For the first few days, my host family called me Mariah with a bit of an accent without a problem. (I'm no linguist but I think the difference is that Spanish speakers tend to put the emphasis on a different syllable, which one I am not sure, and they pronounce it more MAR than the more common English Mer.)
Then strange things started happening. Here is a list of things my name has become since:
1) Mari (Mar-ee)- Actually love this one, my Spanish name at camp
2) Maria (duh)- Also totally acceptable
3) Mori (Mor-eye)- What?
4) Mories (Mor- ays) This is the most recent and strangest, also is occasionally Mar-ays
While my host mother has been creating combinations of consonants and vowels I have never heard before, it seems my father (who I think knows my name anyway) has opted for the much easier option of mijita (my daughter), or increasingly often no matter how I look, mijita bonita (my beautiful daughter).
I believe names are really powerful, and I'm not sure, if given the choice, what I would want mine to be, but I would kind of like to have one, ideally not Mories...
I'll have to keep reminding my host mom. Despite being entirely confused on what to call me, I still feel that my mother truly cares for me. It is a strange thing, this host family relationship. Because Ecuadorians are really loving and caring (so far that I have seen in general) and this family in particular has clearly opened their home to me and have made me part of the family. However, it is also a bit strange because they are paid to have us. I wouldn't say it is in any danger of ruining our relationship, but realizing that I have had five names in one week makes me feel a bit more like the paying client than the daughter. Luckily, this is the only thing, and I love my host family to the moon and back. They really are my parents here, and I think every day about how lucky I am to have people willing to take care of me in the absence of my own parents and to open their homes and lives to a complete stranger. It is a miracle, and if it takes a few weeks to have a real name, no me importa.