanish when in public. This makes me happy because I am surrounded by a group of individuals who took it upon themselves to learn Spanish with the purpose of being able to use this language in their future careers. I have also thanked them for this because I know that they will help make a difference in the lives of those who only speak Spanish in the US.