Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sevilla Orientation

Ok so...this past weekend I had an orientation for AFS in Sevilla. I got there Friday night and met up with Hillary Miranda (living in a town called La Victoria outside of Cordoba and she is from Florida), Maha Sounbel (living in Badajoz and is only here for 3 months and is Austrian), Petra Krizco (living near Malaga and is from Austria), Lisa Unger (who i forgot where she lives but is she is from Germany), Phillip Pfleger (living near Malaga and is from Austria), Christopher Orr (living near Granada and is from Texas), Helmi Liikenen (lives somewhere in North Africa and is from Finland), and last but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, Birita Poulsen (a.k.a muy guapa) (living near Cadíz and lives in the Faroe Islands (which is a part of Denmark though they have a different language and there are only 80,000 people living in the islands)). The first night we spoke almost entirely in Spanish we went for a walk into Sevilla and saw an amazing church. (During this im going to put randomly in hilarious quotes when they are in my mind...almost all of them by Chris Orr. During that night Chris sat on a bench and tried to say ´´I like sitting´´ in Spanish (me gusta sentantando) but instead said ´´me gusta sientiendo´´ (I like feeling) and another one was ´´¿tiene un movíl?´´ (do you have a cellphone?)...´´no, no tengo un novio´´ (no i dont have a boyfriend). We stayed up till about 3 that morning just talking and hanging out....the next day (Saturday) we talked in Spanglish and Danglish (german and english mix) and we did typical AFS activities and we talked about problems. That night we went out to dinner at a local bar and we stayed there for maybe 2 hours and just talked. Some interesting things we learned Saturday night was that everyone in the world had Pokémon (and still likes it) that we all love disney movies and know them all by heart......everyone know the song you dance the waltz to. Everyone knows the song head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees, and toes (in english cause thats helps them learn english). I learned that only my family calls our dog dog-face occasionally. That conversation was over the table.....´´Hillary! do you ever call your dog dog-face?´´ ´´Do I ever call my dog what!´´ ´´you know like come here dog-face or hey dog-face.´´ ´´No! why would you ever call your dog dog-face?´´ ´´you know just like a nickname´´ ´´no thats ridiculous´´ ´´hmmm hey chris...´´ (turns out only my family) so that was hilarious. Everyone can speak english to some extent...which makes it very sad that the large majority of americans go through life without ever learning 5 sentences in another language....the truth is we should all be at least bilingual if not more. Everyone there could speak their own language, spanish, english (some fluent, others good enough to say what the need to say and have a conversation) We stayed up till 5 in the morning then forgot to change our clocks so we got up and raced to breakfast cause it was about to close (but actually it was just opening). Today we just hung out and talked more...there are only 9 kids in Andalucia which I think is great because it prevents us from forming cliques and splitting into our separate groups. It was amazing how all of us around the age of 16 could communicate in a language that only a few years ago none of us had known. It was so much fun....especially all the Spanglish like ´´so ahora´´ ´´mi also´´ and just talking in spanish and when we got into a rough spot we would just switch to english for a few sentences. The whole time there would always be one person talking in Spanish talking with a person speaking English (normally the americans always in spanish and the others in spanglish). I can´t even describe to you how much fun it is when we all know the same things such as Pokémon or when somehow someone starts up head, shoulders, knees, and toes, or the song we dance the waltz to, or the super mario theme.....and everyone starts singing it....or what it´s like to sing time after time with a girl from the faroe islands who sings better in english then I could ever dream of. Or how we all know the same you tube videos such as matrix ping pong, or that guy who sings both parts of a whole new world and its incredible even though we live on other sides of the world. Or just simply talking in a language that if foreign to the both of us yet still we are communicating out thoughts and feelings and getting to know each other. It´s amazing how the world fits together....and i cant wait till we have our next orientation.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

just some stuff

It´s the 17th already! October is almost over! I don´t have any interesting stories to tell yet, but im sure they are on their way. So in school we now have a regular schedule...and apparently my technology teacher had a heart attack or something so he has not been at school, so that means the hour is ours so we usually play cards. There are no sports with the schools here, which means im not used to doing this little excersise. Back in the states every morning my friends and I would walk laps saying hi to people and what not, and at least that was something, here it is go to your classroom and sit there till recreation. One thing thats different is that there are all age groups at the school, but only ´´Juniors and Seniors´´ on the third floor (there is three floors at the school). We don´t have any assemblies or any school related functions. However they do have trips with the school here, there will be one to Barcelona for I think a week in February and one to Lisbon, Portugal. However I´m not sure if im going on the Portugal trip because it might just be for the biology kids (but I´m going to fight for it). The first week in October I was sick and missed 2 days of school, and on one of those days they gave out information to go to Germany for a week...but I wasn´t there for the information, and it´s now too late to do anything about...which is a bummer. In my English class my teacher asked me why we capitalize the letter I when we use it, I had no idea. English class is easy, obviously but the teacher talks very slowly and it kind of drives me crazy. Speaking of driving me crazy, my host brother, oh man, I don´t even know what to say......he never stops talking, and is always hanging all over me....driving me crazy! I´m also twice his size (actually more than twice his size...and he is 13) so I´m holding back the urge to hold im down and poke his chest till he says Soy un mujer. (My family knows what I´m talking about.) Know I can understand and respond to something if I know the subject of what they are talking about....and now I know enough Spanish that if I don´t know I word they can explain it to me in Spanish and I can understand. I now know the word dude in Huelvan (iyo) and they use it exactly the same way we do and just as often jaja. Here everything has fallen into place....every night we watch el hormiguero (the anthill) and after words I usually go to bed unless flashforward is on, almost everynight the garbage-man wakes me up (he has a loud truck) and every morning the church bells wake me up about 5 minutes before 7....and every Friday I go out with friends. Next weekend I´m going to Sevilla for an AFS orientation for all the kids in Andalucia (which is not that many) but it will be fun, and I will blog about the experience. So hasta luego. (and I know my spelling isn´t very good...but thats what happens when you text...are learning a different language....and learning a different language in a different language.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009

Today........was amazing. I don´t know what happened but I woke up today and I could understand practically everything people were saying when they talked at normal speed. (Dont get me wrong i still have a lot to learn). Today a teacher made me read a page out of one of our text books....It wasn´t impressive, but it was good for me and it was good for me to make everyone laugh when i said 1917 in english and when I had to read 13000 years ago (in spanish) I said many years ago (in spansih). Here when the teachers get sick or cant come to school for some reason there are no substitutes and nobody covers for them, we just get the hour to ourselves. Today i invited myself to hang out with some people this weekend (which im not sure what will happen since I dont know my house phone number and i have not boughten a cell phone yet). Right now in Huelva there are 5 Irish girls who are here with their teacher for a school trip for the week. Today they were at my school and I got to talk in english with teenagers. They said at first they thought I was a Spaniard trying to put on an American accent haha. So that was really cool, and there were these 2 teachers at my school who are from the U.S. (Philly and Virginia) and a spanish teacher said does anyone have any english....of course, (in spanish). I asked where are you from, and the 2 American women had a priceless look on their face and one said, That accent! Where are you from! so that was pretty cool. All in all today people got to listen to me attempt to read in Spanish (jajajaja (thats how you laugh in spanish)) and listened to me talk in english which was great for me. At this point it pretty much feels like home. Hasta luego.

P.S. if you have not checked out the other blog recently there is a link to a video you have to watch (the blog is the same url as this one but with .vox instead of .blogspot)