Pablo pays HB a visit


Kristen Taylor

Standing with his host family, Pablo (far left) attends Mrs. Roy’s son’s Confirmation during his two weeks with the family. Joining him were Mrs. Roy’s husband (second from left), Mrs. Roy (center), and Mrs. Roy’s children (right of her). “He was family,” Mrs. Roy said. “He was a part of us.”

Avery Webb, Assistant Editor

It’s not everyday that students learning Spanish get to speak face-to-face with a Spanish student their age. Earlier this school year, however, students were able to do just that when Spanish teacher Kristen Roy brought her 16-year old Spanish exchange student, Pablo, with her to school. He is a part of a program that placed him with the Roy family in Bedford for two weeks; after that time, he will join another family in New York, and so on.

Throughout the day, Pablo got the chance to speak to multiple Spanish classes, ranging in levels, and was bombarded with questions by curious students about his life in the town of Medina del Campo. “It was really cool to talk with someone from another country,” said Jess Hubert ‘20. “I’ve gone to summer camps with people from all around the world, and there are lots of ways to connect even if you don’t know the same language.” For example, when Pablo was explaining his daily life in Spain, he often paused to say a word in English, ensuring that everyone understood.

After school that day, the Spanish club hosted an ‘Hora de Hablar,’ where one hour was dedicated to Spanish-speaking only. One student, Meghan Veino ‘20, interacted with Pablo during a series of conversations and board games. “He definitely blended well with us,” Meghan said. “He was super nice, and he helped us in the games when we didn’t know what the Spanish word meant, and we helped him with English.”

“The most important thing you can do is have peer-to-peer connections throughout the world. A 15-year old should be with a 15-year old, a 50-year old should be with a 50-year old, because there’s nothing better than connecting with someone going through the same thing as you throughout the world,” said Roy about the importance of exposing Spanish students in America to the cultures of other countries.

In a matter of six hours, Pablo got to learn about the culture of Hollis Brookline, and the students here had the opportunity to put their Spanish to use.