Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 57

This past weekend, I went to Almeria in Andalucia (southern part of Spain). There is a couple down there that are missionaries for CBF, which is the organization that my church belongs to. Their names are Joel and Tiffne and they have 3 children, a 7 year-old daughter and twin 4 year-old sons. I had a blast. I got there on Saturday morning after a 7 hour bus ride (I left Madrid at midnight). I got to see the Mediterrean Sea, and put my feet in it. The mountains are right against the water, and it was so beautiful. I couldn't help buy thinking how great God is that he can create something so amazing. Then, we went to Mi Casa es Tu Casa, which is in Roquetas. It's a place people who come to visit can stay. They have rooms like they would at their house. There is a princess room, a room themed for the movie Cars, a flower room, and a master bedroom. They just got it about 2 weeks ago, so I was the first person to stay there. They took me around Roquetas which has a lot of African immigrants. A thing that I liked was that people that are here without papers aren't called "illegals." They are called "irregulars." On Saturday night, I went with Joel to a meeting between some of the local pastors of Roquetas for a prayer meeting. They tell the group what problems they are having, people that are sick, stuff like that, and it is a time to reflect and pray. It was in the Romanian language, and a guy translated it into Spanish and English. I also tried Romanian food afterwards. I don't exactly know what it was, but I think it was rice and corn wrapped in a cabbage leaf. It looked a little like a Chinese egg roll. It was delicious. Then on Saturday, we went to church. After that, they invited a few people from the church to eat African food. They try to help as many people as they can, so they sometimes pay people to cook food. It was rice, with this chicken and onion sauce that was absolutely delicious. I am going to try to attempt to make it when I get back to the states. I got to ask Joel and Tiffne anything and everything I wanted to, and that was nice. They are from Texas, and I was quite excited that they said y'all. Tiffne also let me go with her and two other ladies from the church to visit a woman that just had a baby. They took her a stroller because she already has a one year-old and can't carry them both by herself. So many people here are poor, but they are so generous. We meet somebody, and they offer you to come to their house and eat with them. Someone that has nothing is willing to give the little they do have to strangers. I think it is custom for the Africans. I was also jealous of Joel and Tiffne's daughter, Megan. They have lived in Spain for almost three years, and Megan goes to public school here in Madrid. She speaks fluent Andalucian Spanish. It is a little hard to understand Andalucian because the s sound is th. So I had a 7 year-old be my translator. It was awesome. She also taught me a couple new words, and I taught her a few jump rope songs. They also had a Halloween party for me Sunday afternoon because I had mentioned before that I was going to miss dressing up and going trick-or-treating. The kids drew me pictures and gave me candy. I felt so welcome the whole time. They invited me to come back whenever I can, and hopefully I will be able to. After I left, it was another 7 hour bus ride, but this time I had to share my seat with someone. And it was freezing when I got back to Madrid! I had gotten used to the warm weather of the south to just go a little north and it be 35 degrees. Awful. I also have two new house mates. An English professor moved in two weeks ago and is leaving this Saturday. His name is Steve and he has the typical English professor and I just always want to give him hugs. He is so cute! And a German lady came this past Saturday and is staying for one more week. Her name is Burga and she speaks no English and only a little Spanish, so we get to play charades a lot. My mom is flying in tomorrow for a week, and I am so excited. We are going to Italy on Saturday for a week. We are visiting Rome, Venice, and Florence, and it is going to be so much fun. I can't wait. I hit the half-way mark a few days ago, I think. Time is flying by so fast and I can't believe it! There is so much I still want to do but won't have time for, but I just keep telling myself that I am coming back. I am taking the equivalent of 16 hours here. Two grammar classes for an hour and a half each Monday through Friday. Education twice a week for three hours. Art twice a week for an hour and a half, and DELE twice a week for an hour and a half. I get done at 5 Monday-Thursday and at 1 on Friday. I don't like DELE. Thanks Carlos, if you're reading this. (Spanish prof at Lander). Art is interesting but I wish we could go more in-depth instead of just learning a little about each artist and a few of his paintings. I am learning so much in my education class. It is a class on how to teach Spanish to foreigners. I am learning so many practical things that I will definitely be able to use if I become a Spanish teacher. Also, this experience is making me think about what I want to do with my life. I have so many options but I still don't know what I should do or where I should go. I guess I will just have to keep trusting that I am following the path that God wants me to go. I think this is long enough for one posting, and I will have to write a lot when I get back from Italy. So, hasta luego. :)

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