What I learend about the families was that they are all basically middle/upper-middle class because we all have to have houses near the ACBEU university and that is located in an area where that social class predominates. So my host father came to pick us up in his Volkswagen after I got my bags and checked out of the hotel. We soon got to the apartments pretty quickly. It has a gate and a person to open the gate fore people who are familiar. They were some pretty nice apartments. We took the elevator to the ninth floor and as soon as I entered the door, I thought it was a very beautiful place. It has white walls, and a lot of white furniture with some strong colors here and there, but it has huge windows so the natural light illuminated the living room/dining room really well. Then we went into the cute little kitchen and there was a second living/enternaining room with a big TV and stereo system and very like contemporary style walls--not saying that it was positive or negative like oh wow "it's great that they're modern" or anything but just that I've never been in a place like that before. But it had some really nice vibes. Then my mother showed me my room. Everyone in the program gets a single room furnished and all. They have sheets, towels, and in my room internet and big windows through which I can see part of the bay.
this is my room
"-- this is below the apartment area, lot's of trees and the sound of all these different birds just emits from this shrubbbery... all day
I put my stuff down, and since it was saturday my younger sister was there, and I could see some resemblance, I could definitely see how we could be sisters. And we were sitting there in teh living room just talking for a long while getting to know eachother. Then my sister brought out this chart that they have for the program with all this food, and we can let them know what we like most, what we CAN eat, what we can't eat stuff like that. I felt kind of bad that my stomach is a bit picky though. But that's why I made sure to mention that in my housing questionnare. I am lactose intolerant but I do eat cheese and ice cream and iogurte (yogurt) in small quantities. And my stomach is also slow at digesting meats and starches so not too much meat or rice, or bread, or pasta, or etc. etc. But it seems easier if I say: i eat all the vegetables and virtually all fruit except for kiwi and pineapple. (sorry i don't think you neeed to know all this) the point is be very specific from day one, because it's harder to say after a long time "oh by the way, this whole time i didn't like this, and this is bad for me"
But then my older sister came home from work, she works in construction/engineering, because she's studying engineering.
And we talked some more. I felt like they were really interseted/curious about me and very super welcoming and I felt like we were family that I was visiting and hadn't seen in a very long time. And I didn't really remember the language. But I knew enough to describe the words I didn't know, so that helps a lot.
Of course they understand that we're hear to better our Portuguese so they were super helpful in speaking a little more slowly and clearly than usually perhaps, and also using more description so that it's easier to understand with the context and stuff. And oh I just loved being there. My host mom is super caring like my own mother and like I said I totally see how the psychology is working here. It really helps with the homesickness to feel loved here too, and like I said my mother is always hugging me and kissing me calling me daughter, and perhaps the director knew that it would be easier for her to do that and feel that way because I look like her daughters quite a bit.