{ A Spanglish Kind of Life -Study Abroad June 2013 }

May 27th-June 28

It's been about a week since I landed in Spain. All of the constant traveling has kept me from posting daily about my adventures but because I am finally settled in my home in Seville, I have found time during siesta (Nap time) to catch up! So I guess I will start with this.

I'm studying Spanish, In Spain for a full month. I hardly speak any Spanish (The word hardly is a horrible way to describe that i actually know nothing) but I have an extreme desire to learn as much as possible within the next few months. I will be serving a mission in Buenos Aires Argentina in three months. This opportunity to study abroad before my mission is absolutely amazing! It will definitely be a trip to remember and hopefully I'll learn a thing or two!

May 27th

Today I flew solo to the JFK airport early in the afternoon. This felt like the longest day in my entire life! There is an eight hour difference from Utah and Spain so I was arriving in the morning of the next day! The 27th slowly turned into the morning of the 28th as a fellow student and I landed in Madrid. We were immediately greeted by our director and joined in getting a bus ride with the other students to our Hostel. Madrid is magnificent. Although I've never been to New York City, the other students said that Madrid is a lot like it. We arrived at our Hostal Louis XV and got settled. The place was super small but it was alright for our short stay. I mean, we only heard strange noises and knocks at our door one night, all had to share the same mirror and jumped over suitcases and beds to get to things... no big deal. One great thing was the view from our balcony that barely fit one person. I loved being able to see the whole city. I was able to contact friends and family then to let them know that I had arrived. After putting our stuff away we took a little tour of the city around us and got a bite to eat at Museo de Jamon. Spaniards love their pig! Pork loin, Chorizo, sliced ham, smoked ham.. you name it and coming from a not so fond of ham person... It was so good! 

To finish the night.. as if we weren't already ready to sleep for hours on end, we got to go to the España Baila Flamenco performance.  Flamenco looks so tiring. These people had the best bodies I had ever seen, you have to be so fit to be constantly moving and manuvouring the castanettes at the same time! I was so impressed. But I think we all watched half of the performance and because we had been up for a good 24 hours prior to it, we could hardly keep our eyes open. It was time for an early sleep that night! 

May 29th

Today we headed to the Royal Palace. Everything around us was in walking distance so that made all of our visits easy. But today our feet were ready to fall off. The cobblestone does some work to the feet!  The Palace was incredible! I have been to many palace's in Europe and this by far has been the most extravagant one to date. I wish that I could have taken pictures of the beautiful ornamentations. After the palace we took an afternoon trip to Segovia. This town is said to be the sister city of Rome. I was so excited to see new places! We rode the bus for about an hour in order to get there. 

May 30th
Museum Day
I love museums but today was a bit excessive. We went to three different art museums! I saw some very famous works of art but the feet were just killin!! In the end it was totally worth it. At this time we were all still recovering from jet lag so at the last museum a couple of us just went and slept in the grass.  We ate dinner at a buffet then went for Churros and Chocolate. This was one of my favorites! They literally give you a cup full of chocolate and you just dip the churro in and enjoy! Yum! Afterwards Hayley Amanda and I went out for a night on the town! We went club hopping and bar hopping finding the best parties. It was hilarious because we were constantly speaking spanglish to these natives and it was so fun to try to figure out what they were saying. It was frustrating when they couldn't understand us! We met a group of people that we hung out with and it was so much fun. This was our last night in Madrid. 

May 31st y June 1st
James Greg and I got up really early and took a subway to see the Madrid temple. This was such a neat experience. Although I was running on an hour of sleep, it was worth it. We ate breakfast at the same buffet place as the night before then we were forced to carry our luggage down eight flights of stairs because the elevator was broken. By the way elevators in Spain are about three times as small as in America. We took a couple taxi's to the train station and caught an hour and a half ride to our next destination.. Córdoba. 

Our hostel in Cordoba was so cute! It had a nice courtyard and a cute little bar. The rooms were even more small than the last but we made it work! I really enjoyed the feel of this place. Cordoba is a very colorful city with very vibrant people and cute shops and restaurants. We spent two days here exploring museums, churches, attending the Feria and trying lots of new foods!

June 2nd 
Travel day to Seville. Finally arriving in our ending spot! we were driven to our host family's house. I love my familiy the Gonzales'. A great mom, and two daughters. The first day was so very frustrating because I knew absolutely no (there we go, that's more accurate) Spanish. I few words came to mind but I could not hold a conversation. I wanted to just go home right then and there because I felt so stupid, overwhelmed and frustrated. We were showed how to get to school from Greg our director and then we went home for the family dinner and soon after headed to bed. 

June 3rd
First day of school! The amount of nerves that I had this day was crazy! I had no idea what to expect and I literally thought that I would be staring at my teacher blankly in the face for every question. I was so surprised though! I took an entrance test which was worthless because of course I'm a beginner.. and then they put me in a level three class!! Ha just kidding. I went to my begining class and was immediately bombarded with questions and I was able to answer them! The class went by so fast because I am constantly trying to listen and learn all that I can. I felt so much better after the first day. I am already learning so much from being in an all spanish class and being around the fluent family. The food that the family makes is so delicious. It's all traditional but so good. One think that I've got a love hate relationship with here is the pan.. all the freaking pan!! I can't take all of the bread and carbs haha. It's literally served with every meal, appetizer, main course and why not just throw it in with the dessert as well. Today we had bread for breakfast, Soup for lunch and Potatoes and empanada's for dessert. Before dinner we had a walking tour around Seville, besides the fact that it was in complete spanish and I understood probably four sentences that were said... It was great! Mind you it's about a thousand degrees out here. In madrid we were suffering from chily weather and here we stand out as American's because for some reason they all still wear pants while we're over in the corner wearing shorts and taking off layers with sweat dripping down our faces. Yummy! After the tour the tour guide treated us to a bottle of water the size of my hand and we gladly took it, drank the sip of water and headed to the super market. The tap water is gross here so all they sell is bottled water.. a liter and a half will cost about 1,50 euro's and it's draws a lot of attention in our arms. Tourist alert. So at the super market we found a 5 liter water jug for ,50 Euros.. I'm just going to carry that around. Jk that's for our little water bottles. 

June 4th
Today was the second day of school and it was again another great learning day! Still frustrated but starting to get the hang of it!

I ended up loving Sevilla. It was so hard to live with a native family and see everyone around me speak amazing Spanish when my Spanish was comprised of Hola's and Adioses! I got by though. I did it and I LOVED IT. I went way out of my comfort zone but, I did it! I liked the challenge. We went out many nights to dance and eat and have fun. I felt safe too! Every day was a new adventure. School, Siesta, Food, Fun! I learned a lot! Studying abroad was an amazing experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything! Now..
Here's a TON of Pictures. ENJOY!

If you made it to the end. Congrats. The END.

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