A Travellerspoint blog

Getting to know my new home...

July 2/3, 2014

I wake up and hear Celia calling out Meagan Meagan buenos Dias!!!! She comes into my room with the biggest smile on her face. C stayed home from work today so she could show me some things. First, she shows me the breakfast routine for both girls.
Then me & the girls play freeze dance and Juegos de las cartas, similar to a popular card game we play in the states.

We all go to the supermercado. I pick up all the essentials I did not bring from home.
We also pick up food we need for the week. They like fish (as do I) so we pick up a few different kinds. Then we arrive home and me and the girls play some more. C then takes us to Madrid centre. It is beautiful! We drove in but parked near "Templo de Debod." This sacred statue actually originally stood in Egypt (built in 200 BC !! :O) But, when it became threatened by the Aswan Dam, it was given to Spain as a gift. This also allowed the monument to maintain its historical legacy. We then walked to Sabatini Gardens. We took a walk through the park and stopped to see/hear a rehearsal for a Flamenco show. The artist, Joaquin Cortes, is apparently fantastic and very well known around Spain. Tickets for his show later that night were sold out! We then saw the Royal Palace!!! Interestingly, though, the Spanish royal family does not actually reside there. They live on the outskirts for Madrid. This palace is more for ceremonies, etc. We were getting a bit tired (because we did not have our siesta today :P), and stopped for a coffee at Cafe de Oriente (apparently a famous tourist cafe). J later told me I probably felt right at home because everybody speaks English there :P. On our walk back I hear Celia say "paso de cebra" as we cross the street. It's because the lines on the street look like that of a cebra, or a zebra :). As we drive through the city, you would have no idea that it's past 9 p.m because it's still so bright out and the streets are still buzzing with people. C says the sun being out so long is a big reason why they eat so late. "You can't eat dinner with the sun shining in your face!" she says with a smile.

When we return home, C feeds the girls and they go to bed. Then it's time for the adult's dinner. Calamari and tomato & tuna salad. DeeeeeeLishhhhhh! Fruit for dessert :) we talk and laugh over dinner, translating for one another as we get to know each other a bit more.
I must say I am already feeling at home. C and J are such warm, welcoming people and I'm truly looking forward to this experience!

The next morning, Celia greets me with that same big smile from yesterday. It is a rainy day here in Madrid, so a nice movie seems appropriate. I brought Frozen with me (in both English and Spanish). We decided first we watch it in Spanish to understand, then in English to learn. Unfortunately....... It kept freezing (:P) and we decided to watch Rio 2 instead.

Then we had lunch and the girls told me they wanted to roller skate. But first, we needed to change out of our pjs. Celia tells me I get dressed first and then they will get dressed .... Because they want to wear the same thing as me ;). They really are too adorable. We discover that we all have a pair of jeggings and so half our outfit was complete. I had a couple of brown cami's and they asked to borrow them. Roller skating was very fun. Celia has rollerblades and she skates well, while Natalia is still learning to use her roller skates. I needed to hold her up most of the time. But nonetheless, we had a blast!
Then we went back home and played school. I taught the girls some English words using flash cards of different shapes and sight words.
Once C and J arrived home from work, I packed for our vacation to Murcia tomorrow. I am looking forward to our family vacation :)

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Posted by meg elizabeth 17:00 Comments (1)

Meeting my new familia :D

July 1 2014

So the time has come. I'm going to meet the family that I've been e-mailing with for the past couple of months. Many emotions fill me as I sit in the Dublin airport. Will it be awkward? Will they understand me? Will I understand them? I've read about many different Aupair experiences, some positive and some negative, and I just hope mine will be a great one!
The flight was quick, about two and a half hours. Some turbulence!!!!! Ahh :/
As the plane lands, I suddenly have an overwhelming feeling of nervousness. It's finally real.
The flight attendants are now speaking Spanish... every sign in the airport is in Spanish as I approach customs....

