Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homestay First Impressions/Communion

The day we started our homestay we all anxiously waited at our apartments for our homestay family to come pick us up. I was quickly informed that my host parents would not be picking me up because their sons Charles (9) and Kenedy (12) were having their first communion and a party to follow. Instead I was picked up by my host family’s “house girl.” The best way to describe a house girl is a live in maid and nanny and someone who basically takes care of all house chores. Some families treat house girls as if they are an extra member of the family, however some treat them as if they are much lower than them. For example, Cameron’s “house workers” live in a shack behind the house.

After quickly dropping off the stuff at my house, I was quick driven to the where the first communion party was being held. I knew the moment that I could hear loud music thumping from speakers that I was in for a surprise. I thought I was attending a wedding. The huge room was covered in pink and white and a large number of tables and chairs were set up. At the entrance was an open bar, this was my first realization that my family had put a lot of money into this event. When we sat down at our table I met a 16-year-old girl named Lisa who was a close family friend of my new host family. She explained to us that first communion is treated closely in the same fashion as weddings. That explained a lot. The party consisted of dancing present giving lines, champagne popping, about a million toasts, and one of the largest buffets of food I’ve ever seen. The party went from 3-8:30 at night. At the end of it all I was quickly whisked away by Nate’s family because my family had to stay behind to do clean up. It wasn’t until about 10:30 that night that I finally met my exhausted host parents. They really couldn’t be nicer. I knew everyone wanted to crash in their beds, so we all passed out shortly after.

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