Sunday, July 31, 2011

final goodbye

so i left Grananda and made it to the USA safely, but somehow all of my problems started once i got to the US ha. First of all my flight was delayed for two hours, then as I was waiting for my bags at the baggage claim some drug dog decided to ID my backpack as being suspicious cause it started sniffing it like crazy. So of course drug dogs are accompanied usually by drug ladies, and this lady was like do you have any drugs with you? First of all even if i did like i'm just going to tell her and come clean ha. So of course i said no and she was like, open your bag slowly, meanwhile the whole airport is staring at me prolly hoping ill get busted or something. So I'm emptying my bag and the dog is going crazy like tugging at his leash and stuff. And the drug lady meanwhile is getting more and more nervous like i'm going to pull out a bomb or something. Eventually i get to my candy stash and pull out a twix bar and the dog is all over it ha apparently that dog has a major sweat tooth. Ha the lady was all embarrassed and was like, oh its just candy. So on top of that i almost missed my connecting flight first because of the dog then of course i get randomly selected to be the person in the security line that they crazy search and stuff, I was like please pick someone else because i'm going to miss my flight, but there logic was if i didn't have anything to hide i would be in and out in no time ha. Oh and they just announced that my flight to greensboro has been delayed an hour and 1/2 due to mechanical messed up junk and stuff, ha what a day this has been, will I ever get home?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

another reason why family reunions and alcohol should never be combined ha

Well I know its been a while since my last post but everythings been pretty much the same. Classes everyday, projects to do, boring stuff like that. Some cool stuff that has happened is one I finished up one of my classes, took the final exam and stuff so now I dont´have to go to that class anymore, which is nice. So now the rest of my classes finish up this week, my culture class on thursday and my language class on friday. Ha I am so done with school, and to think when I come back I have two weeks till real school starts again, yay. So this week Í´ve gotten to hang out with my spanish dad rafael alot. The other day we went to go see a movie in the "cine del verano" which is this really cool outdoor theatre, like a drive in but without the cars. So its this awesome outdoor theatre with a huge projectorscreen and all these chairs set up in rows with little tables attached to them. So rafael and i each got a soda and a hamburger and sat outside watching a movie, it was such a cool experience. Also this past sunday was my spanish grandma´s birthday ha she turned 84, i know right, wow. So anyway it was a big surprise, which in my opinion the older you get the more you might want to rethink surprises and stuff ha. Anyway though all the family was there, like literally, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandbabies and stuff, alot of people. So that was just another awesome way for me to see some of the customs and tradicions and ways of life that spanish people have. WE went to this restuarant which sorta did the tapas thing but on a huge scale. They would keep bringing us plates and plates of different food and we got to just pick and chose what we liked and what we wanted to eat. THey also had huge pitchers of cervesa and tinto de verano, which are very typical everyday spanish drinks. Then at the end they brought out this huge cake thing and champagne for everyone to be able to toast the grandmas birthday and stuff. And after that everyone just sat around and talked, it was really nice to see family caring for each other like that. THere was a little drama later on, but with so much family around and that many pitchers having been gone through ha i wasn´t surprised. So yeah i leave this saturday for america and yeah i dont know if i´m going to be posting anytihng until then, unless something really awesome happens like i win the spanish lottery.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

you learn new things everyday

Today is saturday and its been a very chill day. I went with my family to one of my lady's daughter's house who had a pool, and we just spent the whole day chillin and swimmin and eating and talkin, well they talked, I just listened and pretended I knew what they were saying ha. Probably the highlite of my day though was when my lady's daughter I forgot her name so we'll just call her maria, so maria asked me if I was bored and wanted something to do. Well I wasn't bored but I like activities so I followed her into the kitchen were she proceded to show me how to make cigarettes ha. She had this like coffee can looking thing full of tobacco and then all these "empty" cigarette papers or something. She then showed me how to roll and pack and seal these cigarettes. I asked her why she didn't just buy cigarettes like everybody else, so she explained to me that this way was much cheaper. She said for the same price as two packs of cigarettes, this can of tabacco would make about the equivalent of seven packs. She Also said it was better for her cause since she doesn't have time to make them all the time, it causes her to smoke less too. So it was an intersting way to pass an afternoon making cigarettes with my spanish sister in the kitchen ha. So yeah that was probably the highlite of my day and I now have a newfound talent, and I didnt' know you could be good at making cigarettes, but apparently I am a natural ha they all kept complimenting me on my superb ability to make a cigarette ha.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

