BootsnAll Travel Network

Welcome inside

All students in my school have the option of having a homestay arranged with a local family. I think it’s an extra $35 per week for this, which includes meals 3 times a day, 7 days a week. You are supposed to have your own private room, and you’re also supposed to be the only student living in the home. With about 20 different language schools and programs in Xela, there are a number of families that offer up their home to students to gain a little extra money.

You’ve met Tonito, now meet mom, Claudia.


27 years old, she’s lived in Xela for the last 3 years. Papa is in the “distillery” business, so I don’t see him much and actually haven’t even met him! Claudia aspires to open up a small restaurant in the next 4-5 months, which will specialize in simple, vegetarian plates that cater to students and other locals looking for cheap and wholesome food. She says she’ll have a small place close to Central Parque, with pictures of the plates posted up in the window with numbers to make it easier for ordering. Cool, I’m all for it. I just hope I can be the tester for her dishes…my next post will definitely have to be about the food.

As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s about a 12-15 minute walk to and from school, depending on how much traffic, dust and diesel fumes I have to dodge.


The street leading up to my homestay.


The same street with the usual dust from cars driving by and the wind blowing it around.


Exterior of my home. I enter through the black door on the lower right.

Homes in Xela are 50/50 constructed by: concrete, and others in tierra fire-hearth bricks. My home is concrete construction, which makes it cool inside during the summer….but freaking COLD during the invierno (winter) months. Xela has only two seasons–summer and winter. Guess which one I’m in.

You enter the black door into a single car garage, and opening the 2nd door reveals the living room. Just beyond that is the dining area with small TV, and beyond is the kitchen. Upstairs holds the master bedroom with it’s own bath, and 3 bedrooms. I have a small private bathroom just off the bedroom hallway. The 3rd floor holds the rooftop piazza, basically where they keep their pila (holding tank for water) and where clotheslines are strung across for laundry to dry. On clear days I can get a pretty good view of the surrounding areas and can watch the street scene unfold below me.


The living room


The dining area


Opposite view into the living room, looking from the dining area. The brown door enters into the garage and out into the street. The stairs on the left go up to the bedrooms.


My bedroom in all its glory.


One more shot of my spacious bedroom. Notice there’s no closet, no dresser and lacks anything more than the desk, chair, bed, and window. Could be worse, and it’s livable, so I’m fine with it.


The view from the rooftop

So there you have it. Mi casa. I might change families in 3 weeks, just to get a different experience and perhaps get an upgrade on my food. But Claudia has been great, I love little Tonito, and overall I’m pretty happy with my homestay. I even caught some of the Portland Trailblazers – San Antonio Spurs basketball game last night on the fuzzy small TV! For some reason, it gets a San Antonio station and with the volume off, I was able to make out the players and the score, they even showed a shot of the Rose Garden and Convention Center! So all in all it was pretty fun for me last night to see Portland in some form or fashion!

I hope that the pics attached don’t end up undersized in the blog, if they do I’ll try to fix em tomorrow night (Friday) so check back for a full size version! And thanks everyone for your comments, yesterday wasn’t my best but today was a lot better! Up and down, up and down. And you are right Jonas, now is the perfect time to grow my dastardly evil beard and big head of hair! Wait til I get back, you probably won’t recognize me and my 20 pounds!


One response to “Welcome inside”

  1. Mike says:

    Sounds like you will only weigh 20 pounds with the diet there.

  2. Sarah says:

    Hang in there you can make it! When you get back you’ll be able to tutor all of us in Spanish! 🙂

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