Once I leave those doors, there is an insane amount of people waiting to welcome travelers. But, I did not have to look far. My host family is right in front of the crowd. Two adorable little girls are holding up homemade signs welcoming me. I've included pictures of these below. Their faces light up as I approach them. This gave me a very good feeling :) I give them a big Hola! and am greeted with hugs and kisses from my new familia. My host mum, C, speaks to me in English, asking me how my trip was, and tells me how very excited the girls have been waiting for my arrival. We walk to their car , and Celia, the big sister is smiling from ear to ear singing "Vamos en casa con Meagan!!!!!!!" (Let's go home with Meagan!!!!) :)

They have just received a package I mailed from back home with some bilingual books. Little sister, Natalia, holds the package because Celia held it on the way, and of course two sisters need to share :D. Celia shows me her bilingual dictionary that she carries everywhere. She shows off some of her English to me. The car ride was not long, and we spoke both English and Spanish on the way.

We arrive home, and I am shown my room and given a tour of the house. The girls help me unpack and I give them gifts that I had brought, the Disney dolls Elsa and Anna of the movie Frozen. They shout with excitement and immediately want to open them. I also give my host parents , C and J, some gifts representative of NYC :). They also absolutely love them!

Next, what better way to break the ice than some freeze dance? Or as The Spaniards call it "Juegos de Las Estatuates." Natalia plays DJ as me and Celia dance around my room. We soon discover that we all share the same favorite color, pink, and this sets in motion a new game of yelling Pink! every time we see something pink.

It is very true of the Spanish doing everything much later. The girls eat dinner first. Then they are put to bed. Buenos noches! Or Good night, as they say, since C wants them to improve their English.

Then, at around 11, us adults sit down for dinner. Burritos! They were very yummy :D . We discuss many things and share laughs as they help with my Spanish and I help with their English. Then it is time for dessert- FRUTA!!! Yay!!! Those of you who know me know I love my fruit :) Time for bed. Looking forward to tomorrow. Buenos noches!

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Posted by meg elizabeth 17:00 Comments (1)

First a stop in the Motherland...

Ireland was a blast (as always)! I met some really cool people. I love meeting other travelers, hearing of the places they've been, as well as where they're going. I was surprised at how many solo travelers I met. In the three days I've been here, my roommates have been from Galway, Argentina, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, and California.

Aside from visiting the many shops and pubs Dublin has to offer, I visited Belfast yesterday. What an interesting place! I did not realize how much rich history lived there. The Titanic museum was awesome!! Though the film depicted it fairly well, I learned a lot of new interesting facts. I also went on a "black taxi tour". These tour guides took us to a few different areas and showed us a number of beautiful murals that have been painted across the city. The saying "if walls could talk, they would tell many stories" could not be more true of this city. These murals were incredible! They each tell a story. A fascinating one, providing insight into the history and culture of Belfast and Northern Ireland. Another cool stop on the tour was to the "peace wall". Apparently there was so much animosity and hatred between the Nationalists and the Loyalists that a wall was built to stop all the violence. Though the wall proved to be successful in maintaining peace among the people, it is not going anywhere just yet. A recent survey given to both sides has revealed that an overwhelming majority voted to keep the barrier. Tour guides also gave us markers to sign and date our names on the peace wall. Pretty cool that my name is now on this famous wall!

I've enjoyed Ireland, but now it's off to begin my journey as an Aupair in Madrid :)

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Posted by meg elizabeth 17:00 Comments (4)

And I'm off! ... Well almost ...

So King Henry just dropped me at the gate. He used his King Henry inspector data analyst specialist etc. title to get us on the premium line :D, which did not take too long. But of course nothing ever goes without some obstacles. My plane was changed last minute. We needed to turn around and wait at a different gate (down yonder! ;) ). It was now coming from L.A, still needed to arrive and be cleaned! Translation: I needed to wait an extra hour to even board. Lovely! But , nonetheless.... I'm SO freakin excited to begin this journey!!!!!

Soooooo... 2 hours later. It is announced that the plane has been cleaned and they are about to begin boarding. They say it is a full flight tonight and so not all carry on luggage may fit in the overhead carriers. Those who should worry are groups 4 and 5 (I am group 5) since we are the last to board. Those who do not fit will be forced to check their carry ons. Fabulous.

But just when I think nothing else can go wrong.......

There is something wrong with the plane.... That maintenance is unable to fix.... So we need to find a new plane to take... STANDBY.......

Posted by meg elizabeth 17:00 Comments (2)

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