some things never change

So I'm about to finish my second week of the second half of my time here, if that makes any sense. All my classes are still pretty much the same. I enjoy them alot ha except my first one which i'm not even sure the teacher is speaking spanish, maybe its finnish or scandinavian or something ha, but whatever it is I don't understand it. I understand everyone else, all my other teachers, random people on the street, but this guy is my worst nightmare, I am literally lost in translation, if i'm using that saying right. So any way my parents took me to some parks the other day which was really sweet. They were like we know you run all the time so here are some pretty places to run so you dont have to keep running in the sketch city. Its strange but after all this time in one city, that really isn't that big, I still feel like there is so much of this city that I haven't even seen yet. So i guess its a good thing I use all of my free time in between classes to wander around. So yeah things are pretty much still the same here but on a cool note, I brought this book with me, its the purpose driven life but its in spanish, I thought i would bring it to practice my spanish ha yeah like that happened, anyway My lady found it and asked my if she could borrow it because it looked interesting so I said sure, I dont know I thought that was cool and hopefully something awesome happens as a result, so pray for my lady that this book will do good and God will work through it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Still the Same

So I've almost finished my first week of my new classes, and I have to say I'm getting pretty used to my new system. The bad part is I no longer get to take naps during the day since I don't get home from class till six, but the good thing is that I have time in between my classes to do my homework for the next class ha. So I lost my charger to my spanish phone a couple days ago but I didn't want to go out and buy a new one, I was kinda hoping it would just magically stay alive forever ha but no it decided to give up on life and die. So I went to the store where I bought my phone and they didn't sell it there, and the lady there said it might be at Corte Ingles which is like the spanish equivalent to wal-mart. So I tried there and they had one but it was like thirty euro and I was like no way jose I'm just going to half to figure something out. So as I was thinking of a plan to either steal one or make one myself I remeber that my american phone has a charger thing that looks similar to mine so I decided to check that first. Wouldn't you know, that I didn't bring it with me to america. But being a genius who is not only hood but resourceful too I have created a charger out of my camera cord, ipod hook up, and my converter adapter. It's this huge monstrosity but at least it works ha.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I hate title-ing all my blogs its impossible to sum up my adventures in just a few words

Well the second month of school had officially started after a nice break in between. At first I thought I had a totally wacked up schedule but it might actually turn out to be a nice thing. I have three classes, two are 1 hour and one is 2 hours. My first class doesnt start till 11 so thats good I get to sleep in a little more. It's spanish history and i hope it is better than today because maybe it was the way the guy talk or the subject, but whatever it was I had the hardest time focusing, and when i was focused i was bored ha. My second class is spanish culture which i love because my teacher is so crazy and awesome, you can tell she loves to have fun and loves to teach, she's really young too i would say maybe late twenties, so that could be another reason why i like her. And my third class is another language class which I really like as well, the teacher is so fun and so are the students ha i know i will enjoy this class. So I have a hour and a half break between each of my classes which if you can believe it is not enough time to go home and eat lunch, so I go from 11-6 classes. Today in between my classes i just walked around the city, well it would be better to say that i wandered ha cause i didn't really know where i was most of the time. But I think from now on I can use that time to get in the word or read or do something productful with my time other than just walking ha.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A whole week of parties

