I spent Spring Break with a Venezuelan and got to hang out with some really cool chamos!
While mostly everyone in my group of gringas was taking a 25 hour bus ride to Salto Angel (the tallest waterfall in the world) I decided to hang around Mérida and spend five days with the Hernanadez family, where I got to interview the youngest daughter- Maria Fernanada!
What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?:
I usually arepas for breakfast with eggs and tomatoes and drink café con leche which is coffee with spoons of powdered milk and then put in a blender to make it frothy. Then for lunch I have a lasagna made with fried plantains and shredded fish (It’s great!) and squash soup, iced tea (my favorite is with lime) and then usually rice and beans! And then for dinner it’s usually ligther, like rice with chicken!
What is your house like?:
My house is average size, it’s only one story but we have a big open space in the middle and around the big open space that isn’t covered by the roof and we have chairs to sit in and plants. But surrounding that open space we have three rooms- one’s my room that I share with my sister, another is my parents’ room, and the other is a guest room. Also, we have the laundry room and the kitchen!
What chores do you have at home?:
I usually have to sweep, make my bed, and clean up after my mom makes food! It’s usually not that hard to do it, but sometimes I just feel so lazy!
What jobs do your parents have?:
Well my mom is a secretary at a juice factory, because in my town of La Azulita we have this big factory where a lot of juice is made. On the other hand my dad owns a finca, or farm, that’s up farther in the mountains so he manages that.
What time does school start, and what time do you go home?:
School starts at 7:00 AM and then I get home at around 3:00 PM. It’s so tough getting up in the morning, because it’s so early! But we go home for lunch at 12:00 PM so that’s a nice break!
How do you get to school? Are you allowed to go to school by yourself?:
I usually walk to school and yes I can go to school by myself! Our town is small enough where everyone knows each other and it’s totally safe to walk around by yourself! I only have about 30 kids in my entire class so it’s pretty small!
Where do you eat lunch? What is your favorite food?:
I eat lunch at home, that’s what’s normal here is to go home every day and eat lunch! And my favorite food is paella – it comes from Spain! My grandparents have Spanish heritage so we got to go to Europe this fall and I tried paella and it was amazing! It’s fried rice with tons of different spices but mixed in is about five different types of seafood, like calamari, shrimp and scallops!
What language do you speak at school? How do you say “Hello” in your language?:
We speak Spanish or as we call it Castellano but I’m taking an English class! We say Hola to say “Hello”
What are some common kids’ names at your school?:
Some common names are Daniel, Evnan, Santiago, Antonio and for girls in my town it’s known that a lot of girls names are Maria! So my name is Maria Fernanada, my mom’s name is Maria, my older sister’s name is Maria Jose and my cousin’s name is Maria Virginia! But I usually go by MaFe and my sister MaJo.
What subjects do you study in school, and which one is your favorite?:
I study Math, English, Castellano, Chemistry, and History. My favorite subject is English because I want to learn what One Direction is saying in all the songs!
What is your homework like?:
Well I like learning English but it’s tough and I have homework in it every night! I wish I had more people to practice with here!
What do you like to do after school? Do you have a favorite sport or game?:
I usually come home or hang out with my friends at the plaza! My favorite sport is kickingball! Yep, it’s an official sport here, but just for girls! Think of fastpitch softball, but with a small soccer ball- that’s what it’s like! But I got sick in the last three months so I haven’t been able to play. I’m trying out for the State of Mérida team in two weeks, so I need to practice!
Who is your favorite famous person?:
I love Neil from One Direction!
What kinds of music do you listen to?:
I love listening to music from the US and England like Adele and Rihanna, but my favorite is One Direction! They are coming to Caracas in August so I’ve been saving up my money to go!
What would you like to be when you grow up?:
I want to be a doctor when I grow up!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?:
I really want to go to the United States! I got to go to Europe this fall and it was amazing! But I want to visit Wisconsin and Minnesota to visit you (and my friend Aletha!)
What do you know or think about the United States?:
I think it’s amazing! All of the TV shows make it look so cool! I love watching Nickelodeon and listening to music from the US, but I wish I could understand more of the English.
What questions do you have for kids in the United States?:
What’s it like there? What’s the weather like? What food do you eat? What’s your favorite sport? Do you like One Direction, if not, who’s your favorite musician?