¡Sobreviví! ~ I survived!
¡Sobreviví la primera semana! ~ I survived the first week!
We’ve all arrived and settled with our new families in Valladolid, Spain. It’s such a change from the U.S., but all our families are so welcoming and such characters! My roommate (Sam) and my mom is so sweet and calls us ‘mi hijas, mi hijas‘ which is ‘my daughters’ in Spanish. We’ve began to call her ‘mama’ back, too, so we’re a happy little foreign family! We share a big room together in our mom’s apartment. We have a good amount of space which is nice. Our mom cooks wonderful food, too – we’re lucky to have her because we both eat a bit differently – me being vegetarian and Sam not eating wheat. Our mom makes us a lot of vegetables and fish, and I always get big hunks of fresh bread at every meal. I love it, since I rarely have bread at home when I live on my own. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day and we eat it after school ends at 2 p.m., so we get quite hungry (especially since breakfast is quite small!). Dinner is smaller and late at night. In our house it’s around 9, but other people sometimes have to wait until 10 or later! This time frame hasn’t been too difficult to adjust to, but when I exercise it’s harder because I’m hungrier sooner!
School is fantastic! I love every minute of all our classes. We’re split up by level and mixed with people from other parts of the state, country and world! In my class, we have students from Wisconsin, California, Ohio and Taiwan! How cool! We take classes in grammar, literature, culture, speaking, history, and art history. I really enjoy art history since I studied it for a year at UW-Stevens Point. I enjoy grammar as well, since this is the class where we really get to learn the language and it’s components, which is what I need the most practice with.
Valladolid is a beautiful city as well! We’ve all had troubles getting around this week, especially to school on the first day. The streets are narrow and can change names or direction quickly, and all of a sudden you’re heading in the wrong direction! I’m lucky to live near an obvious monument, so if I get lost all I have to do is go up to someone and say, “Donde está la plaza circular?” and someone can point me in the right direction – it’s been handy.
Tonight is a big festival for Valladolid called Pingüinos (Penguins). A bunch of people ride into the city on motorcycles and camp out in the large park in the city. It’s a giant party all weekend they say. My host mom says it’s good for the economy here which makes it more important. We’re going to see how it is tonight and hopefully catch some music!
So far, so good! Stay tuned for more adventure to come!
Courtney Cerniglia is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in business administration and Spanish.