Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Last night, over a cup of coffee with my friend Blanca, I was absolutely inspired. Blanca said, "Sarah, the world is your classroom! You want to learn spanish? You have a million teachers! Talk with your neighbor, ask your baker how his children are doing, say hello to the fruit-store man."
Yes, of course! What had I been waiting for?
Today, I went to the post-office to pick up the package my mom had sent me from the States (which made my whole week, by the way!), and instead of trying to conceal the fact that I was a foreigner, I struck up a conversation with the man behind me. As soon as he found out I was American, he wanted to tell me everything he could about Spain. I learned a new phrase southerners like to say about their beloved land, "Nunca al norte, Siempre al Sur" (never go north, always go south). It made the 45 minute line at the post office go by a lot quicker...yes 45 minutes...the place is a zoo!
With all these new-found teachers, I'll be bilingual in no time!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I'll give you a few examples. Yesterday Paula, one of my first-graders, came up to me and told me "Yo puedo cantar una cancion en ingles!"... (I can sing a song in english!). She then proceeded to sing me a "Hannah Montana song": or so she said. The lyrics went something like this, "Bahfweojf a;lsdfjf dlfasdln adfalefji dlkcnhmmmm badeebadooo ballyshaaaakaeioefoif". I mean absolute and utter gibberish. I had to hold back my intense desire to laugh, especially when she asked me to translate what the song meant into spanish.
Today, another one of my first graders, Beatriz, told me (in spanish), "Sarah! Donovan went to sleep in his desk and was dreaming of hot girls!!!" I smiled and nodded.
Janire, perhaps the most talkative child I have ever come across yet also the most precious, looks as if she's about to explode if she thinks of something exciting she wants to share with you. She grasps her hands together and her eyes widen as big as saucers. Upon being asked what is so exciting, it's obviously the most exciting of news. Stuff like, "Sarah!!! MIS PRIMOS SE VAN A QUEDAR EN MI CASA ESTE FIN DE SEMANAAA" (Sarah!!! MY COUSIN'S ARE SPENDING THE NIGHT THIS WEEKEND!!!!)
Then there are the kids that don't have to say anything. Luis, for example, frequently likes to take off whatever article of clothing he finds unnecessary (a shirt for example), ties it on his head, and spins around in the back of the classroom as if his two teachers were blind to him.
I often spot Beatriz half dancing/half mouthing song lyrics to herself at her desk. She always ends it with some gesture of surprise, which suggests to me she doesn't truly realize what she's doing.
And then there are the moments that make every "I'm going to go insane moment" worth it. Today Nora would not let me leave without her giving me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. When I got to school this morning, one of my fourth graders Laura jumped out from out of nowhere and gave me a hug. Not to mention, my day is full of joyful shouts of "Hello Sarah!!!" in the hallways.
I love my job, craziness and all :) In fact, I'd say the craziness suits me.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thank goodness I have that experience under my belt to know that this is “normal”. The emotions aren’t near as extreme as they were then, but I have definitely felt a bit of loneliness and “out-of-placeness”. The biggest difference between now and then is that now I have the complete assurance that this place is worth every embarrassing language mishap, feeling of awkwardness, and inability to express myself. How are we ever supposed to grow if we never face challenges like these? Every person has his or her challenge that they know they must face, as scary as it may be. But truly, are we meant to live our comfortable lives without ever taking a risk? That, to me, is a much scarier fate.
Have I felt out of place here? Yes. But then, I remind myself I have also been able to witness a completely different way of life, that I might otherwise never have had the chance to know.
Have I stumbled in many a Spanish conversation? Yes. But, had I not attempted, I would not have gotten the chance to know these beautiful people who don’t share my native language.
I hope I can impart this view of challenges to the children I am teaching this year. Who knows what they will have to teach me, as well. Life is beautiful in Spain, every challenge included. At the end of the day, I rest in the fact that I am never alone, even when it appears so: “Y os aseguro que estaré con vosotros siempre, hasta el fin del mundo”—Jesus.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I don´t know if summing up this past week is even possible, but I will make an attempt. First off, I´m quickly losing all English competency due to the amount of spanish I´ve been using. Getting around Madrid the second go around has been much easier, and I´ve been much more confident than expected (praise God!).
I was lucky enough this time to be picked up at the airport by my Spanish friend Dani, who has helped me get settled in to my piso by speaking with my landlord on his cell phone when I didn´t have one. He also helped me buy my own cell phone, get computer adapters for my american plugs, and find out which internet would be best for me (still trying to figure out...). Basically, getting settled in has been a breeze, and all the while I´ve had a friend to chat in Spanish with, which makes my heart happy.
My piso rules (pics coming soon), and I live with 2 english girls who are still in Uni. I´m a metro ride away from anywhere I´d want to be in the city. I absolutely can´t believe I get to be back here in Madrid, and I´m so thankful!
Today, Rebecca and I went to church across town and we got presented and everything! I´m hoping to jump right in and make friends so that I can have a community (Satt--thanks for teaching me how impt. that is!) It was an amazing service, and it was completely refreshing to be with Spaniards who love Jesus!!
All in all, moving back here has been a long time coming, and I have complete assurance I´m exactly where God wants me. That in itself is an incredible feeling. I´m falling back in love with Madrid very quickly! I can´t wait, however, to be able to talk on skype and share this with the ones I love back home! I´m thinking of everyone all time!
un beso enorme de España!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Only a few more errands to do, last goodbyes to say, and american meals to eat before I'm off!
Next post, I'll be there! WOOHOOOOOO!!!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I asked for a piso.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I took this picture the day I left for Madrid in August 2007.
If I were to take a picture right now, I think my face would be different.
My face in the picture reflects my utter inexperience with Spain and my excitement to get to know it. I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into.
In fact, knowing what you're getting yourself into can often cause more anxiety.
I'm a week away from taking another departure picture and this time, I have no place to live. I have scattered friends, and a meager savings. This should be cause for stress, right?
Believe it or not, though, I'm not stressing. It's times like these I simply cannot lean on myself or my own strength. Often times in life, we feel like we can get along with the "I'll do it" mentality. Well, this one I really can't do.
I have to trust the One who called me over there. It would be silly of Him to not give me a place to rest my head. That's just nonsense.
So, what will my face look like on departure day?
Trusting. Whatever that looks like.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" --Isaiah 30:21
As believers, we often ask the question, "Is this the path God wants me to take?" We get caught up in what may or may not be 'God's will,' often overcomplicating something God intended to be simple. This verse states it perfectly: whether you go to the right or to the left God will be behind us, and with us. One of the most godly women I know told me once that God cares less about what we do and more about how we glorify Him while doing it.
All that said, I find myself at the beginning of a new path yet again. Thinking back over the years, I've tried to pinpoint how I even arrived here. I think it began somewhere with a simple love for spanish and the culture in high school. That experience led me to pursue a Spanish minor at Baylor, which exposed me to the study abroad program in Madrid. Living in Madrid taught me more life lessons than I can count and it stretched me beyond belief. I found living outside of one's comfort zone can be painful, but becomes well worth it when you hear the words, "Hablas bien!" Many times I decided "I can't live here," which came from a desire to live a comfortable life, where I actually speak the language. But I quickly remember that something in my soul ignites every time I hear or speak spanish, and ignoring it would be ignoring a part of myself.
So, here I am, a month away from moving back to Madrid, Spain. I'm waiting on a visa, praying for roommates and a church to settle in, and packing up my things. Many times I can't believe that God has directed me here; I am incredibly thankful. And when I lose courage I listen to His words, "This is the way; walk in it."