by Jerilyn Izac
My host family, to say the least, is amazing. The host mom has the funniest stories while our host dad does not talk much at all. We also have a host grandma who constantly makes fun of the dad for liking Barcelona while she favors Real Madrid. Our host mom, does not care because she only wants to watch her soap operas. The quality I like most about our family is how flexible they are willing to be for us; they are very accomodating. It makes my stay in Santiago for the last week so much easier. Another nice thing about a home stay is that I feel my Spanish improving. Having to interact with native Spanish speakers has helped me learn more vocabulary and more culture than on the camino. I am so thankful for this whole experience and have learned so much more than I thought was possible in a short span of time.
Today, we toured the cathedral and palace attached to it. We got to tour the roof and the tour guide, who was thankfully not speaking Gallego (a complicated form of Spanish), told us about all the history of the surrounding buildings. They showed us musical instruments played and described the architecture from different centuries. My favorite part was learning about the dining room in the palace. The ceiling had three flowers corresponding to the seating arrangement of the people there. In order to eat in the palace, they obviously had to be important but the biggest flower had the most important people sitting underneath. Another amazing part of the catherdral is the tomb of the apostal St. James. That was the reason we had walked 317 km and it is indescribable to be able to see the tomb in person.