Friday, July 6, 2012

A Guest From Spain

Spanish has always been my second language of choice. I studied it in college along with education because ultimately I wanted to teach high school Spanish. Well, life took an unexpected turn, and I had Kaylynn earlier than Alan and I planned. So, a year and half after we were married, we welcomed Kaylynn into our family, and I said goodbye to teaching high school and embraced being a mom and looked forward to homeschooling. Since then, I have taught private Spanish lessons to adults and children (including my own). So imagine our excitement when we got an email asking us if we would be interested in hosting an exchange student from Spain for 10 days this summer.

Of course we replied with a hearty Yes!

On June 29th, we welcomed Raquel Bango (age 14) with excitement, trepidation, cards, smiles, and hugs. She is from Oviedo, Asturias.

We have grown to adore her. Of course, we felt it our duty to teach her some very important "American" lessons, like:

When someone lives in the "forest" we say, "they live in the middle of no where."


Wicked Cool (which is a Maine thing)

And of course, and probably the most important: How to get a van unstuck (in the pouring rain) once it has gotten stuck in the mud using a suburban and a tire.

We have spent the week treating her to all of Maine's June and July excitement: beaches, strawberry picking, fireworks,swimming, and of course, ice cream.

While we have taught Raquel, she has been teaching us. We have learned that the oceans in Maine do not have real waves (compared to the oceans in Spain). We learned that the Spaniards do not eat dinner until about 9:00 at night. In Spain there is a common saying, "At breakfast eat like a King, at lunch eat like a prince, and at dinner eat like a pauper."

And food....yes we have all learned a lot about food! Last night we had a grand party here with three exchange students and their families. They made us Spanish tortillas (not to be confused with Mexican Tortillas). Here is the history behind this fiesta.

I took Raquel to Walmart (every tourist needs to go to Walmart right)? While she oohed and aahed over the hundreds of lollipop flavors, flavored water, and toe rings, I thought, "I should show her the tortillas." I took her to the bread aisle and very proudly pulled out the tortillas. She said to me, "this not a tortilla. I make you a tortilla." So we bought onions and potatoes for our tortilla fiesta.

They were delicious!
Dice 4 potatoes and 1 onion
Add salt to taste
Pour an entire bottle of olive oil into a frying pan
Turn the burner on low to low medium (3)
Cook the potatoes and onions in the oil for about 20 minutes or until soft (there needs to be enough oil to cover the potatoes completely or they will not fry the potatoes).
Mix up12 eggs and add salt to taste (Papa Les actually tasted the raw eggs to make sure they were salty enough).
Add the cooked potatoes and onions to the eggs and cook in another frying pan.
Flip the tortilla over...this was challenging as I did not have a plate large enough. We used a stoneware pizza pan which was very heavy. Then slide the tortilla back into the pan to cook the other side.
Do not overcook or it will be too dry!

To enjoy it fully, you need to also have a Spanish salad. Lettuce, Onions, and Tomatoes. Add lots of Balsamic Vinegar, Olive oil, and Salt. Put some Salad on your fork, then some tortilla, eat and ENJOY!

We have just a couple more days with Raquel, and we will miss her terribly. We look forward to emails, letters, photos, and maybe seeing her again next year. 

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