Current Anxiety Rating: 3
31.08.2014 - 31.08.2014 93 °F
Sorry I haven't posted in a bit. My home stay has had some issues with Wifi the past week or so since I arrived, so I haven't been able to access the internet besides on my phone which isn't exactly conducive to a blog post.
Since my last post, I have arrived in Granada (on Sunday the 31st), gotten situated in my home stay and started class! It was a busy first few days! Luckily, though, things have started to slow down considerably. We have class in the morning from 9 am to 1 pm and then we return home for lunch around 2pm. We usually finish up lunch around 3 usually, and then we all, me, my roommate Jenni, and our host mom all go back to our respect rooms and just relax for three or four hours. I usually alternate between reading, journalling, and napping. It is super relaxing and as I mentioned on Facebook, I could definitely get used to the Spanish way of life.
But let's back up just a touch to how I got here!
We left from Toledo on Sunday around 11am and we bused for a few hours toward Granada before stopping off for lunch. After about an hour long break, we all piled back on the bus for another two hours or so before we finally arrived at the Granada bus station. Everyone was excited and super nervous to finally meet our host parents. The directors definitely played this up and made a big show of saying how they would make us all stay on the bus and call our names one by one to meet our families. Again, lucky for me, my roommate and I were called first to meet our host mom. I wasn't sure which one she was at first. I had seen one picture of her on the study abroad site, but I don't think she knew what we would look like. There was a crowd of families spread loosely around the doors of the bus and no one had approached us at first. One of the women looked familiar, so I walked up and said hi and asked if she was looking for us.
By then, it was all adrenalin and I was just hoping that I wouldn't say anything offensive. Of course, I started off by referring her to with the tú form which is the informal way you refer to friends, not the respectful way you refer to new host moms. Oops. She didn't seem to perturbed by it; but I have tried to use the correct form from then on.
We collect our things and then started the walk out our house. We weaved around a bit trying to catch the shade were we could because it was upwards of around 90 degrees and with a backpack purse and luggage in tow we were toasty to say the least. It wasn't a long walk and there was even an elevator when we got there. Simple pleasures.
Our host mom led us in and had us drop our stuff in our room that Jenni and I would share. She then sat us down briefly and explained emphatically that she was a very good cook and we were lucky to have her for this reason. Marion (that is her name) is good natured and helpful but boy does she take her cooking seriously. And even though she assured us that we should just tell her if we don't like something she makes, I am still vaguely terrified to do so.
After those brief house rules, she said that she was exhausted from her trip to the the beach that morning and was going to take a nap for a few hours, leaving Jenni and I to put away our things and relax. She explained that she would fill us in on all the other important things later. So, we settled in and got to unpacking. And if there is one thing that I do get a strange amount of enjoyment from, it is unpacking and organizing. It was also nice to finally not live out of a suit case after traveling four three days between two hotels. With everything hung up and packed away, I could breathe a little easier.
And so I don't have to paint you a verbal picture, here are two pictures of the room. One from my bed and another from the other side of the room.
There is plenty of space for our clothing and electronics and what have you, and we have little shelves by our bed, too. By far the weirdest thing are the metal blinds that we lower during the day to keep the sun out and the house cool because we don't have air conditioning. While they are practical and I am thankful that they keep the house cool, I sometimes feel like I am seeking refuge from some sort of alien invasion, but I digress.
The rest of the first day was very relaxed (as is the Spanish way, I am starting to gather) and we just waited for dinner time to come around. After dinner our señora walked us to Plaza de Isabella la Católica where we would be meeting our group before our placement test the next day. The plaza as well as the surrounding area was packed, even though it was Sunday and around 9 pm. There were tons of people out walking, shopping, and eating dinner, and everyone was incredibly fashionable.
Our señora took good care of us and repeated told us about all of the turns and street names to make sure we wouldn't get lost when we had to walk there and back alone the next day (She was unsuccessful but that is a story for another post).
We returned to our homestay and really just relaxed some more for the rest of the day in preparation for the action pack Monday we had waiting for us.
I suppose I have sufficiently blabbed enough for one post. If you want to hear about my first full day in Granada check out the next post!
Thank you to the Helen Barr Rudin Grant for making this blog and my adventures abroad possible*