martes, 17 de noviembre de 2009

Bodega and Halloween

November 10th

The last 15 days have given me a great opportunity to see the cultural aspects of Spain. Thursday through Saturday evening during the Halloween weekend my friends and I had the opportunity to see how the holiday was celebrated here in Spain. Many of the natives of Salamanca didn´t dress up but the ones who did dress in typical scary outfits. Thursday and Friday I was a pirate. Saturday my friend was out of town so I dressed in her Rabbit costume for a competition.

I went on a trip to nearby bodegas (wineries) in Zamora and Torro. It was amazing! The group of 50 students got to test several wines. What I didn´t realize was that in order to fully test wine you must use three of your five sences. Now I´m an expert.

We also went on a tour through Zamora and viewed a Museo Castellano. We stopped by a castle and got to explore it for a bit.

To end the trip we ate in a cave. The served us churrizo, ribs, Spanish bacon and all the sides. We ended with shots (non-alcoholic of course) and coffee. Overall a good day.

October 31st

Well, it has been a month in Spain. I´m proud to say that I have lived on another content for a month. I´ve learned to make Tortilla Española, Comida Exrameña, Pasta de Sepia (Squid) among many others, Comida Asturiana, bla bla bla. Paella is very good, to all of those who asked. I can´t wait to get back home and share this culture with everyone.

Chorizo, huevo frito, pasta con tomate frito

Paella, baked eggplant, chicken breast with spinach and blue cheese and nuts

"Raquetas" or "ochos" best postre ever

Sopa Maravillosa with dumplings

I can comprehend almost everything in movies now. Its almost as though one day the language switched from “I´m kind of following…” to fluidity. Thank goodness.
Being a foreigner for the first time was hard!!! I´m so glad I got this experience. And I still have two months to go :)

Halloween comments in the next blog
October 24th

Alex brought me to couple historical places in Salamanca. Here are a few pictures I have taken in the past we weeks.

This is famous to the University of Salamanca. There is a specific skull that has a frog sitting on top of it. Students who haven´t studies for exams look for it before the test and they have good luck! I´m lucky I pass it every day :)

La Plaza Mayor (Everything seems to lead to this center piece of Salamanca)

View outside the apartment

Alex and I outside of our apartment
October 10th

Classes have started and I realize that most students came here with a group from their country. No one else came from Eastern Illinois University so for the first time in my life I feel 100% independent.

Shopping is a good way to practice Spanish. I get out the dictionary beforehand and make my list. So far Vicente has had me try his very, very healthy meals. Many of them consist of oats, fish, raw vegitable salad, lentils, and multigrain bread. I don´t know how, but these concoctions are very good.
October 3rd

So change of plan.

I have decided to move into an apartment that is about 5 minutes from my first class. The host family was great but was located on the other side of Salamanca (25 minutes from... everything). Also, one of my main interests is learning to cook Spanish food. In this new place I will be living with a British girl, Alex, who lived in Spain since she was 3. Our plan is to cook together! I will also live with the dueño, Vicente, who is about... well I don´t know how old he is so I wont even guess but he is very friendly and I feel much more welcome here. It seems as though I will get more practice too!

My new, BIGGER, room. And I have internet and a desk, whereas before I had neither.
October 1st
The trip was awesome!I landed in the Netherlands after a 7 hour plan ride. Amsterdam had a huge airport full of anything tuorists would want from Europe. I met an American who had just finished traveling through Europe who gave me some tips on Spain.

Yeah it is as small as it looks.

After another 2 and a half hour plane ride and 30 hours without sleep I arrived at my host family´s house around 10:45 pm (22:45 which makes no sense to me as of now). I unpacked my lap top and tooth brush thinking it was bed time. My host mom came in and asked if I was ready for dinner. Something I need to get used to: "La cena", dinner, is around 10 pm. She fed me salad, chicken and the most amazing bread and cheese I could imagine.

The view of our court yard.

lunes, 16 de noviembre de 2009

Septemer 31st 2009

This morning I woke up not able to fully understand what would happen to me throughout the next 3 months. How is my life going to change? Will I miss home (which has never happend before)? And will the culture shock have a negative or possitive effect on me?

¡Vamos a ver!