the last days :(
03/02/2012 12 °C
Sadly, as I sit here typing this blog I am at my kitchen table in New Jersey. Next to/around me are Sun Chips, a phone charger plugged directly into the wall, and a bathroom whose toilet doesn't flush with the button on the top. It's all so familiar, but now so weird! It does feel so good to be comfortable and rested at home though, and around people that love me!!
This last week in Spain has been another great one, although shortened! Sunday started out in Barcelona and ended in Granada, as you know, so I'll start my week description with Monday. Monday we headed to school as we would any other day, but in my language class all we did was review for the exam that was scheduled for Tuesday. We took our time reviewing and having conversations, since it would be the last day we were doing much together, and I was actually talking with my profesora in actual sentences! This past week I really think I got over the next level of speaking; with my host family I was having actual conversations, using new vocab that I've learned this month and using the different grammatical tenses. It feels so good to be at my highest skill level of speaking of my life, and only after a month of getting back into it! Even when I was taking Spanish in school (12 consecutive years), I wasn't as good as I am now. Goes to show how much influence living in another country can have on helping one learn the language so quickly!! Anyway, after the first class we were done because we only had the second class to complete an evaluation, which I did at home. From there we headed home for lunch, but after that I met up with a few of the girls for coffe, tea, and/or obviously some dessert. I've wanted to get some kind of coffe beverage since I feel like people envision Europe to have the most quaint little cafe's with the best coffe products, so I went ahead and ordered this chocolate coffe concoction since I really am not a fan of coffe itself!
it. was. FABULOUS.
We hung out there for a bit and then I headed home to be back in time for dinner! The rest of the night was mostly just hanging out. I studied for my language exam on and off the whole afternoon/night and by 11 pm I finished up and was in bed by midnight.
Tuesday was the exam, it went pretty well I thought. After that we were done for the day because we didn't have our history/culture class again. A few of us had collected money from everyone to buy the program director and her helper (Inma) and the Teacher's Assistant presents. We printed out group pictures for the 2 women and signed the border surrounding the picture, and for the 3 of them we got them flowers. After we had those gifts worked out, a few of us got churros y chocolate. Can you tell I tried to squeeze in as many wonderful Spanish goodies as I could in the last few days?? No regrets!!! After churros I headed back home for the lunch that I tried to eat, but just (obviously) wasn't too hungry for! From there we hung out for a little while, and then by 6:45 we were headed out the door with 2 of our host moms for the "last supper" dinner/flamenco show event!
here are the 3 sisters that served as our host moms. From left to right: Rosario, Isabel, and Ana. Rosario didn't come because we could only invite 1 person per student, and the 2 more main sisters I guess decided that they would go because they really do a lot more than Rosario does. I still felt really bad though that she had to miss out on the fun!!
From there we caught a cab to head up to the mountain area, Albyzin, to start the night!
Doria and Inma
making of paella!
overall it was a really great night, full of good spirits and flamenco fun!!
After that, most of us went out to a couple of tapas bars just to celebrate our last night in Granada.
On Wednesday, we went over the test in our language class. I got a 91 on the test and a 97% for the class! In my history/culture class we talked about our trip for a little while, discussed our plans for leaving the next day, and then had our 2nd/last quiz. That night I got an email from Doris that said I have an A in the class. That means 7 credits of A's, hellloooo GPA booster!!
this is the usual view I have of where I sit in the class, just to give a good visual!
After we had class, I headed back home. Most of the kids in the program, including my roommate, are in the other language class, and they waited around until 1:00 to get their grades in their class, so that's why I headed back by myself. I was also really starting to not feel well, so I wanted to get back home as soon as I could to rest a lot. by 2:00 it was time for our last lunch, which was more bitter than sweet. We actually had full conversations which was great, and the fish part of the lunch was deliiicious as usual! I'm definitely going to miss that! After lunch I packed up pretty much everything, then me and my roommate siesta'd (napped) for 3 hours! And I was still tired after that :/ From there I took a shower and got ready for the long night/day ahead of me, and then packed away the rest of my clothes/toiletries/etc. By that time it was dinner, and wouldn't you know it, we had HAM PIZZA as our very last meal in Spain. HAM PIZZA. we just couldn't escape it!! I was cracking up the entire time though; it just had to happen!
here's what a normal meal of ham pizza would look like. btw - those broccoli (as well as most green vegetable) were prepared in a significant amount of vinegar, which is something very unusual to me and Julia. I've been so desperate for vegetables this trip that I've gotten used to it enough to eat them when available, but Julia always leaves hers.
From there, we set out to start our day. Yes, our DAY. The plan was to meet up on Thursday morning at 3 am to drive the 5-6 hours to Madrid for our 12:15 flight. Because it was sooo early in the morning, we all agreed to just not go to sleep that night. So after dinner at about 9 pm, we headed to our first destination, which was a tapas bar.
Me and Meghan and our final glasses of wonderful Spanish wine. Don't know why I was smiling - I certainly wasn't happy about it!
After hanging around for about an hour, we headed to Cafe Futbol to get our last chocolatey desserts. We all ordered some combination of chocolate ice creams, and a few of us split a plate of churros y chocolate. At one point, I regarded, "Go big or go home!" about our excessive dessert consumption. From there my friend joked, "Or just go home big!". That phrase summed up the trip all too well!!! (Although on that note, upon coming home yesterday I saw that I had somehow only gained 2 pounds the whole month in Spain! I guess those efforts to eat healthy when I could paid off!) We spent time there until about 1:30, when we were all done eating. We all went back to our homes to hang out until it was time to leave; me and Julia just killed time on the internet until 2:30, which was departure time! Our 2 main host moms "saw us off" and from there me and Julia QUITE painstakingly shoved/pulled/dragged our luggage down the street to the meeting point where the bus picked us up.
We spent the next 5 hours trying to sleep in our cramped little seats, completely exhausted from the day/night. I slept maybe an hour total. Once we got to the airport, we did the whole suitcase checking and customs processes, then hung out around the restaurants and shops until it was time to head to our gate.
I specifically wore my I <3 New York socks to get me excited to go home
Eventually, it was time to get on the plane. It worked out so well - there was barely anyone on the plane so we were all able to spread out and sit where ever we wanted! I sat with Katie and Meghan in a 4 person row, and a lot of people took their own 2 seat rows.
The flight was very longgg and I tried to sleep, but managed maybe an hour or 2 the entire flight. After getting the luggage and going through customs, my dad was peeking his head out from the fence where all the parents were lined up to get their kids.. it was a great moment to have my first glimpse of home!!!
Last night I hung out for a little while, but was in bed and asleep before 9 pm! I figured out that since waking up for school at 7 am on wednesday and being awake until 3 am Spain time on "Thursday," I had been awake for 44 hours straight, with only a few small naps!! So needless to say last night's sleep was welcomed and refreshing! This weekend I'm taking it easy at home and then it's off to UD Sunday afternoon to start my Spring semester!! My how the time just flies!!!