Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hola Todas! Estoy Vivo

I just got a facebook message from Lauren saying respond "alive" so I know you're ok! I have been so busy the past couple weeks and time seems to be flying by! The days seem so long and the weeks go by so quickly.

I have class four days a week and all my classes are in the afternoon. In the mornings we are on our own for breakfast so I usually make myself some coffee or tea and museli cereal or toast. Then I am trying to get into the habit of running in the mornings before class. Today I ran an hour and a half on the beach and it was a little overcast so no one was out there! It was soo nice and I found a bunch of sea glass! Then my room mate and I did yoga on our roof top terrace which was just amazing! I have plenty of time to shower and shop or walk around town and explore before lunch. Our lunch is much later than at home. We usually eat lunch around 2:30pm. From about 2pm till 5pm is the so called siesta. All the stores close and everyone goes home for lunch but no one really naps it is more about relaxing and spending time with your family.

After lunch I have class Monday through Thursday. On Thursdays I have a class before and after lunch so my madre here packs me a bocadilla (sandwich) and usually a piece of fruit (the pears are amazing)! Tomorrow we are having spinach empanadas and my friends Nika and Marlena are going to ride our bikes to the beach on our lunch break.

My classes are all at the University of Valencia and they are all an hour and forty five minutes long. In some classes we have a break half way through and we all go to the cafeteria to have a coffee, espresso, or a snack.

After class I usually have a little time to run errands before dinner. We eat really late usually around 8:30 or 9:00 pm. It is not a huge meal at lunch and a small meal at dinner like I had always heard. We have about the same size meals at lunch and dinner usually consisting of a salad, bread, maybe soup, "the main meal", and then usually fruit for dessert.

This Friday we are going to the City of Arts and Sciences. Valencia is famous for this part of town and most people who visit have pictures here because all the buildings are very futuristic looking. We are going to see an Imax movie, visit the museum, and go to the aquarium! I have actually already been there twice. Once because there is a discoteca inside called Mya, that we went to last weekend and was very interesting and fun. The other time was when I got lost biking and ended up there. It is about 40 minutes from my house walking so when I figured out where I was I took a cab home because I was already running late for lunch. Alot of peoples madres here will be very upset if you are late or miss lunch but mine is really sweet and understanding and she saved me a plate when I was really late.

Also this weekend I am going to the Bodies Revealed Exhibit with some friends. I am a little nervous but I have heard it is very cool and I guess it will be good preparation for anatomy lab. On Monday, one of my best friends here, Marlena, is turning 21! I am so excited for her! One of our Spanish friends is having a little party and going to take us to a good bar in town to celebrate!

Next weekend our entire group is going to Barcelona for the weekend! I am really excited because this is one of the places I thought about studying before I decided on Valencia. Also it will be great to get a feel for the city because in March my room mate, Caitlin, and I will be going back to run the Barcelona Marathon! We just officially signed up today after we finished booking our flights to Marrakech in Africa! Caitlin, three of my friends, and I are going to Africa for a weekend in February! I can not believe how close it is to Spain and I am very excited because I have heard such great things from everyone who has been before!

Muchas cosas.. (my teachers always say this - it means more things)

I have gone to a few intercambios (which is when people go to a bar to meet up and practice speaking spanish/english) I have met lots of Spanish people and it is a great way to practice speaking and learn new things about the city. I also signed up through my program for a one on one intercambio and I will hopefully be meeting with him some time next week. He has been busy the past week studying because, like all the other students in Valencia, he has exams. I can't wait to meet him because he told me he knows some cool places in the city we can go and it will be such great practice to talk one on one with a local.

Tonight is the first night I actually stayed in and didn't at least go out to hang out with friends. I think I really needed the rest! Plus I got a lot of travel plans in the works and in the morning Caitlin and I plan to get up early to go to the street market before class and to hopefully pick up some postcards. I received my first letter from my penpal in Texas (a girl in elementary school who is learning how to write letters is corresponding with me while I am in Spain) and it was so exciting to get her letter today!

I miss everyone so much but love it here more than anything and could not possibly be happier. I am surrounded by such a beautiful city and so many wonderful new friends! It is amazing how close we have all become in the past couple weeks. When I was talking to my two friends Lu and Lauren about how I needed to book my flight for the marathon they told me oh yeah we need to book our flights too. I was a little confused and asked then why they were going to Barcelona that weekend and they were like duh to cheer you one and take pictures why else!

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