Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's dry here.

My roommate Sarina and I woke up incredibly thirsty. Plus, I have dry skin EVERYWHERE. It's a bit of a nuisance.

Last night we were all out late at a Tapas bar, which was awesome. We didn't stay out too late, though, since we were all sleep deprived as it was! I ended up getting about 7 hours of sleep.

Today we had our orientation. Our director, Cristina, her assistant Eero, and a professor, Fausto, all led it. We basically just covered safety, school, families, and general topics. I did learn, however, that talking about menstruation is completely normal in social contexts in Spain. That was a bit surprising.

For lunch we had beef or fish. I had beef, of course. It was actually really good, but not as great as the crepe and cheesecake I had for dessert!

After lunch we went back to El Corte Ingles in order to buy disposable phones. We waited in line forever, but they ran out of phones quickly. I'm just going to get one on Monday!

Today, we also met our families! We had a bit of free time after they gave us their information, and we all chose to go to a tapas bar and compare families while waiting for them to come pick us up from the hotel! I am staying with an elderly lady, Teresa Espejo, and her husband, Jose. They are both so sweet! When I first met Teresa, she immediately raved about how amazing my Spanish was, which really surprised me since I am pretty sure I don't speak well at all. Maybe she was being nice? Especially when she said I speak better than the other students she has had. I doubt that!

Jose and Teresa took me to their apartment, which is very cute! I have my own room with a bed, desk, and closet. For dinner, Teresa made me...something. I don't know what, but it was good!

One thing I've learned about Spain: eat as much as you can, when you can. In the last few days, our meals have been very spaced out and there's not much to snack on. So at each meal, I've started eating more than normal to hold me over to the next meal.

Teresa used to have a cat, who she loved, but he died after 11 years. She hasn't had the heart to get a new one, so she has adopted the cats from the streets. There's so many of them, too! Tonight she followed a routine that I'm sure she does every night: she put on her heels and a warm coat, prepared two handbags full of cat food wrapped in aluminum foil, and then we walked around town as she stopped at certain locations to feed the cats. She obviously had specific feeding locations, because at each place there would be groups of stray cats waiting for her. She even had different food for each group of cats! It was as though they each had their own preferences, and she knew them all. Only one group got store bought cat food- the others were given assorted meats. She said she doesn't name these cats, but feels sorry for them and wants to help them. She even had placed water bowls in these locations in the past, and refilled all of them with fresh water. In the process, we saw there was a new kitten!
Teresa does this every night, and Jose always walks with her. After we got back, we watched some futbol, aka soccer, and Jose tried explaining a lot of it to me. He's really into sports! Real Madrid won, in case you were wondering. Woohoo!

Tomorrow we are taking an excursion to Madrid! I'll write more later, but I'm exhausted and need to get SOME sleep tonight!
Hasta luego!

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