So from Wednesday to this coming Monday had been the Fiesta del Corpus, everyday there are parades and stuff in the streets and at night there is like this huge carnival thing with rides and games and tents with restuarants and places to dance. Everything was lit up and pretty, I've never been to Las Vagus at night but I think you could compare it to something like that. So Thursday night some of my friends and I went to the carnival at night, which was so fun but also so expensive ha so I spent most of my time walking around and looking at stuff while other people went on rides that you had to pay for, but I didn't mind. Same as during the day all the ladies were dressed in really cool flaminco dresses, it just gave me a good picture of the history and traditions that Spain has, and I like how they still uphold them today. So we didn't leave the carnival till like two in the morning, which serves me right, because the next morning (today) I had to wake up at 6:30 in the morning. Me and some other friends had decided to go to Nerja which is a beautiful beach about two hours away, but it's a beach just known for being beautiful so that's why we didn't go to a closer one. But man was it hot there ha, but still so beautiful. It had these huge rocks everyway in the water, and the water went right up to these cliffs covered in palm trees, like I said beautiful. Another thing Nerja is known for are these caves, so of course while we were there we took this tour of these underground caves. They were so impressive, just so big and spacious, I dont really know how to describe it, but I liked what I saw. So all that pretty much took up the entire day ha I just got back.

On a cool, not so relevent, spiritual side note, I got to talk to this one girl about the Bible today. I mean it wasn't anything that special, I didn't bridge her up or anything. She must have seen my Jesus bracelet cause she asked me what it means when people compare something to "manna from heaven", so I got to explain to her the story of Moses and the Isrealites in captivity and how God rescued them and provided for them and stuff, it was pretty cool, it was the first time since I've been here that I've been able to have a real conversation with someone about God. So you guys should pray that I'll get more chances to have more real conversations with people. And also I've been having trouble lately with swearing, not that I am swearing, but my friends here swear alot, and when I'm surrounded by it and I hear it so much it gets hard for me to filter it out and it becomes a challenge for me where I really have to guard what i say and think about it otherwise I might say something I shouldn't, something I'd regret. So yeah pray that I'll be able to guard my mouth and be a good example of Christ to others.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fiesta del Blanco

So I've never really understood the phrase "lost in translation" until this weekend and I might still not understand it. So anyway I have this problem of listening to Magdalena acting like I understand everything she is saying and then later finding out that I had agreed to do something or go somewhere or whatever, but really having no idea what i just said or what she just said. So my lady had been talking about this festival where everyone dresses in all white and there is dancing and eating and its a huge party. The way she talked about it made it seem like it was a huge festival that all the city goes to sort of like the Fiesta del Corpus which I will explain later. So anyway i am like best buds with my spanish teacher Rosa, we tell everything to each other ha . So anyway I was telling her about this fiesta i was going to the blanco one and she had no idea what I was talking about, which was really confusing to me because i thought everyone knew about it ha. So then she started talking and I acted like I knew what she was saying, and of course i unknowingly agreed to do an extra credit presentation about the Fiest del Blanco since no one but me knew about it, ha so that was fun.

the fiest itself was alot of fun, me and my lady went to the place where she takes dance lessons and everyone brought food, and there was a ton of dancing. We got there at nine and I don't think we left till after two in the morning. Spain is a country that never sleeps i am convinved.

The next day I went with my friend alexis and her lady Natividad to some shops that were really cheap. Only my family will get this reference, but it was like the flea market in the Bahamas, that sort of set up, but even bigger than the one in the Bahamas if you can imagine that ha. It was all these stalls were set up where people brought stuff to sell. Now where they got the stuff to sell ha ha I cant say for sure that it was legal ha but at least it was cheap for me.

So that was Saturday, Sunday I went to my lady's daughter's birthday. If you dont remember my lady has five daughters Juani, Cristina, Beatriz, Magdalena, and I can't remember the oldest ones name. But they were all there along with all their boyfriends/husbands, and the grandkids, and the grandparents, just a huge family reunion. It was really cool for me to be there and see how they interact, to see how they are different from the traditional american family and what not, so it was a really fun experience for me. We pretty much stayed there all day .

