Granada, Dec. '82 (c) PSL

Granada, Dec. '82 (c) PSL

When I studied in Spain, my Spanish friends used to tease me about how long I made my vowel sounds. So when they’d say goodbye to me, they’d say, “Hasta luego-o-o-o!” and wave their hands slowly back and forth—which, apparently, is just how I did it!

Lorenzo, July '09, (Christiana Lambert)

Lorenzo, July '09, (Christiana Lambert)

For just under four weeks, we’ve been hosting Lorenzo, a student from Albacete, Spain, here with a group from the Compass USA program. It’s been like having triplets, especially since Lorenzo is only one day older than my kids. He came to the United States last year summer also, so he speaks English reasonably well—which is a good thing since Jackson hasn’t slowed down his talking much—which leads to Jackson’s new nickname. When Lorenzo first told me his own nickname, I thought he said “Loro” not Lolo. Loro is Spanish for parrot. Now I can call the boys Loro and Lolo! Both Lorenzo and I agree that Jackson would fit in well in Spain with his boisterous conversations and propensity toward verbal jousting.

Christiana Birthday Group June '09 (C) CBL

Christiana Birthday Group June '09 (C) CBL

The first day here the kids had him jump right into American culture by taking him to a birthday party with a group of loud, noisy local teens. He fit right in here, too, where Jackson appreciated having a “brother” he could try to “kill” frequently while playing Halo. Lorenzo thought it was funny that Christiana could use his arms as a canvas for fake tattoos, which he showed to fool the other Spanish kids in his group—especially since his father is a dermatologist who abhors tattoos (though he makes money removing them!)

Felipe & Lorenzo, June '09 (c) CBL

Felipe & Lorenzo, June '09 (c) CBL

He’s had a chance to take in several quintessential American activities while here with us. The kids took him to a 4th of July party (hosted by British ex-pats!), he celebrated Stephen & Cora’s wedding which took place outside at a ski resort, he rode in our RV to the mountains and camped outside in a tent with Jackson, and he went on a road trip through the middle of nowhere to attend to a family reunion, complete with his own commemorative T-shirt and honorary family membership. He attended the midnight opening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, though he admitted it was an awfully long movie to see in the middle of the night while having to translate all the spoken words! (In other words, he fell asleep!)

Lorenzo, Jesus Juan, Cheyenne, Cecile, Victor, Felipe, 07/09 (c) CBL

Lorenzo, Jesus Juan, Cheyenne, Cecile, Victor, Felipe, 07/09 (c) CBL

When the host families and their guests got together for the welcome party, the Spanish kids and the local kids didn’t mix much. By the farewell party on Thursday, international relations had warmed up considerably, with kids begging to stay out later. (What the heck was this American idea of curfew that was getting in the way of their plans??!!)

And now it’s already the last day here with us. Time to say hasta luego-o-o-o y vaya con Dios, a Lolo! Yes, my kids also make their vowel sounds long—so much so that I think our real nickname for Lorenzo is Low-Low. Some things never change. Adíos, Bajo-Bajo!

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