My home stay was an overwhelming experience that I was really looking forward to. I don’t speak much Spanish so I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to communicate with my family. Luckily the girl I was placed with was in the same boat so we were able to lean on each other. Our family was different than some of the others. It was a fairly large family and not many of them could speak English! We both entered the house not knowing what to expect but we were immediately welcomed. Thankfully they understood that we were not able to really speak back but they found other ways to explain themselves.
The two girls who are a part of the youth community ages 14 and 16 were the main hosts and they could speak minimal English, so we communicated through games. They taught us how to play cards and hand games without even saying the rules, instead they taught us through gestures and more non-verbal cues. Both nights were so enjoyable. We listened to music and even used google translator when we couldn’t think of the proper translation.
I am so thrilled that we got the opportunity to stay in the community. Seeing the houses of the community and sleeping there made the lives of these Dominicans even more real. They were so loving and happy to welcome us with open arms. I especially enjoyed my own house because I love big families and this was bigger than I had ever seen. Even when I asked Maydelyn, one of my hosts, how many people live in your house, she said too many to count! That was such a beautiful thing to witness a huge family living in such a small town and supporting one another which is how this whole town operates.
Written by Julie