Monday and Tuesday pretty normal school days, but today Wednesday is the beginning of the Corpus festival which is a big deal in Spain. I'm not really sure what it's about, but i know it has to do with Ferdinand and Isabel and christopher columbus I think, but I dont really know, I think its kinda like their Macy's day parade, but it lasts an entire week. So today I skipped one of my classes to go witness the beginning procession it was so cool, all the lady's were in flaminco dresses and they had a band playing Spainish music as they marched down the streets, really fun stuff but of course like a dumb i didnt' have my camara, but don't worry tomorrow is when the "real" parade happens, I dont know but its a bigger deal somehow, so I will definately put pictures of that up.

Monday, June 13, 2011

long weekend

Well sorry its been a while since I updated but I've just been so tired ha I just wanted to sleep. So this past weekend my group took an excursion to Sevilla and Cordoba which was so awesome. Those cities are so much prettier than Granada. Not that Granada isn't pretty but the city has grown alot so there is much more modern stuff and construction everywhere, and Sevilla and Cordoba are tourist attractions ha so they are supposed to be prettier. In sevilla we visited the Catedral Sevillana, La torre del oro, and Los Jardines del Alcazar. All very beautiful places and very impressive to look at. We left Granada at 7:30 in the morning and took a two hour busride to Sevilla once we got there we went on all our tours. My favorite was the cathedral it was so massive and beautiful. If you have ever seen St. Peter's cathedral in Italy I would compare its size and grandeur to that. The architecture was very impressive, so much detail is put into everything, it just amazes me. The tours lasted until about 3:00 where we then had free time to shop or walk around the city, and do whatever we wanted until around six where we had to meet with the bus again to go to Cordoba. Interestingly enough there was a beerfest in town,, but not like you're probably thinking ha. Beerfests in Spain are like ribfests in America where everyone brings out there own brews and you get to walk along and try them for free. There was no drinking competition or anything like that, it was for people to come out and share their specialties or their creations with others. But it was free beer so alot of the members of my group enjoyed that ha. In Seville they also have orange trees everywhere, like the way we have grass ha they have orange trees. Just a fun fact. So when we met up with the bus we had another two hour ride to Cordoba. We arrived there around 8:30 and had to walk to our hostel that our program had gotten for us. It was actually very nice for a hostel, it kinda looked like any college dorm room would, bunk beds, a desk, a closet and a bathroom. There were four of us to a room. After we checked in we had to find this restuarant where our program had also reserved us for dinner. This was sorta difficult and we got lost ha it took us thirty minutes to get there. When we got there it had a tapas set up but on a grander scale, like instead of getting just one tapas, there were like five that we all passed around and shared with our table. The food was really good, but again there was so much of it ha good thing we walk everywhere. The following morning we had freetime till two where we met at the Mesquita-Catedral in Cordoba. Another magnificent building with an imteresting history, see this building was like half muslim mosque and half roman catholic cathedral, so the architecture inside was so diverse and crazy, it was the most unique building i have been in yet. Ok this might be wierd and its probably because i'm america ha but everytime I go into a Cathedral or a church my favorite part of it is the treasure room. Well maybe its not my favorite part but I definately enjoy it. Another one of my favorite things, and this is just in churches in general, is the stain glass windows. Love it, and in the cathedral they are of course just so intricate and colorful with such great depictions on them I just can't help but stare at them forever ha. But other than the cathedral we also saw the Sinagoga, the Puente Romano, and the Puerta de Puente, also really cool places. At 5:30ish we got back on our bus and made the 2:30 hour ride back to Granada. So a very long weekend, but very worth it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Things in Spain I wish I hadn't experienced

