Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just a quick note:

This weekend was chill and consisted of:

Thursday night, I had full intentions of heading to school and playing soccer with the kids that live at school. As soon as I get there most of my friends are leaving, to head to a friend's house. We met some really sweet dudes from California that graduated last May. They have been living in Toledo since September and are living here and teaching English for a year! How cool is that? Anyways, we always head over there to hang out before we go to the bars. It was really relaxing, played a few casual card games and listened to music on the terraza. Went home around 2 so I could wake up in time (around 7am) to catch the bus for the school day trip to Cuenca.

Friday: Went to Cuenca where we went to a science museum and visited a monastary on the way home. Didn't feel well when I got home so I stayed in, lay in my bed and watched Sweet Home Alabama, Bride Wars, and an episode of 24.

Satruday: Slept in, went to the mall, watched Chaos Theory, and went to the hookah bar with my friends.

Sunday: Slept in, went to a cafe to do homework and get some coffee, went to school to do some homework, came home to watch Bedtime Stories with Nicole and Jeff, more homework, watched Charlie Bartlett.

Overall, did a lot of movie watching.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random thoughts...

I took a hint from Teri's blog, and I've decided that I'm just going to start putting bullet points. That way I can talk about more things in one post, that aren't related, and it saves time. Don't get me wrong, I love writing "eloquently" and having fun using puns and what not, but this way I can keep you guys more updated with my life!

I have been pondering on:

-The fact that everyone needs to read the book 1984 by George Orwell. It has some crazy, amazing, relevant, and applicable ideas about politics in there that are still being practiced hoy en día (presently). We discussed one of the ideas in my Politics and Society of Latin America class, and I just beamed the entire time we talked about it 'cause I already knew what we were talking about! It goes like this: If the government is corrupt, or there are problems (ie financial crisis) they "create" a dispute/war/controversy/distraction with another country. This way they create a common and external enemy for the entire country to "hate" so the country will unify behind this new cause in order to beat this "said threat." This is exactly what's happening with Bolivia and Chile right now. Obviously there are some hard core financial problems everywhere in the world right now, however, to distract their people from the internal crisis, Bolivia has convinced them (with the help of a lot of press) that their strife is the fault of Chile who has robbed them of their access to the ocean/ robbed them of their ports. This happened... how many years/ centuries ago? And their now bringing it up? Anyways, long story short. George Orwell= smart man, and everyone should read that book.

-After looking at everyone else's facebook pictures I am now really excited to go sit on the beach of Mallorca for 5 days with Nicole! I'm ready to get some fun reading in.

-My iPod is again alive (I thought it had died), so I guess not all of my electronics are failing me yet... just camera, and sometimes the ordenador (laptop).

-My spanish is actually getting better! I had a few compliments today, "How are you so good at Spanish" and "you have a really good accent" YAY

-I can't wait to see my mom and sister... they are coming in 17 days!!!! I miss my whole family and have decided that one of the major things that will ever keep me from living abroad for an extended period of time (besides in Spain... 'cause there are more reasons than just this one to not live here) is my family. I would miss them too much, miss being a part of their lives, and seeing them!

-I am very unsatisfied with the physical shape I am in right now. You know when you start getting lazy and you try to convince yourself, "oh, I don't look that bad"...? Well I've been saying that for too long, time to get my big butt out and running, and stop eating so darn much (Ps I ate dinner at 11pm tonight... GREAT).

-It's really hard to appreciate/enjoy a culture when you don't enjoy the food.

-I want to join a Spanish club when I get home... I don't want to lose everything I've gained, and the only way to do that is keep talking to natural spanish speakers.

-I already have a list of things to do when I get home: EAT copious amounts of mexican food, and papa john's pizza, Visit the Butcher family in MI, summerfest '09, visit Chicago, WORK OUT, spend an unmeasurable amount of time with my family, visit my grandparents!, road trip?, six flags, valley fair,sit all day and read in my hammock, read, read, read... did I mention reading?, prepare myself for the coming semester, find a job, see new harry potter movie, catch up on all the movies I missed, camping, make my dream book, LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE.

Well, this has been long enough for now. Let me know if you like the new format, or if you preferred the other.

Besitos (kisses),

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Well, I guess I just can't brush my teeth tonight...

Water crisis: still on going. Apparently a laundromat sprung a leak, so two nights ago I came home and I couldn't brush my teeth, wash my face, shower, or even go to the bathroom. We only had one bottle of water left that had to last us until the next day until *hopefully* the water would be back, or we could buy some water.

Yesterday morning (St. Patrick's Day) there was water in the morning. I did all of the things I couldn't the night before (I thought my bladder was going to explode!) and headed off to class a happy camper. However, I got a text from Nicole while I was at class saying the water was gone again, fault of the same laundromat!

