I have been with my host family for a whole week now and I am so happy to be here. Laura is so patient with my spanish and has been very helpful over the past week. My first week of classes went well, I have three different classes and only one is taught in english. I don’t think either of my other professors speak engilsh and if they do they are really good at pretending they don’t. But even though the classes are taught in spanish I am finding that I am slowly understanding more and more and it is not as overwhelming to only hear spanish.
There are a lot of things here that are very different from how they are in America. The food is probably the most noticeable change; my stomach is still adjusting. The eating schedule is also different. Here we eat the largest meal of the day for lunch. This meal is called comida and if you don’t finish your food at comida, you eat the rest for dinner. After comida, everyone takes a siesta before continuing with their day. I have found that I should not take siestas because I fall asleep for too long. Another thing I have noticed is that when someone comes in the house or leaves the house, they make sure and greet or say goodbye to each person in the house.
I have been keeping plenty busy while I am here. There is more homework for my classes than I was expecting which wouldn’t be a problem, but I keep forgetting I am here for school because it feels like a vacation. On Friday everyone in the group went out to eat for the forth of July and Saturday we all went and hiked la Peña de Bernal.
Before going I was expecting something like Multnomah Falls, but this was much more challenging. It was very steep the whole time and the last 20 minutes of the climb we were using our hands and knees and working to find secure footing as we scrambled up the side of the rock. But the view at the top was so worth it. The pictures I took definitely do not do it justice. And I will admit that standing at the top (as far as we could go without literally rock climbing) made me feel like I could do anything! My knees were shaking pretty badly when I got back down to the bottom and I am still a little sore, but I would do it again in an instant.
On Sunday I went to church with my neighbor and it was a solid 3 hours of nonstop spanish. When I got home I took a good long nap because it was so exhausting to put so much focus on translating for that long. I didn’t understand all of it, but what I did understand was really good. It was so cool to get to be a part of what God is doing in another country and really amazing to meet people who believe in the same God and have received the same message in a different country and a different language. They were all very welcoming and helped me if there was something I didn’t understand. One woman gave me her phone number and said to call her if I ever needed anything.
Overall it has been a pretty tiring week, but I am having a wonderful time, making lots of new friends, and learning about the culture and the language of the people around me. I am looking forward to this coming week and this weekend I will be heading to Mexico City to see the pyramids!