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Maya's Impressions from Daily Life in Mexico

There’s not much I can compare this experience to, but I guess that’s kind of the point. There’s nothing quite like being dropped off in a country in which you have limited language skills, and interacting with a family you’ve never met before. Luckily, my host family was welcoming and fun, and I was very comfortable being a part of their household.
There were six people living in that house, not including me. My host parents, my 19-year-old host sister, my host brother in his twenties, and his wife and 5-year-old son. My host dad was out of town until the last few days, and my host brother’s family had their own lives, so I spent most of my time with my host mom and sister. Luckily, they were close, and I saw a lot of parallels to my relationship with my own mother. They were often more like friends than mother and daughter, and made fun of each other a lot. This experience made me a lot more comfortable.
As for social gatherings, I enjoyed meeting so many new people, though sometimes I felt a bit detached from the conversation because they often spoke very quickly. As a result, I feel I came across as a bit antisocial to some. However, once someone made an effort to make me a part of the conversation, I could comfortably make jokes and join in, to a limited extent.
My host mom and sister would go to weekly gatherings with my host mom’s sisters, and we would often play cards. Once I got the hang of the game, it was a lot easier to be socially active at these gatherings. 
As for the food, I love Mexican food. It was a little different than what we have at restaurants in the United States. For one, in our food here, we use mostly flour tortillas. In Mexico, corn tortillas were mostly used, and that took much more getting used to. At first, I disliked them a little, but I eventually grew to favor the taste of the corn tortillas.
In terms of language skill, I was probably closest to my host nephew. He was a sweet kid, and I had a lot of fun when I was told to take care of him because my host family had to run errands. He had lots of fun explaining the mechanics of Pokemon GO to me, though I already had a good idea of the mechanics.
I had a lot of fun in Mexico, and am very grateful that I had such a good family to spend it with. I was glad to improve my language skills and get a better understanding of the culture and cuisine. This is an amazing experience I’ll never forget.
-By Maya McGill


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