Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Que agradecido. I'm not even sure if I could be more thankful.

With just over a month left, I'm not sure I want to go home! This experience just keeps getting better and better for me. I have been given so many opportunities and I'm so thankful. I couldn't be more thankful. I thank the Lord every day and night for this. I am so happy.

The weekend before last, I went to Paris with a group of friends. We stayed for two nights. We had a really good time. We left our houses at 3:30 a.m. to catch a 6:15 a.m. flight! When we first arrived, we found ourselves in the heart of the city with absolutely no idea where to go. It was so complicated trying to find our hotel but we did it. By the time we got there, we were all completely exhausted. We didn't rest though! We went to Versailles. It was so beautiful. The whole time we were there, we all just kept saying that we couldn't believe that was actually someone's house. Louis XIV had some serious taste.

Dinner that night was amazing.. and expensive. I will always remember Paris as having some of the best food ever (although I didn't like the cheese at all). It was totally worth the ridiculous amount of money spent on meals. The next day we went to Notre Dame. I even got to go to Saint Patrick's day mass there. I am so thankful for this! The inside of Notre Dame is breath-taking. There are not even words to describe it. The stained glass, statues, gates, pillars. It's just all beautiful. Then we went to the Eiffel Tower.. It was so cold out, but we still went to the top. We went back at night to see the lights, which was also awesome. I'm not even sure how to put the Paris trip into words. It  was just a lot of fun with a great group of people.

In front of Notre Dame

This past weekend was the start of Semana Santa. Semana Santa is a holy week in Seville. I guess people from all over the world come to Seville to see it. Currently, Seville is packed with people. Its basically like spring break for lots of people here and most of my friends traveled to other countries. To save money, I got a group of people together just go see the Mediterranean Sea for a few days and relax. We went to Mallaga, which is only about three hours away from Seville. Unfortunately, it was raining and cold most of the time but we were on the coast so that made it all okay. What a wonderful smell the sea has. You'll never understand it until you actually get to smell it. Seriously, its amazing to experience it. I wish everyone I know could do the same.

Anyways, I know this is a terribly boring blog post. I just don't know what to write and I also don't feel like sitting at my computer for extended periods of time. Have a good day! (: 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Finalmente. This is what I have been waiting for.

For various reasons and after giving it a lot of thought, I decided that moving to another home here in Seville was the best option for me. So that is what I have been up to this past week: packing, unpacking, adjusting and getting to know my new family.

It turns out that I made the right decision. I am so happy here. Finally, I have something to write about.

My señora is the most amazing woman. I have known her for less than a week, but already I feel as though I have known her for my entire life. She treats me like I am her own child, and her good friend at the same time. She is welcoming, and makes me feel comfortable. She corrects me when I say something wrong, and laughs with me about my mistakes. My friends and family would appreciate how good she is to me. Before I moved, I was having trouble. I didn't know who to turn to and now, this woman comes into my life.. I feel like I could stay in Spain forever. I was meant to find my way to her home.

She is like a mix of the most influential and caring women in my life.. Such a role model for me. She reminds me of so many of them: My mom, Aunt Cindy, Grandma, Beth Ecker, Momma Tina, Val Haas, Debbie Kulwicki, Annette Kraner (sorry if I forgot about you at the moment).

I look up to my señora because she is independent. She has a sixteen-year-old son, and she works hard. She works (every day), she cooks (her food is delicious), she cleans (her house smells so good), she always looks good. She is educated. I think she does it all.. but that's not all she does. It gets better. She's an artist! What a coincidence. Her paintings are all over her house. Her style is different than mine and get this- she wants to learn from me! Just as I was thinking that I could learn so much from her, she asks me if I want to paint. WOW! As soon as I have time, we're going to paint together. This is like my dream come true. I've been craving this. I can't wait to get creative here. I have an constant urge to express myself. I have so much to put onto a canvas.

I can't  believe my stay is almost half way over. I love this lifestyle and I don't even want to think about going back to my normal routine at home. Qué triste..

Anyways, Its now 9:41pm here, and I'm getting up at 3am to go to Paris in the morning.. My bag isn't going to pack itself!

