It is hard to believe that I am writing from Spain right this very moment. I wanted to write sooner and put up some pictures but I just got my internet in my apartment today and I realized I forgot my usb connection from my camera to my computer. Luckily, this is only a small item that I forgot to bring, but of course just goes to show that when traveling it is best to quadruple check to ensure you have everything! So, even though I am a little late to this Blog Sesh, better late than never..
Although we had a few delays, our flight over here was pretty smooth, as I slept a bit and anxiously awaited the ultimate land in a new country. We all met up at the airport and got on a bus that took us right into Alcala de Henares, the town we are all staying and going to school in. It hit me that I was in Spain when one of the people from the Institute that came to meet us, greeted us and told us he did not speak one word of English. With my Spanish being fair, but by no means strong, I knew that this was going to get realll interesting realll fast.
My host mom is adorable and very accommodating. I have a roommate as well and she helps me so much because she can speak fluent Spanish- I am practicing and working on my spanish, trying to talk and intently listen. Still, it is so nice know to that my roommate is there to help me! Our apartment is just a short, less than ten minute walk to the school we are studying at. We usually go to school Monday through Thursday each week, except this week we have today, Thursday, off as well due to the fact that it is a religious holiday here and everything closes. We were given a short tour of Madrid, but I have to go there with some of my friends from the program in order to get to know the metro systems and directions of places. I do not want to find myself in an important situation where I need directions and can only get by with interesting hand signals and low grade Spanish! I am learning though, for sure. Each night I try to write down words that I learned, or words I wanted to say but did not know. I am definitely out of my element as I am usually a talker and love to hear people's stories. Although I can basically understand what my host mother is saying, it is hard to respond and keep a conversation going for long.
I felt a bit overwhelmed, which I realize in natural when a person goes to a place where there is a language barrier. I am feeling increasingly more comfortable with the language, but of course, it is only my fourth day here and I know I have a ways to go! A few friends and I just booked tickets on the fast train to go to Barcelona next weekend. I am really excited to see another part of Spain. It will be especially different from Alcala and Madrid because Barcelona is on the coast of Spain and will therefore have completely different scenery and probably a bit of a different weather situation! I have learned that this month in Alcala has been one of the hottest months ever on record! It has been getting hotter and hotter during the days here, so we will see if this sticky temperature sticks!
Tomorrow some people from the group and I are going to Toledo, another city in Spain, for the day. It will be interesting to see another area close by.
Will Write Soon,