LoLo learnt so much! A little bit of Spanish, a lot about Spanish/Catalan food, the city and Gaudi. I bought a children's book about Gaudi and his art and by now we talk about him with an affection of a deceased uncle. London fell in love with soccer, especially Messi, whose soccer jersey must be the second most worn clothing item in the world (that is after the "I love NYC" one). He has never even seen him playing the field, but Barcelona buzzez with excitement about soccer and anything that has anything to do with Barca, the soccer club. We went to the beach, collected shells and painted rocks and ate an ungodly amount of "Calipilo" (which is a lemon or lime ice pop of sorts not-in-lolo language also called Calippo). We used every transportation possible throughout the summer. It all started with airplanes, then trams, double decker busses, trains, 3 different cable cars, boats for tourists and a boat for not-so fainthearted. We went to Sitges and Montserrat. Our exchange family introduced us to their friends and we were spoiled by their Spanish hospitality 8 floor below us.
"Calipilo" in Barcelona
LoLo got to practice their Hungarian and spend time with kids of my friends and meet others on the playground. It was a wonderful feeling and a huge accomplishment for me to see LoLo communicate in Hungarian without a problem and making friends (and become the playground's instant celebrities upon revealing that they were fluent in English). It can be annoying and tiring (to say the least) at times to speak two languages, often feeling like a parrot and facing resistance without any feedback on progress, but seeing how the language really sticks and it is "there" even if unused, I am now more than motivated! I started teaching LoLo Slovak a week ago and they are already responding. My little polyglo(lo)ts ... and they don't even know it ...
The outdoor dinner picnic was another summer highlight for me and LoLo. Food brings people together .. just add a few crates made into tables, rag rugs, wild flowers, pretty napkins, lemonade (of course), candles and good company and a dinner becomes an event, a feast, a memory. (Oh yes and add all those gawkers who could not understand what was happening on the grass of our apartment complex or why would anyone want to picnic in the dark right below mom's apartment balcony).
Sometimes I forget how beautiful the part of the world really is where I am from. I tend to think of natural beauty in terms of the ocean and mountains most of the times and forget the Danube and its bird life, the wheat and sunflower fields and the plains, where you can see as long as your eyes can. Lacko, my cousin's boyfriend took us on nature adventures. LoLo saw how wheat is harvested with a combine, how it is then poured onto a tractor. We picked wild flowers, saw a hunting lodge and walked into the forest to see where the deer feeders are. We took a small motor boat down the Danube passing swans and ducks .. it was a little bit like my Amazon adventure I took many years ago in Venezuela.
I saw friends I haven't seen in years and my nanny baby Annabel, whom I looked after in London unbelievable 17 years ago.
It's true that real friends are real friends regardless of how much time passes without seeing each other. All these reunions were exactly like those days, evenings and nights that we talked till wee hours and never ran out of a subject. (sounds like a lot of noise, London would probably say :) Once you have a connection with somebody it doesn't disappear .. it's still there no matter what.
So, now we are back to where we left off - our beloved Brooklyn, school, pulley bag.
Back with more NYC stories soon! lo(lo)v(i)e, LV