Segundo Semana! – Intercambio & Flan
Hola de España!
Week two is in the bag, and Spanish is becoming easier and easier each day (even my mamá noticed!). I’m really enjoying it here, and have gotten quite comfortable with the city of Valladolid. I’ve started to make friends, classes are in full motion, and the city is more familiar to navigate.
This week we had our first round of school-sanctioned intercambios. It’s an hour or so of talking with people who wish to learn English. You spend a few minutes talking only in English, and then switch to talking only in Spanish. It’s a great way to learn the language and help other people learn yours! I loved it. Intercambios like this one have been some of my favorite things so far. It was interesting to hear how people learn English. It’s also an eye-opener; being here on the other side of the ‘international student’ relationship, I really value people that have patience to listen to me and help me. I must be talking so slowly and simply in Spanish! I’m very thankful the people I’ve been talking with have sympathy! It really opened my eyes to how we treat international students and visitors in the U.S. … from my actions and those I’ve seen of others, it’s not always been as sympathetic. It’s easy to see how much people learning the language need that sympathy in order to grow and learn.
This week I started to figure out some of the Spanish customs as well. We talked about a few in class and I asked my mamá about a few I was curious about as well. One I got made fun of for was what hand married people wear their rings on.
This entire time I wore my rings on my right ring finger … only to find out after asking around that married people here wear it on the right! Aye de mi. We also learned about Spanish gestures and phrases they use. My favorite was “Estoy nerviosa como un flan,” which translates to “I am nervous like a flan.” Do you know what flan is? A very famous Spanish dessert (and really good here, too). It’s like a pudding with a little more density. When it sits on the plate it jiggles like jello! Hence, if you’re as nervous as a flan, you’re jiggling with nerves! HA!
Next week should be exciting as well! I have a few intercambios planned with friends and at the university, and we will be traveling to Segovia on the weekend for an excursion. It’ll be nice to take a short vaca from the city for awhile and see more of Spain!
Courtney Cerniglia is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in business administration and Spanish.