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University of Missouri

The parent trap

Filed in Blog, Spain by on May 30, 2014

When I left for Spain in January, my parents weren’t intending to make the trip over here to visit. But the weeks went by, they met my host parents via Skype and read my world-famous blog to discover how much fun I was having… and next thing I knew, flights were booked. On the day of their arrival, I waited for them to arrive at the same hotel I had stayed at my first couple nights in Alicante, and sat in the exact same spot where I had waited for my host parents to come meet me for the first time (insert chills here). Anyway, reuniting with them and having them in Alicante was the greatest feeling, and I got to play tour guide and translator the entire time. We stopped at several little places around town or along the beach for coffee or wine, ate tapas in El Barrio and climbed up to the castle for the full view of my favorite city. It became a joke of the trip that I’d make them climb a mountain in every city we went to… because the first full day we drove an hour out to Calpe to really hike. I’ve been to Calpe and blogged about it, but as a refresher — it’s quite the rocky hike around a steep mountain (might be considered a tad bit dangerous to some) and has the most breathtaking views of surrounding cities, mountains and the Mediterranean. Needless to say, Vic and Steve loved it.

We rushed back to Alicante that afternoon to have lunch with Pedro and Asuncion, the moment we’ve all been waiting for (or I have)! And this part is the reason for the title of this post… I had my real parents and host parents in the same room, and neither pair knew a word of the other’s language. Seeing the four of my “parents” interact was priceless, because of both how special it was to me and how hilarious the language barrier was. But with my help and a whole lot of facial expressions and hand motions, they were able to communicate pretty well! And I spent a lot of time just going on in Spanish with my host parents like usual, forgetting that my real mom and dad weren’t really catching on. It was honestly so funny and pretty awesome being the one person in the room to understand everything and going back and forth. My host parents had the table set up beautifully, and we had seafood paella (of course) with all the usual extras — salad, Spanish ham, roasted almonds and cinnamon-drizzled oranges and strawberries — and then all kinds of sweets and coffee and wine for dessert. As you can tell, life has been really hard over here.

After playing charades (I mean having lunch with my host parents), I tried to give my parents the full Alicante experience. I brought them out to El Barrio, the area with all the bars and restaurants. On our last night in Alicante, we went there and were surprised to have Pedro and Asuncion there (that never happens!), another one of my friend’s parents that were visiting, her Spanish host mom AND another Mizzou study abroad student that came over from London! We sat in a big group outside switching back and forth from Spanish to English with this big mixture of new friends; it was the best.

Having my parents visit me abroad was the best way to begin to show to them how much I appreciate their support. They finally understand a small part of why I’m in love with Spain and seeing new parts of the world!


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