wow! I cannot even believe that I have been in España for a whole week already! So much has been happening that I haven’t had the time to update you all. If I had to summarize my experience so far in one word, it would be OVERWHELMED!!
When I first met my Señora, I was so jet lagged that it wasn’t even funny, I was hungry, and to add to that, I hadn’t turned on my Spanish switch yet and my Señora speaks only Spanish. I was in for a rude awakening.
Let me tell you a little bit about my Señora. Her name is Blanca, and I am convinced that she is the sweetest lady in Spain. Every place that we go with her someone knows her. She’s in her 60’s and lives alone with her perrita, Bita. Her niñas (that’s me!) are her pride and joy, along with her dog. I’ll have to put up a picture of her in a later post because right now she doesn’t want to take pictures because her hair is “too ugly.” Appearance is everything here, so I won’t have a picture of her until she gets her hair done in a couple of weeks. Too funny.
So pretty much I am in love with this city, and I don’t know if I will make the group flight back to the States in 14 weeks. En serio, this city is so beautiful and I haven’t even walked more that 30 minutes in each direction to see all of the city. But it’s not only the landscape and architecture that is beautiful; it is also the people and their culture.
To be surrounded in a Spanish speaking country has been a dream come true (and a nightmare come true at the same time). Most of the time I end up speaking in Spanglish because my brain is so confused and doesn’t even know what to do! There are times when my Señora talks where I just nod and smile because I have no clue what is going on. For the most part I can understand everyone here, but they all speak with a lisp, which sounds really funny in Spanish because I am not used to it at all!
One of my favorite things that I have done so far is just walking around the city. I have pictures beyond pictures of the amazing architecture and landscapes! ill just share a couple with you now!
These are just some of the amazing architecture in this city! More to come at a later date.
Now for a brief overview of my week:
Wednesday I met my Señora and unpacked my suitcase. I’m pretty sure that before I even walked through the door, Blanca had given me the WiFi (or as they pronounce it here wee-fee) password and told me to let my family know that I arrived safely. I arrived during siesta time, in other words nap time, in other words my favorite time of each day. From about 2-6pm the sun is so hot here that all of the shops close and everyone goes home for La Siesta. Although inside it is not much cooler, I took a nap before unpacking the rest of my suitcase.
Thursday we had an orientation, which was thankfully in English. My brain was definitely not working in Spanish the day after we arrived. Here we met all of our Profesores and took placement test. That was really fun to do after not sleeping well…Thursday my roommate Kayla also arrived! She was planning on taking the group flight with us, but had problems with her plane in Minnesota, so she had to arrive a day later. We clicked right away and have gotten very close! Here’s a little sneak peak to what our friendship has become…
I am sure more about Kayla will come up in later posts too. She is just so much fun, and we are having a great time together!! There is a lot of laughing when we eat meals with Blanca!
Friday we had more orientation at the school and learned more about safety and the culture that we will be living in (and sticking out in) for the next 3 months. We also officially registered for our classes. More on that later too…
Saturday we went on a Ginkana, or in English, a scavenger hunt around the city. We split into groups and with clues, a camera and a map, we navigated out way around the city to find hidden treasures of Sevilla.
Sunday Kayla and I found a church to attend, and although it is only 5 minutes away from our house, it took us about 30 minutes to get there….we might have gotten a little turned around. This was one of the best church services that I have attended in my life. I am planning on making it my church home for the time that I am here. The congregation was very welcoming, and it was just an amazing experience overall!
Monday was our first day of classes. We didn’t do too much in each class because it was more of a get-to-know-you kind of class time. Classes for me start at 9am and go until about 12:30pm, so not bad at all. The only thing is that I don’t have a descanso (or a break) between any of my 4 classes. I start off my day with lovely history, which I am actually enjoying because it is the history of Spain, so that’s pretty fun (never thought I would use history and fun in the same sentence). Next I have Cuentos Españoles (Spanish short stories) which is another one that I am enjoying. After that, I have Las tres Culturas de España (the three cultures of Spain…Christianity, Judiasim, and Islam). This is my hardest class. It is not only hard contextually, but it is also a little hard for me to understand the professor. I end my day with lovely Gramática Avanzada y Composición (advanced grammar and composition) which is…..a challenge to say the least, but the professor is super funny and makes grammar…..fun?
Tuesday we had a “Noche de Chicas” where all of the mujeres met at school and drank home made iced coffee (which I didn’t really care for, sorry Katie! But I don’t like coffee) along with triangulos, only the most delicious pastry in the world! It’s pretty much just a pastry with chocolate on chocolate :) We then talked about our experiences in the new country and shared some funny stories. After story time, we split up into groups of 4 people that we didn’t know very well and went for a paddle boat ride on the river. It was so beautiful!!
Wednesday we had classes again and in the afternoon at 7pm (yes, that is considered to be the afternoon) we had our first Encuentro as a school. Encuentro is like chapel, but only once a week and it’s not required. Be jealous Cornerstone people ;) But really, it was sweet. We sang a couple of songs and then prayed and Katie told us about her life. It was just such a great night, and we are going to have it every Wednesday! Also I will be leading songs with a small group every other week, so that will be fun too!
and Thursday…is happening right now…its 1:35 in the morning and I said to myself that I was going to go to bed at 1:30, so here I go…maybe I’ll be able to sleep well tonight; we will see! I miss everyone in the states, but not too much ;)
¡Con dos besitos y buenos nachos!