Well we went to the Albaicin like I had said and it was sort of confusing, because I wasn't quite sure when we got there that we were there. I think it was just an area of town that we walked through that was known as the arab district. But yeah it was totally gorgeous non the less. So that was Friday and then yesterday saturday some of my newly acquired friends and I decided to go spend the day at the beach. Ha it was a long process in getting to the beach. We had to take a forty minute bus ride to the bus station and then a two hour bus trip to Alamanga which is the city the beach was at, then an hour bus ride to the beach's bus stop, ha and then we got lost for two hours. You'd think the beach would be an easy thing to find, you know a whole lot of water just sittin there, but no we couldn't find the beach ha. So it was like two oclock in the afternoon when we finally found the beach, but when we did it was totally worth it. Today is another free day and so I think me and some friends are going to go to a movie and maybe visit a museum and then go dancing with our moms ha. But on a more serious note I wanted to use this trip as an opportunity to really grow in my faith, and so far that has been really hard. God is not in this culture at all, and I didn't realize how much I would miss that influence. I miss church, I miss bible studys I just miss God in general. And its so easy because we are kept busy all of the time to just forget about God you know? I miss being challenged and being taught new things about God. I guess I forgot how much I really needed God and wanted Him until I came here where I feel completely cut off from Him, I know that God is everywhere, but I feel like this is a place where you have to look harder for Him. So I guess you could pray that God would reveal Himself to me and that I would just really feel His presence.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Como una chica

Well Yesterday our group went to see Alhambra which is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. I'm afraid my pictures wont be able to do it justice at all. It just amazes me the detail and sophistication that is in something that is so old. There were two palaces that we toured through and a grand garden full of roses and many other flowers and cats, for some strange reason there were cats everywhere at this place, maybe it's because of all the coy ponds. Last night Alexis and I when we got back from the Alhambra we went to find her mom Natividad at club merengue where she takes dance lessons there, so we watched her for a bit and then went out for tapas afterward. I was very tired from all the walking that I did so I went straight to bed. The food here is so good all the time there is just always so much of it I swear I'm going to gain twenty pounds while I'm here. Later today our group is going to go see the Albaicin, which is the Arab district I think, but I'm not really sure. So I'll habe more to write on that later.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Come TODO!!

So I officially hate food. For those of you who know me well you're thinking that's not possible katlyn would trade her grandmother for food, but no no not anymore. Magdalena feeds me so much ha you would think I was training to be a sumo wrestler with how big a portion she gives me. You guys think I'm exagerating but I'm not. Three meals a day eating till I want to throw up ha. But anyway yesterday was the first day of class, and I loved it! All my teachers are so nice and funny. The class itself is a  little easy but I'm still learning. All the kids in my class are so nice and we all love to joke about our families and the things they do, like feed us all too much ha. After school  which ends at one we had the rest of the day free, so me and my friend alexis went to find a local gym where we could work out at. After we did our work out my mom and her mom wanted us to go dancing with them, which was hilarious it was about twenty other men and women all about fifty years old in this club learning how to salsa and cha cha and the merengue and things like that, it was alot of fun. After dancing we went out for Tapas. For those of you who dont know what tapas is, it's this great thing where you go to a restuarant order a drink and they bring you all these appetizers for free, all you have to pay for is your drink, its very non expensive.

Today after class we visited a place called Sacramonte which is where the famous Gypsy district is. It was such a beautiful area that was just full of history and religious significance. We leaned about Gypsys and Jews and Christians and all about the persecution and racial decrimination that took place back in the day. I have some pictures that I will load up later. Touring that place pretty much took all day, because of course we walked everywhere ha. Tomorrow we are going to a place called Alhambre which I hear is suppossed to be very beautiful as well. Tonight I met my mom's grandson ha who is older than me, its wierd because Magdalena doesn't look older than her late fortys and she has grandchildren that are older than me. I guess that's just the spanish culture. Well her grandson was nice enough to offer to take me around this weekend and show me the city, which will be so nice because I've been so busy with school and going on all their planned excursions that I haven't had time to just walk around the city and see what there is. And since he is a local he will know the good places to go where as if I were by myself I would end up just wandering around or worse getting lost ha. But I'm excited so we'll see how that goes.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Longest day of my Life

