Monday, August 27, 2007

que guay...

Well, Madrid is even better than I could have ever asked for. I have an amazingly awesome roommate Cheryl who makes me laugh VERY hard...she's from Boston so I love her accent jaja. She has done a Spanish exchange program for three years in high school so she has friends from a pueblo called Villalba, about thirty minutes from here.

Well, on Saturday night we went to Villalba which is SUCH a cute town and her friend Alejandra picked us up en su coche. We went to Alejandra's house which had her dog Blanca, who was approximately the same size of the dog dragon in The Neverending Story. We ate dinner really early (about 8:30) and then went down to the bar to try and watch the RealMadrid/Atleti Madrid(HUGE DEAL) game. There was no space for us so we met Alejandra's brother and friends and then went on to McDonalds for un helado (ice cream). I had a McFlurry...mmmm sabe rico. After that we met up with Marisa, another friend of Cheryl's, and we went to her friend Chemi's house. It was really exciting for Cheryl because she hadn't seen half of the people in about two years! They were all VERY happy to see her, and of course I got to kiss all of them too since that's just what you do when you meet friends of a friend. I love this culture.

Later we went to a fiesta in the pueblo which was sweet...and then we went to a club and danced for a bit with Alejandra's friend Moi (as in Moises, as in the Bible)... Needless to say it was by far the BEST NIGHT yet...and there are SO many more to come :) I love this place. The people are incredible. More later...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hola de espana!

Hola a todos desde Espana!

I arrived safely here yesterday morning and am already falling in love with Madrid. Besides some hecticness at the airport (I missed my connecting flight to Madrid, so arrived about 4 hours later than expected) I had safe travels. My only complaint is that I haven't gotten my baggage yet because it missed the flight too. It should come today...espero que si.

I can already tell that I am going to learn SO much spanish and really improve over the next four months. I already feel more comfortable speaking and it's only the second day. I actually can understand the Madrid accent very well. I've also learned if you don't use the lisp, (grathias) they won't understand you as well. Looks like I'm coming back with a spanish lisp! hahah I mean jajajajaja. Another interesting note about the accent is they also kind of do a "shh" with the "s", for instance gracias is commonly pronounced grathiash. Muy interesante.

I LOVE my spanish family!!! They are awesome! My mom's name is Pilar and my dad's name is Jesus. That's right, I live with Jesus. I have two "hermanas"...the 12 year old who is freakin cool is named Maria and the 17 year old is Andrea. I haven't gotten to spend as much time with Andrea yet but I'm excited to get to know her. I also have two roommates! They are awesome and I love having them as a source of comfort. One is named Cheryl, from Boston, and the other is Teal from Montana.

Cheryl, Teal, and I went exploring Madrid yesterday. We walked down to the Plaza Mayor (about 15 minutes of a walk), and then to the city center Puerta del Sol. Madrid's architecture is absolutely beautiful. So euro. We then went for tapas and ate croquetas de jamon y tortilla espanola. It was freakin delicious. We also drank some wine from the region :) Muy delicioso. After that we proceeded to the Palacio Real which is extremely close to our piso (about five minutes of a walk) but somehow got lost on the way home. No worries though, we found it.

So that whole "siesta" thing is not a rumor. It actually exists and I couldn't be happier about it. Shops close from like they can go home and nap. People usually eat tapas at like 6 or 7 and then last night we ate dinner at 10:15. It's pretty freakin awesome. Sooo anyway I have a million more things to say but I will update later. Love you guys!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

asi empieza la aventura...

It's tomorrow!!! I get on the plane tomorrow! My adventure is finally here :) My last day at Starbucks was yesterday... Praise God!

Some prayer requests:
1)Safe travels
2) A good living situation
3) That I find other believers to walk with :)

I'm learning that community is extremely important in our walk with God...I would love to have at least one other person to share my heart with for the next four months. At least for that glimpse of encouragement in a predominantly agnostic culture.

A thought: I might be writing in Spanish a bit on the blog. But have no fear non-spanish speakers! I believe you can do "google translate" and it does a pretty good job at translating passages.

Also, I have just discovered/fell in love with Skype. Free internet to internet calls! My skype name is smillermadrid if any of you have skype and would like to talk to me!

Besos para todos,

Sunday, August 5, 2007

mi casa nueva

When I was in LA this summer, I received my housing assignment for Spain. I was extremely excited considering this was my first choice for places to live. I will tell you about it:

My "mom's" name is Pilar Sierra and she has a husband in the military who travels a lot, as well as two daughters. She got rave reviews on being a great cook and a "motherly" type. I'm kind of hoping she doesn't speak much English just for immersion purposes. Any prayers on my family situation going well would be greatly appreciated.

Now for the location: I will be about four blocks from the Palacio Real. That means Royal Palace. Holla. My "piso" (apartment) is on the 6th floor and has a "grand terrace". I am a metro ride...or a long walk... away from the most bustling places in the city. My piso is about a thirty minute commute to my University.

I will update everyone once I actually live there, but this is what I know so far! Only two more weeks!

P.S. I was very encouraged the other day because I was able to hold a twenty minute conversation in Spanish with a man I met at the Spanish Consulate. He was from Barcelona (which he pronounced Barthaylona) and was in the US doing Cancer research. Praise Jesus! I'll be able to communicate!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

a blog? really?

Hello family and friends!

As most (if not all) of you know, I will be in Madrid this fall for Study Abroad. "Excited" is an extreme understatement for how I'm feeling right now. I'm on the plane in twenty days, but who's counting?

So, anyway, I decided to do this whole "blog" thing for a few different reasons.

a) It's way easier to update than if I were to simply mass email every week.
b) If you frankly don't care about what I'm doing in Spain, you don't have to read about it!
c) It's cuter than email.

I figure this is a way I can feel connected to you guys, as well as you to me while we are an ocean apart! So, happy reading...