28 February 2009

I want to watch HSM3

Palabra del dia: coincidencia --> coincidence (that was an easy one!)

Last weekend about half of the students in my program bought silly costumes, got picnics from their host families, and hopped a bus to Cadiz. It's about a 5 hour drive, depending on stops of course. Why Cadiz, you ask? Carnaval. It is somewhat like Mardi Gras, or so I'm told. Everyone dresses up in costumes and hangs out in the streets singing, dancing, and drinking for hours on end, literally. The party started at about 10pm and didn't end until probably 4 or 5am. It was quite the experience. When we got to Cadiz, the sun was just about to set, so we went to the beach to take pictures and marvel at the beautifulness of the ocean. And it was beautiful, let me tell ya. Then we walked for what seemed like forever, finally finding the cathedral and allllllllllll the people at Carnaval. There were so many people there I literally couldn't move. But apparently that's part of the experience, so whatever. It was interesting to say the least, and we met lots of interesting people. Around 3am, some friends and I decided we'd had enough of the craziness and went to find the beach (and a bathroom, which is harder than you think because nothing is open past midnight in Spain, expept the discos). We found both, and decided we'd try to sleep on the beach. In theory, good idea. In reality, not so much. It was freezing and we didn't have a blanket or anything, so we tried to sleep on some big boulders. Finally after about an hour, we had to go find a bathroom again, and found a bar that wasn't open, but the employees were still there. They let us in and let us stay in the warmth for a while, which was nice. One of the guys even fell in love with Betsy. How sweet. After that, we met some new friends from France and walked around with them for a while before we had to return to our bus at 7:30am to go back to Granada. Basically, the most ridiculous 24 hours of my life. Wouldn't do it again, but it was an experience I won't forget.


Yesterday we took a field trip to Cordoba with the program. It is about 2 hours away. There we saw a really cool cathedral, some museums, and an ancient city. I am amazed everytime at the age of the cities here because we just don't have anything like it in the States. The architecture of course is amazing and my pictures don't even begin to show the splendor of it all.

Behind me are the arches of the enterance to an ancient city near Cordoba, Madinat-al-Zahra.

Side note: all day long I was in Javier's group, the IES Granada director. He is from Spain, but is married to a woman from Kansas, so he understands the whole being from America thing. However, when he spoke to us in Spanish, I was amazed because I could understand it clearly with little thinking or translating in my head. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me. Although there are always vocab words that I don't know, I'm really improving in my overall comprehension and speaking of Spanish. I LOVE IT!!!


Last thing. First of all, I have an amazing host mom. I can't really say that enough. The other day, she let me have Ronni and Betsy over for coffee. We had fun talking and learning and they both love Maricarmen. She even made us a french-toast-like pastry to go with our coffee, complete with china coffee cups. Anyway, here's the funny thing. Before Betsy and Ronni came over, Maricarmen and I somehow got on the subject of my heart procedure I had done in December (if you don't know what I'm talking about, look at old posts). Turns out, she has the EXACT SAME condition. Hm, interesting. She hasn't had the procedure, but takes medicine for it. Weird how something like this can cause her and I to bond. Oh, and here's a picture of Ronni and Betsy, two of my closest friends here, so you know who I'm talking about. They live across the street from me and have been such a blessing to me overall since I've been here. I'm so happy I met them and really don't know if my time here would have been the same without them. Thanks girls, for loving me and caring for me and being my best friends here. You guys rock!

Betsy and Ronni. How cute!

That's all for now. More updates to come soon I'm sure! Hasta luego!

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