So some of you may know that I had an interesting time getting to Spain. I was getting really nervous and did not know if I wanted to do this. After all the debating and keeping my parents up all night, I am extremely glad that I came. I want to say thanks to all the people that gave me support of coming over here. It helped me with my decision. Ok... so first of all this is kind of difficult to write because I am slowly thinking in Spanish so writing is English is getting more and more difficult. I got here, Segovia, on Friday afternoon through Portland and Frankfurt. I was able to meet my host family which I am very happy with. My host mom's name is Rosie and she is 36. She works at the supermarket and has been very nice and helpful. My host dad's name is Jesus and he is 42 (I'm pretty sure). He works in Madrid in elevator maintanence during the week and is at home during the weekends. I have two host brothers Alex, 5 and Daniel, 3. They are super cute and they are pictures of them in the albums. Sometimes I feel like a mother because I am taking so many pictures of them. I am living in an apartment building which is typical in Spain. The only single houses that are here are in the boonies and I have not seen one yet. I have my own room with bunkbeds and a desk. I am able to look out the window to the street while I do the little work I have for school. Yesterday, my host family received another exchange student from France. Her name is Delfi (I'm not quite sure how to spell it) and she is going to be here for 2 weeks. She knows a little Spanish and some English. It will be nice to have another student around.
The day after I arrived, I had orientation at the center. My host grandma walked me to class and the walk is beautiful. There is so much history here it is rediculous. The main viewpoint is the aqueduct which is much larger than I had expected. It can also be seen in the album. So after orientation, we had a tour around the city of "useful" places such as discotecques, pharmacies and chocolate stores. After the tour my host mom picked me up and walked me back home where we had lunch. (Side note - the eating schedule is much different here. Breakfast is small, I make a bowl of corn flakes and a cup of orange juice. Lunch is eaten around 2 and is a sit down meal for the whole family. This is the start of the "siesta". Lunch is fairly big and after, my family all changes into sweats or pajamas and either sits around the house, watches a movie or takes a nap. I have been taking naps to help with the time change. The "siesta" then ends around 6 or 7 and that is when people start going in the streets again. Dinner is then eaten around 10 or 11). That night we went to the fair which had kiddie rides, food and vendors. It was fun to experience and I was able to meet some host family friends. The next day, Sunday, I went to Catholic church with my host mom. Surprisingly it was about 35-40 minutes which was nice for me. I enjoyed the service a lot, although I couldn't understand it all. After the service, the whole family went to the park where the kids played in the grass and on the playground. I often get pulled into playing games or walking around with them. It is actually very cute because they grab my hand and say "come with me". That night we went back to the fair for the kids because they love it so much. Also, a soccer game was on tv and it was the quarter-finals of Spain vs. Italy. It went into double overtime and a shoot-out and eventually Spain won. I sat up with my host dad and watched it with him. He is really into sports and soccer. We also watched Formula 1 which is more interesting for me than NASCAR. So he was explaining the players and the strategy of the soccer game to me which I thought was really cool. So by the time it ended it was around 12 or 1 in the morning so I went to bed which wasn't too successful because people were driving around and yelling and honking because Spain won. Today was my first day of school and I took the bus. It is really safe here but because it is so hot it is easier for me to take the bus than walk for 45 min. Somedays I might walk in the morning and take the bus back, who knows. We will see how classes turn out. Tomorrow I don't have class because it is a holiday in this part of the country. It is the Feast of Saint John the Baptist. I am not sure if or what we do but we don't have class so that is nice.
It was really hard at first getting used to Spanish being spoken at all times. When people talk, I expect English first not Spanish. My understanding has increased immensely over the past couple days and it has been easier to get around. The first day I felt that I said "si" about 100 times and thats about it. Now I am able to communicate better with my family and have a conversation or at least not ask them to repeat everything. So this is it for now. I love you all and keep in touch!!