Monday, July 11, 2011

Hola from Tina and Carrol!

By Tindall Sewell and Caroline Brown
We’ve finished our first week in Cádiz and can’t believe it’s flown by so quickly!  Our host mother, María, is so sweet, and we’re finally getting to know her better, closing in on the communication barrier every day.  Because she only knows “Ok,” “Wow,” and “Oh my gosh!” in English, we’re forced to speak Spanish in the apartment.  Hence our new names, Carrol and Tina.  Who knew Tindall was such a complex name and Caroline was too long to say? We’re begging to respond to them, but these names will NOT travel back with us to the US.  Our apartment looks out onto San Antonio Plaza, one of the oldest in Cádiz, and María owns a hippie clothing shop directly across the plaza.  People watching is easily done from our balcony, and one night the yearly theatre parade happened to be performing below on the plaza.  Despite the gorgeous view and prime location, the church bell ringing and loud kids hanging out through the night disturbs our sleep.  Why would the bell ring 57 times at 8:45 AM? Neither one of us can answer this question, but it’s our alarm.  Also, Pepe, María’s partner, doesn’t understand our sense of humor, but we keep trying to crack jokes with him every lunch and starting to warm up to him.  We can’t forget to mention Pancho, our guard dog Chihuahua, who lives like a king and uses a liter box.  All in all, we love our family and couldn’t be more blessed to be here!

María promised us the first day that she’d cook “operation bikini style,” and we’ve fallen in love with her food, except gazpacho!  The clumpy, cold, vegetable soup has become a cuss word between Lina and I because we both hated it before arriving, but now it was somehow lost in translation that it’s our favorite.  Even María’s mom claims that María’s gazpacho is the best around, so we gulp it down every lunch.  She prepares wonderful fruits, vegetables, cheese, and of course bread to go with our main course of every meal!  She’s also fascinated by how tall we are, so she feeds us twice as much food! One lunch, we had to try to find all the spines of the fish then spit them out, which is harder than you’d think!  Before we realized tuna, tomatoes, and onions were components of every meal, we switched salad plates to help each other join the clean plate club when María walked out of the room.  Luckily for us, María praises us for eating everything she puts on the plate, and most of it we normally love!

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