Sunday, February 17, 2013

Homecoming, Plentzia, Artxanda

Coming home from Berlin was truly a memorable experience and I’m not even referring to the overnight in France or the 5 hour cramped bus ride (although that also was memorable).  

I walk into the house to see the 3 kiddos on the floor playing some board game with Joseba’s cousin Asier. Both feet aren’t even through the door before I’m inundated with jumping children desperate to give me hugs and kisses. Even Maia… who flashes me dirty looks about 10 times a day because as she has very clearly pointed out many times I am not her “ama” and she only wants to be with “ama”. I really need to go out of town more often.

I tell them I need to shower. I haven’t been in my room more than 10 seconds before I hear a knock at the door. “Ya has terminado?” – Leire wants to know if I have finished..I tell her I need 10 minutes. 2 minutes later I’m standing in my towel about to hop in the shower… knock. Knock. “Yaaaaa? Mary?” (asking me if I’m done again). I open the door to shower her I haven’t even started and she sulks a bit.

I get out of the shower and open the door and there’s Leire – just waiting for me in my room now wearing the sweater/shirt I wore home that day. She has me button the back for her and runs around the house telling everyone she is me. She comes back into my room as I’m putting lotion on my face. She wants some. Then the powder – she wants that too. Then perfume – I give her a dab. Then I begin to blowdry my hair and she offers to do it for me. She is such a doll. Lately she has been my little shadow. Today we realized we had the EXACT SAME top 5 favorite foods… (Now WHAT ARE THE CHANCES…?) haha It’s a very nice feeling to have one of them like me so much. Not that they hadn’t before but as of late – in Leire’s eyes – I can do no wrong.

This week has been pretty chill. Just routine.

I DID meet my Spanish boyfriend this week. After school one day I went to get the girls and brought lots of paper and crayons. I started off making a sign or nameplate for one of the good family friends daughters. BAD idea. Before the end of the night I had made at least… 15. One of the little boys huddled around the entirely too small table for us seemed awestruck by these signs. I made him one and he was beyond excited. He then asked to make me one. His name was Martin and that’s the precise moment I knew we were destined for each other. The next day I showed up to school to get the kids and Martin was there again. His mom told me he was enamorado conmigo and he had tried to bring me a present that day but they’d forgotten it. After Leire tells him that I did her French braids he starts freaking out saying I can draw and do braids!! I’m a true artist according to Martin. I ask if he wants to come watch Brave in the auditorium with us and he cant because he has a hair appointment. We run into him while waiting for Iciar about 90 minutes later and his mom comes over and tells me Martin cannot stop talking about me. This kid is mighty cute.

Friday night I went to an intercambio with Emma – one of the ISA girls. It was fun and I’ll probably go again. Not too much to tell about that.

Saturday I went to Plentzia – a beach town nearby – with Sandra, a german au pair I met at the park a few weeks ago.  We had a great time just sitting on the beach and talking. It was nice because our common language was Spanish so we both got a lot of practice in. Like idiots at one point during the day we put the towel down and sat on VERY wet sand. We both just thought it was cold until we stood up and realized our butts were soaked… For two decently intelligent girls we felt like royal air-heads.

Today (Sunday) I got out of bed in the hopes that the kids would be awake because I had missed them so much. I went out to the living room and bummed around on the pull out couch with them for an hour or so. Then I elected to postpone my trip to the gym to subir la Artxanda with Iciar and the kids. We had a great time. Iciar brought bowls and spoons to make “soups and cakes” with the sand and flowers… Leire and I had a great time putting flowers in our hair and making crowns with them.
Anxiously waiting
On our way to the top!

Iciar and the Kiddos


That was "soup" if I recall correctly

We were all about flowers

Jon and his new dish. 

I was also pretty proud of my latest bedtime story. There was a group of people on a boat who ran into some mermaids… these mermaids were forced to leave their underwater castle because an evil giant squid had taken it over. The mermaids managed to grab their key to the city as they were leaving. This key had magical powers but they didn’t want to the mermaids to abuse it so they hid three diamonds in three different parts of the world. Once the diamonds are back in their normal place the key can unlock the castle and set up a fortress to protect it from the giant squid. The people on the boat had to go to a volcano, a desert, and the top of a giant building to get the three diamonds. In the end everything worked out just fine.

Things in Bilbao are good. No, Great. My life isn’t as fast paced or as exciting as it was in Sevilla but I love my routine and I love these kids – ESPECIALLY when they like me back. I’m so happy I chose to do this… but WHAT on earth am I going to do when I have to leave. 


  1. Hi, Mary!
    I've just found your blog and I've read it with pleasure... I love the way you write and narrate your stories!
    In fact, I'm spanish (I'm going to be an au-pair soon) and I love to see the other side of the coin: au-pair girls that come to Spain.
    That blog has been a great discovery, so I follow you and hope you will write more about your experiences!!


  2. Hello! I am an au pair in Bilbao from America and I just discovered your blog. Are you still here?