Wednesday, September 23, 2009

(deep breaths)

So I feel like I have pretty muched settled in. I wake to something (soccer 3 nights a week) and do it again. School isn´t too hard, math and technology are mainly numbers so thats easy, chemistry i already know, english too, once a week and I can just watch and learn, 1 class is either our hour or there is no teacher (Im not sure which), Philosophy is a fun class, its hard for me to understand but the teacher is awesome and I can understand enough to know that if I could understand it all I would love it, but spanish literature and french class are very draining on me since I have to concentrate as hard as I can just to figure out the general idea of what they are talking about (probably gonna fail literature). Soccer is pretty fun since they pretty much are playing just for fun, but they are all really good (if they were organised and disciplined they could prolly beat Bend High). Some fun facts for Mrs. Brown are they do say perrito caliente for hot dog, and they say bacon. I have yet to see an American Tortilla (a tortilla here is eggs and potatoes). Today at school I asked Jon (whose mother is English) if he could transalate the spanish swear words so I could understand (problem was he translated them into British english). The main things that I miss are that there will be no snow, there is almost no grass here, LaCrosse, snowboarding, and the food. Everyday for breakfast I usually have toast with chocolate eggs, no cinnamon rolls, no french toast, no bacon. Oh and I have definitley forgotten the taste of real milk, an American hamburger, and burritos. I have tried a lot of new things here like eggplant, garbanzo beans, and some other thing they use to make a delicious soup (and im pretty sure cow tongue). However they always eat bread with their meals and I always have a peach for dessert after lunch. (Desserts here are usually fruit). Last weekend we went to Cordoba and I saw the mosque (which I will go inside of later this year) It was very impressive, and Cordoba is the typical stereo type of a Spanish city, all the houses were white and there were cobblestone streets that I could stretch my arms out and touch the walls of the houses alongside the street. (i will try and put pictures up later). I met the family of my host father and I like the uncle he naturally speaks slowly and he is very patient. In Cordoba we played darts at a bar (me, Antonio, and...uncle) and I accidently knocked an ashtray off a table. (first time in a bar and I didn´t have anything to drink.....and I broke something.) We also went go-kart racing......and started in 4th and made my way to 1st however I got cocky trying to lap someone and spun out (putting me in 3rd). It is very weird now hearing is definitley engraved into my mind. Well i can´t think of anything more to right so until next time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Culture shock

Well I have been in Spain for 10 and a half days. I was pretty homesick the first week but yesterday I kind of had an epiphany. I didn´t like all the differences at first because it took my so far out of my comfort zone. Now I accept that there are differences in everything and thats the real reason why I wanted to be an exchange student. Yesterday I had a legit conversation in Spanish with my host father (like I actually understood so fast I interuppted him a few times). However usually I just say ´´sí, no, and como´´. I can have a conversation if we I am talking one on one with someone but usually im in a group and im trying to talk to someone while some other people are having their own conversation and then I can only say yes or no. At this point im pretty used to hearing the language so I don´t get language exaughstion as intense as the first few days. Today was my first day of school, but, all they did was put us in what I think was homerooms but im not sure, and they called role, and I think explained the rules of the school and the schedule of the day. Im not completely sure since the teacher was talking faster than my understanding pace and it was a classroom full of teenagers so of course the teacher was not the only one talking. The only thing I understood was don´t use your cell phone and no smoking in the school. That all took about an hour and then I just hung out with some peope in Huelva and we went to a hamburger stand (it was kind of a hamburger version of the taco stand in yeah it was delicious). A lot of thing are different here for example, there is a city, the beach is a few miles away, there is trash everywhere, the streets are smaller, the license plates are different, they don´t shower with the water running, it´s hot, school starts at 9:30, and ends at 3:30, they eat a light breakfast, the main meal is around 2, and dinner is light and around 10:30. All the soccer fields here are either turf or concrete, the milk is powdered, there is practically no rules of the road, all the trees are different, the beaches are clothing optional (oh and I have not seen one speedo), In the U.S. we think that all the kids here (in Europe) drink some sort of alcohol with their meals, but in this part of Spain they don´t, I asked my host family why and they said we don´t in Spain (but some of the other exchange students here said they do in their families) they then said we thought that since your American you would drink a lot of soda but all you want is water. So that was interesting. Well thats all i can think of to say, oh and I have my first soccer practice or game or something tonight, and everyone here is way better than I am. Bring it on.

Monday, September 7, 2009


So im in Spain.........FINALLY! I left my Bend at 4:00 on the 1st and stayed in Portland for the night. On the 2nd I left Portland and flew to New York at 6:30 in the morning (the flight was 6 hours). I arrived in New York around 3 and met up with the other AFS kids. We ended up in a hotel where we were not allowed to leave. On the way to the hotel I was looking out the window of the bus and I thought it was weird that there were so many New York license plates. (Till i realized I was in New York). There were about 100 exchange students headed to France, Spain, Russia, Austria, and South Africa. We stayed overnight at the hotel and left on the 3rd for Zurich, Swizerland at 8:30 at night. The flight was 8 hours and none of us slept. We got to Zurich and transferred flights, since we were all American, we were loud, and everyone in the airport staired at us. I don´t remember when we left for Madrid (sometime on the 4th). Once in Madrid we stayed in a hostal which is like a smaller version of dorm rooms with more people. In the hostal were about 70 exchange students from all over the world, so yeah it was pretty awesome. On the 5th we all split up on buses. Most of the kids headed to the north of Spain which is Basque country, (HAHAHAHA! suckers, Basque is one of the hardest languages to learn). A smaller group went on a bus to the south of Spain and some people went on planes. The rest of us who were staying in Madrid waited for our families to pick us up. I´m living about 6 hours away from Madrid. However since my family is awesome they left at 4:00 in the morning to pick me up. I got to my house at about 9:00 at night. My family is very patient with my idiotness. I can´t understand very much but they are very happy to help me. At this point they know the extent of my Spanish so they know what word to use and what not to use yet. Its a little overwhelming but I am picking up the language faster than I thought. (Mrs. Brown must be a good teacher). The weather here is very hot I can´t wait till winter. While I am typing this im having some of the Spanish words randomly popping into my head. It´s overwhelming, until next time. And some few last thoughts, I got to sit in an NYPD police cruiser and the cops had the intense New York accents. Un abrazo a todos.