Along the Natchez Trace

Friday, March 22, 2013

International Comida

Bill and I have breakfast (el desayuno) and lunch (la comida) each day with our host family.  Rosa and Carlo, (both professionals; Rosa taught Portugese and Carlo is an engineer) and their 18 year old daughter, Sara, changed their life totally 3 or 4 years ago and had this B&B built to accomodate guests.  They are now full-time "inn keepers".  Some of their guests just stay overnight...  some a few days or a week...  and a few, like us, are going to classes and stay here for a month, two months, or longer.

They are much more than inn-keepers.  They are tourist guides and help their guests in every way imaginable.  Often they have school groups they feed, give advice to and act as surrogate parents.  Since we've been here there have been folks from England, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, and the USA.  I may have forgotten a country or two.

Rosa was originally from northern Spain; Carlo from Italy...  they speak several languages.  Their daughter, Sara, speaks Spanish, Italian, some English, and is now learning Japanese.  They are wonderful people and we are fortunate to have been placed (by the school we attend) in their home.

Since we take our meals with them, often after dinner, we sit for a while and talk about...  well, everything.  Not just me and Bill, but anyone who happened to be at dinner that day.  Carlo is a walking encyclopedia with knowledge of history, scenic tours etc etc etc.  So we all learn a little about other countries...  other customs...  and other people's lives. 

Bill & I have talked a lot about our school classes and the various folks we've met.  One person, Naoko, started classes the same day we did and we've been together every weekday for nearly 2 months.  Naoko is here mainly to learn Flamenco dance.  A couple of weeks ago, Saya, another Japanese girl, was placed in our class.  We've done a few things together after class and often talk about them to Carlo and Rosa at dinner.

Carlo and Rosa are very generous people. They suggested we invite them to lunch this week.  As it happened, we met Mayuko this past week,  (She's the opera singer from Japan.) and we invited her as well.

Today was the day... 
Rosa and Carlo made Paella, the "national" dish of Spain.
Saffron rice, vegetables like green beans and peas, chicken, and mariscos...  shrimp and other shell fish.  
All put together in a marvelous tasting dish.
Here's Rosa filling everyone's plate.  I think we all had seconds... it was just delicious!  

Here's Carlo, Naoko, Mayako, Saya and Bill.  
Rosa was on the phone when I took this photo...  they conduct their B&B totally from their home.

 Another view of our friends...
 Carlo and Rosa...  then Mayako and Naoko.
The conversation was lively and interesting.  I'm not even sure how many different languages were spoken as Carlo and Mayako both speak Italian and Spanish, Naoko's English is limited, Saya speaks Japanese, Spanish and English - but I think all did real well in understanding what we all were talking about.  

And one of my favorite photos...
Saya, Naoko and Mayako
All three girls are from Japan, but from different cities (even different islands) and had never met before coming to Sevilla.   
Saya is a college student in Japan, Naoko is a nurse in a hospital, and Mayako is the opera singer who is now based in Italy.

This is what the end of the table looked like... 
 All of our cameras were at the ready...   and, yes, a lot of photos were taken.

I believe we were at the table for at least 2 hours...
Great food, but especially the wonderful feeling of friendship and camaraderie.  
You can see what I mean...  I think the warm feeling of family is felt by everyone who is a guest here.  
Hugs all around... and it's time for the girls to head home.

Rosa says we must have the girls over again before we leave. You know, it's a lot of work planning and fixing a meal for extra guests.   But I know if we'd bring along a few extras from any country they would be made to feel just as welcome.

That's All For Today!


  1. Is their B&B online? Perhaps you could post a link if so? What a great lunch.

  2. Heartwarming! But you and Bill would warm up any home!

  3. Hi Sharon, thanks for visiting our Frog & PenguINN blog and leaving a comment. This get-together of friends and great food looked wonderful and having also enjoyed paella, I can imagine how wonderful it tasted.

  4. You are really having a great time and meeting wonderful people.

  5. Well Isn't that interesting … breakfast is masculine and lunch is feminine … wonder why...

    loved looking at your 'family'

  6. What beautiful hosts! You are all getting quite an introduction to Spanish culture. How long are you staying in Sevilla?

  7. It’s exactly what I was looking for!nice job for posting this.

  8. What a perfect international experience! Your host family must be very special to bring people together like that.

  9. What incredibly wonderful time you had. To be able to invite a lead opera singer to dinner with your hosts seems beyond imagination.

    Your time in Seville is turning out to be rich in experiences and lots of fun.