14 February 2009

Falling in love

Palabra del dia: la familia --> family (I hope you guessed that one, cause it's an English cognate!)

I'm falling in love. No, not with a boy, but with Granada, Spain and a whole population of people. The people, the culture, the food, the nightlife, las rebajas, Spanish, the walking, the city in general, everything is capturing my attention. It is better than I ever expected it to be and I absolutely love it! It's a learning experience at it's finest, and I couldn't be happier with my choice to study here!

Since I've gotten to Spain, I haven't really been homesick. Sure, I miss my family and my friends, but not home. Maybe it's because I remember that I'm only here for a little while, so what is the point in being sad? The family that I have been given here, as in the family I live with, has already shown me what a true family should be. Simply observing them, you can see the love that flows through them. Maricarmen, the mom, has more love for her family, only comparable to my own mother and father. She loves to cook, and it's the way she shows her love. Let's just say, she cooks a lot. Earlier this week, I had the special opportunity to have lunch with her and most of her kids/kids' spouses. Just sitting in the room and watching them communicate was a lesson in itself. The communication major in me loved just observing and seeing the way they interact, even if I couldn't understand every word. Tonight, I found out that they were having a surprise birthday party for Maricarmen. The whole family was over, her kids, their spouses, her sister, and her grandson. I wish you could have seen the smile on her (Maricarmen's) face when she walked in. It looked like she had won a million bucks! I just can't say enough how good it was to be able to sit and talk with them, listen to them, and see them just be a family. The people in Spain, they really know how to do the family thing. Not that my family at home isn't wonderful, because it is. But the blessing in the family I have here has been more than I could ask for.
The two Nachos, Maricarmen's son, and her grandson. ADORABLE!
Maricarmen and Nacho, her grandson. Do you see the smile plastered on her face?! That's how she always is, but mostly when she's holding her grandson.

Basically the new love of my life. How could you not fall in love with that face?!
The whole fam. Leondro (husband of Sylvia), Lorenzo, Maria Jose (wife of Loren), Nacho, Estelle, Teresa (sister of Maricarmen), little Nacho (Sylvia and Leondro's son), and Sylvia. I am truely blessed to have a family like this here! I completely lucked out and could not have asked for anyone better! Older Nacho lives in the house with Maricarmen and I, and Estelle is over all the time. We're new bffs because she explains things to me when I don't understand. Kinda like my older sis. It's super.

Another fun thing about this family has been my daily lunch experiences with Maricarmen and Nacho. When I don't understand something being said to me, Nacho can usually explain it to me in his broken English. However, sometimes his broken English is even hard to explain. Por ejemplo, the other day he was trying to say "blood" but pronounced the "oo" part like you would in "food." I guess this is technically how it's supposed to be pronounced, but our screwed up language decides not to. It makes for some interesting conversations, especially when I think he's saying the food we're eating is "autobus" when it's actually "octopus."


Now on the flip side. Moving to a new place where you don't know anyone is hard, to say the least. Being thrown literally into a new world where you don't fluently speak the language and have to adapt to new people, a new city, new food, new schedule, new EVERYTHING is hard. I think I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but all of this newness, shall we say, makes one very insecure. I have found myself battling with this constantly. It's not that I'm insecure in who I am as a person, but rather in my abilites, mostly with being able to speak Spanish. I feel like I am constantly being judged which is hard because I'm trying soooo hard to speak well and learn and soak up every correction someone throws my way. Through it all though, I've learned to lean on God and find my strength and who I am in Him. It's amazing to see the way He uses situations to teach and reinforce my undying need for Him in my life. I just love the way He does that! :)

Well I think that's it for now. It's Valentine's Day here, so that means I'm going to go boogie down (which I would do anyway, maybe I'll just wear red). Hasta luego!

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