This week was full of classes. We’ve gotten more into a routine and it’s been nice to get used to everything, but doing homework is definitely not my favorite thing. Luckily though we don’t get that much and I only have one class a day and no place else I have to be [like a job] so it’s mostly just play time.
MONDAY: We went to class and then did homework for most of the afternoon. Monday nights we have Institute, and our class is taught by Faustino Lopez, who has some church position because they call him Elder Lopez, but we’re not sure what. The class is the history of the LDS church in
TUESDAY: I ran in the morning! I was really happy about it but I didn’t go very far. After I showered my metabolism was still in high gear so I got dressed for the day in not my warmest clothes, thinking it wasn’t that cold outside. Wrong. It started snowing as soon as I left the house but I didn’t have time to go back inside to change. After class we walked around and took some pictures and it was really pretty but I do hate having wet feet. We were considering going into
WEDNESDAY: I woke up feeling a little sick but luckily I didn’t get any worse the rest of the day. I took the 10:30 bus instead of the 10:45 bus that always comes late so I was on time to class. After class we went looking for a library and found one in the
THURSDAY: I went running again, farther than ever, but it caused me to be late to class. This is why: we are only allowed to shower after 10 am. When I go running I definitely have to shower so I wait until 10, but then I can’t catch the 10:30 bus but I can be ready by the 10:45 bus, which would be fine if that bus would ever come on time. But it does not. And when it comes at 10:53 I am definitely late for school. But if Professor Brown ever tries to give me any guff about it I’m just going to tell him that if he’s forcing us to live by the Spanish system of using busses, then I’m going to live by the Spanish system of always being late. Foolproof, yeah? After class we did some homework until we went to the mall again, this time with some other girls, not for ourselves :) Then we went to the Browns to download more homework from Blackboard and also to try to figure out how to get to the Rock of Gibraltar next weekend. We failed on that front and I’m a little disappointed but we might still go if we can figure it out or we might go somewhere else way cool, like Portugal or Valencia or something. When we came home we had these tiny fried fish for dinner and it wasn’t that bad until I realized I was eating the spines and then I got totally grossed out and only ate like five. And they thought I didn’t like it but I just said I wasn’t hungry and really, it was just really hard to pick out the bones, the taste wasn’t that bad. Luckily I had some bread and yogurt and it’s not necessary to eat a big meal at almost 10 pm anyway, so it’s all good. And one meal out of a whole bunch that I haven’t liked is actually pretty good. Homework, bed.
FRIDAY: This was a most excellent Spanish day. Our whole group met to go to the Prado, which is a really important Spanish museum with tons of famous paintings in it. I really enjoyed the Reina Sofia and thought that I might not like the Prado as much because it’s older stuff, more classic, but there are some AWESOME paintings in there. Goya is one of my new favorite artists. We were in the museum for about three hours and started to experience “museum fatigue” so we left, ate our bocadillos [what our madres call the lunches they give us when we’re not going to be home at lunchtime] and found El Parque del Buen Retiro, which is comparable to Central Park in New York City. It was a really nice weatherwise and the park was beautiful. It was a really fun afternoon just wandering around and taking pictures and being outside in the warmth. I removed my coat for one of the first times since we’ve been here and it was splendid. We found this little pond where you can rent boats to paddle around and probably next month we’re going back with a picnic [probably just our bocadillos, haha] and we’re definitely doing that. We went home, Emmaleigh and I so we could shower, and then a few of us went back into
SATURDAY: The day we went to
SUNDAY: We got up and went to church not having showered since Friday evening, which I wasn’t very happy about but we missed shower time all day Saturday so we had no choice. Church was way better than last week, I understood basically everything and I felt edified. Our Relief Society lesson was about the sealing keys being restored in the Kirtland temple and I had a manual so I could kind of follow along. Sunday School was about the precursors to the Restoration and I was SO happy because I had learned everything already in my church history class so the lesson was really easy to follow. I wanted to answer every question but I didn’t really know the words in Spanish so I just listened contentedly. Sacrament Meeting was also really good, I understood the topic of every talk so then it was easy to pick out words that I knew and string them together. The chapel was packed, which was surprising after last week, but it was really cool. Next week Emmaleigh and I want to talk to more people because that’s a really good opportunity to practice Spanish and it will be cool to get to know people in the ward. When we got home the table in the living room was set for lunch and we all ate together, Irene and Paco, who are the parents, Javier and Raquel, who are the kids who live in the house, and Ana, who is their oldest, plus her husband and son, both named Nacho [hahaha]. I was intimidated that we were all together and afraid they were going to want me to talk a lot but actually they didn’t really talk to us at all so it was fine. It was also our first multiple-course meal. Other students have been talking about how they’ve had three course meals and we were surprised because we haven’t at all, but today we sat down and they had sautéed eggplant and potatoes and I ate some and was satisfied and then they brought out this huge seafood dish and gave me SO much fish & clams in some kind of broth. It was really, really good though. I was kind of surprised because I don’t normally eat fish but I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably change that habit. Obviously after we ate that they brought out dessert, the bowl of fruit, and so I ate a banana and went upstairs extremely satisfied.
A note about the food: So far I’ve pretty much enjoyed the food I’ve had. I’ve been lucky; a lot of people have complained a lot. It’s a pretty common conversation topic, “what did you guys have for lunch?” Our host mother, Irene, makes pretty varied meals and generally everything tastes good. What’s funny to me, though, is how they refuse to accept that we eat some things differently in the
This week was really great and I’m really enjoying being here. It’s hard at times just because some things are really different than my normal life but I’m really glad I’m challenging myself in this way and I’m having a blast.