I have to start this blog out with saying I am having an absolute BLAST in Valladolid!! Yesterday morning, I woke up quite early for school. There is another girl, Jessica, that lives across the hall and her host mom is my host mom's sister. My house is an apartment, but it's quite big and very nice, so I would say it is more like a condo. There are no single houses in Valladolid. There is no space for them, everyone lived in apartment complexes or above stores. Anyway, Jessica and Patience go to my school too which is nice because we can all walk together . So we left around 8 am for classes, but they knew a different route than I did so I just tagged along with them. Well, soon enough, we were completely lost. The streets in Valladolid are not left and right turns, they are windy, small and the names of the streets are on buildings instead of signs, so that was good to eventually find out, haha. Also, the streets are focused around a center point, so they eventually met at the PLaza Mayor (picture above). So, we asked a woman where the university was and apprently there are like 6 small universities! hahaha, so guess what? We followed her in the completely wrong direction! So finally, we asked a man and he pointed us in the right direction, then asked along the way where is was. We definitely looked AMERICAN! haha, so finally we showed up to school about an hour late, but turns out I didn't have class until 10 am!! Our professors were just laughing at us, they said it was normal for the first day! My first day of classes was great, I have Sergio for my cultural and phonetics class and Julia for my conversation class, but that class was huge and they said they were going to divide it. The classrooms at the school are quite small; the biggest one seats about 20.
After class, I went with Erin to get a phone that works in town so that we can talk to eachother. There is a group here from Texas A & M and a couple from SMU studying at the school too! They are all really cool and it's fun having them in class
After class I came back home for lunch. We eat our meals very late; lunch is at 2:30 and dinner is at 9:30 pm! Eating together as a family is very important in the culture here and lunch is the biggest meal of the day. Of course, I got lost on the way home for a little bit, but I found my way :) The food here is very rich, but delicious. For lunch, I had green beans, mushrooms, beef, potatoes (mashed) and manzanas (apples).
After lunch, I took a little nap during the "siesta" which is nap time here. Then at 5 p.m. I met a bunch of people at Plaza Major, the square where all the streets meet and it's basically the middle of downtown. A lot of people had to go to the bank, but Jessica and I didn't so we branched off. We went shopping all afternoon and had an absolute blast!!! There are so many barajas right now (rebates/ sales), apparently it is the season for it. LUCKY ME! Jessica and I had a great time getting to know eachother and we have very similar interests in fashion so shopping was super fun! I bought a skirt, with a black elastic band (very popular here) and you can wear it above or below the waist, a camiseta (tank top) that has a beautiful beaded design, an army green colored jacket with a hood, a 3/4 sleeve blazer that I can definitely dress up or down, and Jessica and I got matching gladiator sandals, made here in Spain only which we loved and they are really pretty! So, yea we went a little crazy with the sales, but I found 4 of the 8 items I was looking for and they are all different than I would find in the states, That was Jessica's and my goal family dinner was at 9:45 and to my surprise, we had hot dogs with cheese in the middle YUMM! After dinner, I did homework and went to bed.
Today, mi mama walked to school with me to make sure that I knew the way. That was very sweet of her and after we walked it, it was much quicker than the route I took the first day and very easy! She also showed me some good resturaunts and bars along the way. Ten minute walk to school at the most Today, I was put into a different conversation class but we had a lot of fun in that one and the professor is super laid back! We started out talking about names and the history of our names, then we had to look at a picture and make up a life story about the person in it. It was really funny and I worked with Amanda, a gril from LaCrosse and she was really coo. I hadn't really had a chance to tlak to her, but I can tell she is a lot of fun! Phoenetics was also fun today with Sergio. Erin is one of the other three in that class with me and today we played hangman and practiced pronuniciation. Here, C's and Z's are like a lisp sound and V's are like B's. vaca= "baca."
After class, I walked home (didn't get lost) and had lunch with my family. After lunch, Jessica and I went to the beach less than three minutes away along the river. It was great, we tanned, napped, and took pictures in the public shower! haha We met three guys from Bulgaria and one actually spoke some English so it was fun talking with them. They are here on vacation for a couple months. They kept saying they were really impressed with my Spanish which is another relief and Jessica, although a beginner, is picking up Spanish quickly too! I was so worried people would not understand me but now all I want to do is speak Spanish!! I love the language and the flow of it here in Spain.
Today, I also started planning trips on the weekend with the people from Wisconsin. The Texas groups already had someone plan out some trips for them. But anyway, we are planning on starting close and traveling to Santander this weekend. It's on the northern coast of Spain not too far by bus and they have a beautiful beaches! Part of the Texas group will be here too, so that will be fun! We have a three-day weekend August 4-7, so I suggested Grenanda and everyone seems excited about that! YESSS! I am so excited to go there; it has a really cool Arab influence! it is in the south of the country, we would need to fly so we have to book that one right away. I think the other weekends are still in the air... so we will see what the group plans. I would like to go to Valencia and Barcelona also.
That is that latest, it's about 9:12 here so we are eating dinner soon. Hasta Luego!