¡Hola de Espana!

May 19th, 2008 - 6:50am by Rabbit
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Hello Everyone! I safely arrived in Spain after traveling for almost 18 hours. The flights and everything were fine and they showed movies on the plane. I watched American Gangster then took an Ambien and when I woke up we were there.

In Spain its about 20-25 degrees Celsius (about 75F). It rains nearly every day so we always need to have a our rain coat with us. I live about 15 minutes away from the school. I have three other friends which live nearby so we walk to school together. Our apartment is really small. My bed is especially small and is not firm at all! I cannot sleep well at night, good thing we have siesta everyday and are required to take a 3 hour nap.

The first day we arrived (on Friday) was very hectic. We were all tired from the trip and arrived in Valladolid to meet our families at noon. Our host mom is Carmen and is very nice! She owns her own carniceria (butcher shop) and is an incredible cook. Each day she cooks us lunch at 2:30 and feeds us way to much. I'm going to gain at least 20 lbs this trip I think. After lunch, it's pretty much required to have a nap because every store in Spain closes and there is nothing to do. After the nap on Friday, me and Mike (my roommate) explored the city and got lost for about an hour (we weren't given maps yet!). We finally returned and ate supper (supper is served at 9-10). Afterwards we met up with other people and went to the bar.

Our program director (José) brought us to a bar that's a common hangout for Americans. We met lots of people there (including some from Wisconsin) and talked (or tried to) with a bunch of locals. Some locals then showed us around town and showed us what the weekend nightlife was like in Valladolid. We didn't get home until 3:30 which is early for the Spaniards.

On Saturday we had orientation at noon. Our host mom was supposed to take us there but she had to work so we fended for ourselves in the city. Of course, we got lost and made it to orientation at 12:30 and no one was to be seen. We walked back home and luckily our host mom's daughter showed up with her kids and husband to fix some things in the house. After much confusion, we managed to explain our situation to her and she drove us to meet the others for orientation. When we finally met with the others, they gave us a bunch of information about our classes and a map. Finally a map, no more getting lost! When we returned from orientation, we had our typical lunch and nap. Later at night, we again went to the bar and talked with more locals who showed us even more in the city. I returned at early (at 2:00) but some were out until 7:00!

Sunday, we visited a museum. They had lots of very cool sculptures, most of them were of Jesus. Not much else happened on Sunday. I had supper with some friends and went to bed really early (at 10:00) to be refreshed for school the next day.

Today (Monday) was our first day of class. Our professor is really cool! He is quite fluent in English but as he said (English is dead in his classroom) so he only speaks in Spanish to us. Our class is 2 hours long and it went by really fast. Afterwards, the computers were available to us for the first time in the trip (thus why I'm talking now). There are about 10 computers available for our 30+ students and we also share them with about 20+ texans. FYI, typing on a Spanish keyboard is really hard!

A lot happened in these first few days, I'll try to keep you posted on things that happen from here on out. Until then Hasta Luego!

May 23, 2008 - 10:04pm
Elishia Sosa says:

Kev,

So happy to hear that you are exploring Spain... what an experience! Looking forward to seeing lots of photos when you're back. Pinky is leaving for Peru on Monday, so she's also enjoying a Spanish filled summer. We'll all have to get some Taco Bell (barf!) together or go tango dancing when you get back! (Not sure if you recall, but I spent a month in Argentina in 2003.)

Hoping you have lots of fun and that you really do gain that 20 pounds you said they'd put on you... little more meat couldn't hurt with MN winters!

Take care

May 23, 2008 - 11:18pm
Sheila Powers says:

Man Cuz,

Have the time of your life. Sure wish I was a mouse in your pocket. I am sure Aunt Norma told you that Uncle Bill lived there for 3 years. Sheila

May 26, 2008 - 12:08pm
Wanda Gaebel says:

Hey Kevin,

Glad to hear you are having such a good time in Spain. As I continue to clean the beautiful campus of SJU, ( the bathrooms of student dorms being a special treat), I will think of you and all your buddies and wish I was there. I have heard only wonderful things from past students and am sooo thankful that you are able to enjoy such a wonderful experience after all you have been through. And then off to Australia this fall! Our daughter Maria did the study abroad to Australia while she was a junior and continues to say "I'm going back there some day!" She especially enjoyed New Zealand. They were able to watch the film crew taping "The Chronicles of Narnia" while she was there. Hope to see you at Sarah and Dave's wedding. I am trying to help them out with some decorating ideas as poor Debbie is getting so overwhelmed. She may not make it to the wedding from having a nervous breakdown beforehand! You know how excited Deb gets about everything. I enjoy doing it, so it is really a treat for me to be able to help out. Continue to suck up all these wonderful memories and remember you can never take too many pictures! Take care Kevin and I'll think of you often as I have my head in yet another toilet.