Well I got home from class, really excited to just go run. But what do you know, the water was still out, and people wanted to meet up for drinks for St. Patrick's Day in 3 hours... no telling if there would be water to shower or not. I got home last night around 1am and the water was back finally... Spain just continues to blow my mind. I would say its the least established country of western Europe... something I wasn't expecting at all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What I do when I´m not in class...

Hey everyone!
Spring has finally arrived here in Spain... or in my mind, SUMMER! It is crazy how warm it got and how quickly the warm weather has arrived! Honestly, by noon its is mid to upper 70´s and I am walking around in shorts and a tank... Meanwhile, the Spaniards are walking around in pants, boots, and jackets!! If I even put pants on I would be ON FIRE!

Well anyways, because it seems that my idea of summer has suddenly arrived I will recap last week's adventures in the sun: Tuesday, hiked up to the highest peak in Toledo and sat there for 4 hours admiring the beauty of Toledo. Wednesday, Hamid came so I took him there and we spent the entire day laying there in the sun in shorts and tanks. Friday: no class, so I spent the day with some friends at the Cali guys' house (they have a terrace) in my swim suite. Saturday: Nicole went back up to the mountains, and laid out in bikinis. Sunday: went to a park to write postcards, and sit in the sun. Needless to say... I'm a little pink. :) But loving it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Revelation: I actually do want to come back...

Hi everyone! I am sorry it has been so long since I have posted, but life got really busy here in Spain due to midterms! Who knew that studying abroad actually included "studying"???

Well I made it through alive. Whoever planned midterms to be the week after Carnaval was just plain cruel. For those of you who haven't heard yet, Carnaval is a full weekend festival, a mix between mardi-gras (with street parades and plaza parties) and Halloween (EVERYONE, of all ages, dresses up in costumes)!! Half of the kids from school went down to Cadiz, and half of us stayed in Toledo. Needless to say it was an amazing weekend. The first night my friend and I dressed up as Minnie-Mouse, and the next night we were fairies! However, that following Monday was crunch time! Every waking moment (which was usually 20 out of 24 hours each day) was devoted to reading, studying, and writing papers.

I had two take home exams. One of the was for my Politics and Society in Latin America class where the directions were as follows: "Write a 5 page paper, single spaced about everything we have learned this semester, in whatever format you would like." Great, thanks for the guidance! I got an A though! The next take home was for my Businesses in Spain class where we had to classify two different Spanish companies into sectors, type of company etc, and write two summaries of two different Spanish companies from two different sectors. Still waiting on that grade. Another class (Linguistics) had an open notes/ open book test applying everything we have learned, and I got an A on that as well. My Spanish Culture class (which I studied the hardest for) was a 4 essay test that I had thought I did really well on... B-. VERY disappointed! The last one is another Business class (all about running/ opening/ operating/ a business and economy in Spain) and I'm still waiting on that grade.

Well after that crazy week we all went out on Thursday night and had a great time. We went to the house of two guys that are from California! They graduated last May and are teaching English here in Toledo for a year! It sounds like a fantastic job, something I might want to look into! Friday, I slept for a lot of the day (to catch up from the week of ZERO sleep) and went to a free play with a couple people from class. IT WAS REALLLLLLY WEIRD. Saturday a group of us went to Madrid to spend the night there. My boyfriend was finally coming home from Italy, so I met him at the airport, and went to his house for dinner with his friends, and went out to a couple bars with him and his friends. Sunday we had a luxurious breakfast at McDonald's and went to the market! A pretty chill weekend overall.

This week is the beginning of the second half of the semester and I've decided to crack down on classes. No more putting things off, I am doing things before they need to be done. I need to take more time to just think, figure things out, plan what I want to do, and just be me. These 6 months are going so fast! It's already March, in less than a month it will be Spring Break, and then the end of the semester, traveling for a while, and back to the real world, or just a different world. When I first got here I didn't immediately fall in love with the country, but it was different and new so I of course entertained ideas of staying here, studying here again, or working here in the future. After a couple months here though, I have come to realize that different isn't always better. There are so many things I miss about home and took for granted back home. For example, living on my own with friends. Here in Spain unemployment is approaching 20% and is most prevalent for people 35 and younger. For this, only 29% of everyone 30 and younger are independent economically of their parents and often still live at home! I am way too independent for that and quite frankly I am/ was a little annoyed that I am dependent on my parents for school still! I WANT to graduate, I WANT to get a good job, and I WANT to be independent. More importantly though, I want to do something I like... and right now I'm not sure what that is. This trip has made me re-evaluate many things, but one thing I do know for sure: I am coming home, and I am excited about it.