So as you can tell today has been the longest day of my life. It began at 8:30 in the morning where my host mom Magdalena walked me to the International office which was about a twenty minute walk, but I didn't mind that because I like to walk. About ten minutes into the walk we cross over a river that runs under the city, here i met one of Magdalena's friends who also had a student with her named Alexis. We continued the rest of the walk together with them to the office.  It was there that I met all the other students that were in my program with me, so it was nice to meet them. Our teachers we met also and from there they took us on another walk to where the university actually was, another ten minute walk. Once we got there we took a placement test to see where we would be and what level of class we would take. Luckily Alexis and I wound up in the same class together. I met another girl but sadly I can't remember her name. But I know we are going to be great friends, she is from nepal and speaks way better spanish than me, so she is helping me to learn how to speak conversationally, it's amazing to see how much spanish I forgot in one semester of not having a spanish class. I also bought a phone here to be able to keep up with my friends and my family. All of this took till about 9 at night where I then walked back to my house and found one of Magdalena's daughter's there with her husband. I liked them alot, they were so nice and knew a little english so it was easier to talk with them as they could explain things to me. Also me and Magdalena are going to have a problem because she feeds me all the time. For those of you who know me, you know that I can eat like nobody's business, but I swear I have never been forced to eat so much food in my life. Magdalena piles it so high on my plate every meal to where I eat till I feel like I'm going to explode and I haven't even made a dent in the plate. So I dont know what I'm going to do about that ha. Well tomorrow I start my classes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The first day

Well I made it to Spain with no trouble at all. Navigating airports is easier than I thought ha. I left yesterday at 1:44pm from greensboro and arrived in Spain about 17 hours later due to the time change, so the time that I arrived was about 12:30 pm, almost a full 24 hours spent traveling. So as you can imagine I was so tired. A friend from the program I am working with came to pick me and three other students up, where he then took us directly to our host families. I like my family so much! Magdalena and her husband are a cute little old couple who are so funny and love to talk all the time. Which I dont know half of what they are saying now but I'm hoping I'll catch up quick. Magdalena showed me to my room, fed me a ton of food, like seriously a ton of food,ha she hands me this huge plate and tells me "comes todo" eat it all. So I am probable going to get really fat while I am here because all they do is feed me. It's nice because after that we watch tv and they explain to me what's going on because of course I don't understand. I love it here, but it is so draining having to focus and concentrate all the time. Tomorrow Magdalena will take me to the "Center" where I'll  have sort of an ortientation I guess.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ok I lied

So this is prolly going to be my last post to Spain, not the other one, ha. So this is just some cool updates that I have recently learned about my trip to Spain and other stuff. First I would just like to say how cool it is that God knows what I need without me even needing to ask for it, or me even thinking about how I need to ask for it. Go God! So what He did for me, is He provided me with info about the family I'm going to be staying with. Their last name is Fernandez-Blancos, or something like that and they are a cute old couple. They have two older daughters who I think have already moved out. I didn't even think I was worried about my family until I learned all this info and then I was suddenly relieved. Also I'm terrified of airports and having to navigate my way through them. Its not really the airports but I don't like being lost, and people in airports are also so rude and suspicious looking, not how they appear in the movies at all. Anyway so I was worried about how I would be getting to Spain when here comes God giving me a traveling companion. =) Apparently there is another kid doing the program, also from where I live who is going to be on my exact same flight the whole way there. How awesome is that!? His name is Sam and I hope we will be awesome friends. So this is God answering my prayers before I even ask them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Beginning

So this is going to be a sort of journal of my trip to Spain I guess. Two things I should warn you of (1) I am very lazy (2) I hate grammer, when you combine those two things together bad things happen. So I apologize in advice for my bad grammer, bad punctuation, and anything else that anyone reading might disaprove of, esp. Mr. Powell if you are reading this, sorry, its not you its me, you are a great teacher, but some things can't be taught and they can't be learned either. I might have learned it at one time, but then forgot or something.

So anyways its 12 days till I leave, I haven't even started to pack or even think about what I should pack, I don't know who I'm living with when I get there, and on the flight there I have to switch flights like three times which, laugh all you want, terrifies me. But other than that I am soo excited. Excited to see Spain, to learn its culture and its peoples, to be able to speak spanish, but most of all I want God to do something major with me while I am there, so I am excited to see what He does. All I know for sure is that Spain will help me to define my faith, and not depend on others to define it for me, I will be completely alone in Spain without any Christian influence, so it will be interesting to see how I turn out at the end of the summer.This is all I will probably write before I get to Spain, so yeah k bye.