Friday, September 30, 2011


Some people have asked why I'm in Spain. I thought I told everyone that was invited. I guess I missed a couple of people.

I am a North American culture and language assistant, and I am to serve as an ambassador for the United States. I ( and 3000 other North Americans) represent the culture of the US and I am conduct myself in a manner that makes the United States look good and in the process break cultural prejudices without being an ignorant American. Those of you who know me, know that I'll be fine in this area. I'm not extremely aggressive and so I will not push my culture or opinion on anyone. The task is to share information.

I am also here to improve my spanish communication and understanding of the Spanish culture (I will say I know quite a bit about the history and culture thanks to Jana's Spanish History class). I think I do very well at writing thanks to Professor L! When it comes to speaking, uh, no so much. But I do try, everywhere I go, I have no qualms about asking for directions in spanish and various other things. (And yes, I do know more than una más cerveza. They say caña in Spain, by the way). I have fear of trying to communicate in Spanish sometimes but not always, because I want to be multilingual. I want to finally move on from spanish and learn another language.

So now do you know why I'm here?

Oh and yeah,
some asked me about the meaning of "guiri"

Guiri, soy yo. (foreigner)

Pura vida!

Orientation Day

Something by Joan Miró

Wall of grass in madrid

Cathedral outside of the Prado Museum

Hello all,

I am tired. Jet lag is starting to set in. I think it's late, because I haven't really slept much. It hit me hard this morning when I woke up at 7:30 am which is 1:30am eastern US time. I am not a happy person. to make it worse, I have to sit through orientation until 6pm. I haven't really been paying attention, because I have been nodding off all morning. It's pretty interesting, but a bit long. We listened to introductions from foreign ambassadors from every country that is represented in this program: USA, Portugal, UK,Ireland, Austria, Germany, Australia, Italy, China, Finland, and France. Imagine how long that took! Especially the ones who gave their speeches in spanish and then translated into their native tongues!

So about yesterday. I traveled with two other people on the metro to see The national art museum of Reína Sofía. It was fantastic, I was able to see Pablo Picasso's most famous painting Guernica. I love him. It looks like a mess when you first glance at the painting, but a greater understanding comes with a study of the history behind the painting. We also saw some painting's of Spanish artists Dalí, Gris, Miró, Goya, and some other artists that I can't really remember right now. We didn't get a chance to go to the Prado museum, because we were exhausted by the time we were done with the national museum. I saw it last year and so truly know what the others were missing. That trip will probably happen another time.

After arriving back at the hotel, I took a late siesta :) and had dinner.

Tomorrow will be very interesting. I make my way to La Rioja. Let the fun begin!

P.S. Sorry about the crappy pictures, I didn't have my real camera.

Pura Vida!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I made it!

I arrived in Madrid at 4:15 pm today (10am Eastern US time). I was supposed to be here at 7am, but my flight in Columbia was delayed due to a storm in Washington, D.C. So instead of making my 5:40pm flight out of Washington-Dulles, I had to stick around until 10pm and then make another connection in Frankfurt, Germany at 1:50pm. The flight to Germany wasn´t so bad, because I sat next to a couple in their sixties from Maryland who planned on traveling through Russia, Poland, and some other small european countries over the course of month. The husband spoke russian, polish, and english, so they wouldn´t have any problems communicating. The wife had a good sense of humor and woke me up every time the flight attendants came around with food. I tried so hard to keep up her, but I could barely keep my eyes open. I wouldn´t have been so tired if I had a full night´s rest before my first flight, but noooo.

Because I´m trying to stretch my money until I get paid, I caugt the metro instead of the cab and dragged my gigantic suitcases up and down stairs for three connections. I then had to walk a block to make it to my very secured hostal room, which I am sharing with a girl who is teaching in the same city as me. I haven´t done much, because I am soooo tired. I did, however, have enouth strength to put some minutes on my phone and, uh, play a couple of rounds of bingo for two euros each. Don´t judge me! The food there is cheaper if you play bingo. I had a bocadillo de jàmon y tomate (sub sandwich with HARD bread) and an orange fanta for only 2.50 euros! I´ll probably have those daily once I reach my final destination: La Rioja. I forgot to give some background information, because I´ve been really busy in the past two weeks. I´ll post again later tonight or tomorrow.

Pura Vida!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two weeks to go...

Hello all!

I received my student visa on August 30th so I can officially tell you that I will leaving for Spain in about two weeks!

My flight leaves on September 27th from Columbia, SC and I should arrive in Madrid, Spain for my orientation. After orientation, I travel to my assigned schools which are located in Haro, La Rioja. If you look at the map, you can see that La Rioja is south of País Vasco (Basque country), west of Castilla y León, east of Barcelona and north of Madrid.

I will be an english language assistant at an elementary school and an adult language school from October-June. If I decide that I want to stay in Spain, I could extend for two school years in different areas. And no, I don't plan on staying to marry Juan, Paco, Carlos, Pablo, etc. Everyone thinks that I'll come back with a spanish husband since I've mostly been to spanish speaking countries. My coworker intends to kidnap me in a burlap bag and bring me back to the states if I get married. We'll see...

Even though I'll be working in Haro, I think I may live in the capital Logroño so that I can continue with my dancing.

Yes, my dancing. I've been involved in ballroom and latin dancing since November, and I absolutely love it. I know some of you are surprised. When I told my cousin, he said "You don't dance. You don't even talk!" Yeah, I know. It's a challenge, because I have to be sassy. If you want to see me sass a bit (still working on it) then you should come out and see me on September 24th.

I'll be competing as a beginner in the Augusta Mini Match. The event is at the American Legion Post 63 on Milledge rd. The event is from 11am-3pm and tickets are $20 for entrance and $15 for lunch. I'll be competing in nine dances: waltz, foxtrot, tango, salsa, cha cha, swing, bolero, samba, rumba.

If you can make it to the day event, then come to the Starlight Ball (semiformal/formal dress) from 7:30pm-11:00pm at the same location. The tickets are $20 and includes entrance, dessert buffet, and a show from 9pm-10pm. I will be in two group performances.

This will be the last time that some of you will probably see me before I leave for Spain.
Contact me if you want to attend either or both of the events. Also check back later for some more details about La Rioja.

Pura Vida!