In Sickness & In Health – Host Moms


RACHEL ALLEN- If you’ve been keeping up with my Tufts-Skidmore Spain blog (which so far has only been one post), you’ll remember how I said I was sleep deprived. I naively thought, “Hey this is just because I got four hours of sleep, and I’m not like the youth culture nowadays that can get 45 minutes of sleep a night.” As true as this observation may be, I unfortunately was on the brink of sickness. I won’t get into specifics, except that my doctor here in Spain is almost certainly irritated by my constant emailing. Luckily, I have (mostly) recovered and I want to dedicate this blog post to my host mom, Sagrario.
Before I get into this story, let me set up some background. I went to Alcalá on Wednesday with a friend for karaoke night. When I told my host mom of this plan, she immediately thought it was a bad idea. Who in their right mind would travel an hour just to sing horribly? Honestly, I asked myself that same question. But I figured I’m young and I need to make bad decisions. On Thursday when I started feeling sick I was terrified to tell my host mom I was sick because I figured she’d give me the parental stand-by “I told you so”. But when I started having fever dreams that I had fireballs for hands, I decided I should tell her.
Fearing the worst, I told my host mom I was sick. She was incredibly helpful. She immediately told me to email my doctor all my symptoms, to only drink water and hot tea, and to sleep as much as possible. Every couple hours she would come into my room, with tea or chocolate, and would ask me if I were feeling any better. I was definitely not expecting this kind of support system when I decided to study abroad.
Sagrario is all I could ask for in a host mom – and more. Mainly, she cares about me. As I said, this weekend she has always been around making sure I’ve been sleeping enough, drinking enough water, resting enough. When my glass is half-full, she’ll refill it with water. I know if I didn’t have a homestay here I would be suffering. Besides her being helpful, Sagrario is super funny. Granted, I do not understand all of her jokes. But I know they’re funny because she laughs, so I laugh too. But when I actually understand her jokes, I laugh even harder. Another thing I love about Sagrario is that even though she cares about me, she allows me to be independent. Sure, she didn’t approve of my spontaneous trip to Alcalá, but she knows I’m an adult and it was my decision. Also, since I was not feeling 100%, my Spanish speaking skills went out the window. Sagrario had (and has) so much patience with me.

Rachel Allen, Tufts in Madrid

Rachel Allen, Tufts in Madrid

Being sick sucks. Sleeping more than 12 hours a day is fun every once in a while, but it kind of gets boring after three days in a row. I obviously wish this didn’t happen to me, but being sick made me realize how lucky I am to have Sagrario in my life.

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One Response to “In Sickness & In Health – Host Moms”

  1. Mayte March 1, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    Gracias por compartir tu experiencia con Sagrario, Rachel. Seguro que para ella también es maravilloso tenerte

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