When I was preparing to go to Costa Rica, I was anxious to live with a host family. I began to doubt that I could effectively use Spanish to communicate with the people I would spend 6.5 months with. All I knew about my family members were their names (Sara and Sole) and that they had a canary (Axel).
I arrived suitcase-less and a day late because I missed my connecting flight. My plan was to be as seemingly easy-going as possible to make a good impression. Due to the circumstances of my arrival, I had to get over this fear right away. I gained a little confidence with each favor I asked for. My mom’s willingness and eagerness to help me adapt showed they would do everything to make me comfortable during my time in their home.
My moms taught me everything I needed to know. They walked me to the bus that took me to the university until I felt ready to embark on the route by myself. They were accepting of the person I am and were more accommodating than I ever imagined a host family could be.
My moms paid attention to the foods I liked and would surprise me with my favorites. They would willingly play card games with me that I introduced to them. They kept my company whenever I was reading one of my books on my favorite couch.
Sara and Sole became the women I confided in, my go-to supporters when I felt out of my element or overwhelmed. My moms continue to be my biggest cheer leaders. They were always genuinely invested in learning everything about my life in the United States and about my daily activities in Costa Rica.
My mom’s quickly became two of my best friends. When I would travel with my friends on the weekend, I would find myself missing Sara and Sole. They made San Jose a home away from home by making me feel included, secure and loved. We developed rituals as a family: we watched The Voice every Sunday and washed the dishes together after each meal.We celebrated birthdays and took weekend trips to their beach house. We laughed at our inside jokes and took countless selfies.
My home life with my moms was by far the most enriching part of my experience. Before I went abroad, I envisioned getting along with my family. I never could have anticipated how in love I would fall with the two of them. It is hard to express the warmth I feel in my heart when I think of Sara and Sole. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have established a connection with such outstanding women, women who I still am proud to call my moms.