If time traveling were a real thing, I would have to say it’s quite an experience. My perception of time feels like it’s flyinggg by so fast. I’ve only been in Granada for about 1 week, but it seems that i’ve been here for a lot longer than that. The change in my surroundings didn’t really affect me too much, especially since it’s such a beautiful city. As far as language barriers go, I’m making my way and already am improving in my espanol. It helps that my homestay family only speaks to us in Spanish, so it forces us to speak a lot. We also have a Spanish soap opera we get to watch called La Republica..SO good and SO dramatic.
Life here is veryy different than the U.S. and I’m starting to see how much we really do have in our country. Spain is a very large and busy city, but there’s so many differences than the States. For example, everything in the kitchen and water heaters are ran by propane tanks; there’s no central heating, but lucky for me i have a nice warm furnace riiiight next to my bed :] the only downside is i have no control over it, it seems to have a mind of its own and shuts on and off randomly; at least i’m not freezing. There are no dryers here; clothes dry by the heat of the sun (which isn’t very warm). And our advisor said internet is an extra commodity that most households do not have (thankfully we’re getting it installed this week). Those few simple things alone make me really appreciate what I have back in California. Another thing I’ve noticed is the influence that the U.S. has over here. There’s some shows on the ABC network back home that they show here with Spanish dubbing and the news is filled with celebrities from Hollywood. In Granada, we have a Burger King (which I hear is delicious), a Hagen Daz ice cream place, Dunkin Donuts (best coffee ever), and a “Yogurtlandia” (just like home!). Also, I hear American music just about every where I go; lotsss of Beatles and Lady Gaga fans here, among a few others. Coffee is a little on the expensive side, especially cuz there’s no free refills and all we get is a tiiiiny cup (my usual is a Cafe con Leche). Even with that tiny cup, i get a big burst of energy (i think they somehow put extra caffeine inside).
One of my favorite things about Granada is all the walking we do. That’s mainly how everyone gets from one place to another; the streets have one lane for cars (sometimes only 1 way streets) and at times it can be a lot quicker to walk than sit in traffic, especially when it’s Siesta time. When I first looked at a map to see where I had to walk for school, I thought I was gonna die…come to find out, a 20 minute walk is VERY close. My roomie and I have just about walked the whole city, a few hours each day; we also have been running everyday since we got here. Oh and did I mention the suuuper healthy fresh food Carmen serves us everyday? It’s a nice change from my Christmas break couch potato days. Looking back, I feel like such a bum for complaining about having to drive alll the way down the street to pick up a few things for the fam. On many corners, I hear the sound of an accordion player; it’s actually a pretty sound to hear..kinda wanna learn how to play it. The parks are jam packed with people sitting on benches, reading, napping, or playing with their kids. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find a mini gym outside for people to use. The city is filled with outdoorsy people and I feel like i’m fitting in pretty nicely. My sense of personal space has pretty much been tossed away; the elevator in our apartment is the smallest thing i’ve ever seen, ladies kiss both cheeks as a greeting, and no one apologizes if they bump into you. It doesn’t have to do with being rude, that’s just the way of life over here. I guess my point of this post is to say be thankful for what you have :] things could be worse.
Well, I survived week one in a new country and hardly any solid communication to people back home. Jesus is a great provider and I’ve been leaning on Him more and more in the few days I’ve been here; ultimately, He’s the one who is my companion and source of strength. I feel very blessed to have been sent here and to see the things He has shown me. Well, that’s all I have time to write for now… Hasta luego!