¡Hola! Or should I say Bonjour?! I’ll stick with Hola, because it turns out I don’t speak a lick of French. Let me back up before I explain how I learned that though…
As of February 14th, 2011, I have officially been living in Spain for a month! And classes finally started last week—putting the “study” part in study abroad… kind of. I am excited about class, though, because deep down (okay, surface level), I am a giant nerd and love having something to fill my time! Mondays and Wednesdays I wake up before the sun to go to History of Spain at 9. Then I have Translation and Practice at 1 pm. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will have my practicums in the mornings where I will teach fifth grade English! Tuesday/ Thursday afternoons I have Methodology of Teaching a Foreign Language and my Professional Teaching Development classes. We visited the elementary school last Thursday to get a feel for how that would run and it got me very excited—all of the teachers seem really excited to have us—offering us coffee and cookies as they took their “breakfast break” in the teachers’ lounge (only in Spain…), and the kiddos paused to grin at us as the chased after the soccer ball at recess. I know I will probably end up liking teaching English a lot, especially since I liked teaching in Spanish so much last semester!
Thursday night an unfortunate event left me missing home, and since there is really no way to sugarcoat this one I’ll just say it: I puked. Now hold on—I hear you all getting ready with your jokes “I remember my first beer, too” my father is already saying, BUT I did not consume any alcohol! No, I merely ate dinner, and twenty minutes afterwards got to know my trashcan on a whole new level. Four times. Now I don’t mean to be gross, but this little detail is important when considering I was leaving my humble abode for Gabby’s NOT so humble abode Paris the next morning at 7:00 am on the dot. To say it in a sentence airport security, airplane bathrooms, and navigating your way through the Paris metro is probably a little bit more fun when you have slept more than four hours the night before and when the noise your stomach makes isn’t being confused for the jet’s of an airplane by the other passengers. But all in all, I got to Paris in one piece, got the two best hugs I’ve had in a month, and had a lot of fun.
For starters, I’m not joking about Gabby’s house. She shares a block with Julia Roberts, need I say more?! Michelle and I were both very grateful to be able to stay with her, not only since it saved us a bunch of money and we had a lot of fun, but Gabby did a great job helping us fulfill of tourist duties. We saw everything (and our feet definitely felt it)! The Notre Dame, The Louvre, The Seine River (?), The Arc de Triomphe, Crème Stands (yes, I did just capitalize that and put it in between two historically beautiful places), Sainte- Chapelle, the Sacre Coeur, an Egyptian protest, and a few other churches and plazas whose names I sadly cannot remember right now.
The place that made everything hit me, though, was the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it; I figured I was way above that typical touristy shock, I wouldn’t need 100 pictures or anything else—one shot and I would be good to go. Well, I was wrong. We were walking along a basic Paris street when all of the sudden-- there it was! And I couldn’t even see it right because my vision was all blurred from all these messy, sloppy tears that had chosen that exact moment to invade my eyes. I guess I realized how amazing study abroad is—I was at the Eiffel Tower with two of my best friends, and I’m only 21 years old. Some people die without seeing things like this and I WAS THERE! Needless to say, I took more than one picture.
That night we made dinner in the fancy kitchen—salad, pasta, bread, cheese, and wine. Sez skyped us, Gabby made crepes with melted dark chocolate, I could hardly keep my eyes open, and Michelle and I fell asleep in a cushy, soft bed—overall, a pretty good day!
Sevilla welcomed me with rain, a language I could at least PARTIALLY understand (trying to buy a Metro ticket in France was humbling… thank God for gestures…), and an odd feeling of something similar to a home, or at least a feeling of belonging. When I walked in the house, Manola smiled up at me from the sofa asking how it had all gone, and when I left the house later Eve and Greg greeted me with big hugs and we went for a walk with umbrellas in hand. But enough of my blabbering, here are some pictures!!
|Norte Dame from the back|
|A wacky woman feeding pigeons and letting them climb all over her as if she were some type of street lamp... nasty.|
|The Seine River|
|This bridge behind the Notre Dame has "locks of love" (not the hair thing....)|
|So we had to join in!-- our lock!|
|One of my favorite paintings|
|Outside the Louvre at night|
|In front of the Arc de Triomphe|
|Sainte- Chapelle (I think?... I don't remember the names, but this stained glass was amazing!)|
|A carousel right across the street from...|
|The beautiful Eiffel Tower!!!|
|Michelle, Gabby, and I looking pretty good!|
|Delicious Dinner! I never realized that I would miss cooking! If you strain your vision you can see past the wine! :)|
|Back in Seville, about to turn down my street, trying to stay dry!|
Happy Valentines Day to all of you! I am so thankful for all of my loved ones, and I think of you all everyday! XOXO!