I can't believe my life is this amazing. I'm so grateful for everything. Life is perfect. Thank you again to everyone who helped me get where I am today.

¡Tengan un buen fin de semana!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Así se Baila el Flamenco.

She who dances Flamenco
Pays no mind to her surroundings
But is acquainted with the space
That she fills so well
She is aware
Approaching her domain
Cold feet and solemn face
Lips pressed tightly
Eyes shut, she's focused

The dancer fears nothing
As she creates a rhythm
All her own
She is the melody
Her devotion is evident
Intricate variations
Captivation of her audience
Her hips, hands and feet
Powerful and passionate
Her soul is the song

She who dances Flamenco
For a moment in time
Loses sight of the world and its noise
As the noise of world ceases to exist
The woman frees my mind

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sick. Las enfermedades me asusta.

I have been hit hard by a sickness that is worse and more painful than any other sickness of my life! Since I haven't been able to go out and experience Sevilla, I will tell you all about my experiences of being sick while abroad! I am only able to write this post because I have just taken my medicine, and I feel a bit more relaxed. Excuse me if this post is a little sloppy and all over the place!

On Wednesday, I started feeling down with a normal cold and a slight fever. I made it through my first half of the day, but I just couldn't go back after lunch. I felt very bad for having to call off my tutoring sessions this week! So disappointing! I layed down for a siesta after lunch and when I woke up, I had such a raging fever. During the night, my symptoms turned flu-like. I have mostly been in bed since Wednesday.

I wanted to just let this run it's course because I figured it was just a virus. I'm not one to go to the doctor just because I have the flu! But after Thursday night I could not wait any longer. The pain was so bad, I knew it was something other than the flu. I was scared. I went to the doctor on Friday (yesterday) morning and they just gave me three prescriptions for the basic flu symptoms and one that I think is a strong acetaminophen. I was initially afraid to go because of the language barrier. I think I wrote my life story to the doctor on a piece of paper before I went. Ha! I wrote all of my symptoms and what was going on, so I didn't leave feeling like I could not get my point across. Luckily, a worker from my school met me there to help translate and tell me specifically what the doctor said. I am so thankful that she was there for me because I would have been clueless from the second I walked into the clinic! ¡Gracias, Virginia!

If you didn't know, Spain has universal healthcare. There are private and public clinics. I believe the one that I went to was private. I am not one to support nationwide coverage, but this experience has opened my eyes up to the fact that if you need medical assistance, you should be able to get it no matter what. I don't know what I would do if I needed medical assistance this bad, and I didn't have insurance! 

Here in Spain, you can get your prescriptions much faster. You don't have to wait for them to be filled. You just go into the pharmacy with your prescription and the doctor hands you what you need. You can find a pharmacy on almost any street and prescriptions are cheaper (close to or cheaper than the price of getting the generic version of a drug at home).

However, it seems like the waiting times were a little longer here, and patient-doctor visits are much faster and less personal. Another difference is that the doctor just sits in his office and sees patient after patient. It doesn't seem like they get much of a break, whereas in America, a nurse calls a patient into a room to take the vitals and get the basic information. Then the doctor goes from room to room to see his patients at his own convenience. Everything is just so different.

My symptoms got worse throughout the day, and I decided to go to the hospital last night. They gave me lots of fluids and took my blood for testing. My blood tests came back fine- no alarmingly elevated white cell counts. They diagnosed me with a gastrointestinal infection and gave me an antibiotic, some other medications, and a strict diet to follow.

It is now Saturday, so I have been resting for three and a half days! Luckily, I had Thursday and Friday off of school, so I only missed one class on Wednesday. Even after a four hour nap, I do not feel rested. I can hardly walk. My stomach is bloated and swollen. I'm not sure how long this will take to heal, but I'm determined to go to class on Monday! My señora is making sure I drink my limonada alcalina (which is a dreadful mix of water, the juice of lemons, biocarbonato[no idea], and salt), take my antibiotics, and eat only what I am allowed by the doctors. No worries!

That's all for now! (: