Wednesday, September 22, 2010

True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

I feel I must blog right now. Not because something exceptional happened, but because the ordinary did. Or maybe it is extraordinary, but something hard to describe. It is the first time that I can say I am okay with being here. As of right now, I have no doubts about my abilities in Spanish, teaching, worries about the future, how I am interacting with people here, or doubts about myself. I am content.

It was an ordinary day. I got up in time to go to class AND was cheerful about it (okay, maybe that's exceptional all in its own). I caught the bus and got a place to sit. I arrived on campus in time to drink a coffee with two friends from Germany before my "Spanish Literature of the Medieval Age" class. I was nervous since I didn't know what to expect with the teacher, as she seemed a little...uptight. However, she is pretty cool. She helped us international students feel welcome by having links to help us understand Spanish lit better.

Also, something I found amusing: I ended up sitting next to a Colombian boy, who ended up having stars in his eyes for me once he found out that I am from the US and that I speak more than 2 languages. He wanted to keep talking to me in class, but I ignored him since I was trying to understand what the teacher was saying. He seemed disappointed when I didn't need to take his copy of the text since I had my own.

Anyway, after this class we had a break, so Elise showed me and a girl from Romania how to get copies of things. Her name is Mary, and she seemed confused that I was from the US. She said my accent made me seem like I was from Russia! Thank God for my Ukrainian background.

Then we had Spanish Grammar: Sintaxis. I love this class, but it is hard to understand at times. We spent an hour today going through the differences of 'lo','la','le', which are for the direct or indirect objects; among other things.

Then I took the bus back down to my awesome area of living: El Centro. I went to a bookstore to get a book for class. They didn't have it. I was like, Oh great. It's going to be one of those days. But I went to another bookstore (one I like better anyway) and they had it! YAY!

Once I came home, I was going to take a nap, but was too hyped up on the 3 coffees I had. (Side note: Coffee here is totally different than in the states. It is more concentrated, like espresso.) So I read for class, talked to a friend on FB, and after eating with my host mother, cleaned, talked to Ryan online, read for class, and got a few more things done here!

So today I had been feeling kinda down. I miss my family and friends, and my boyfriend. After talking to my friend online, I was even a little more sad. This person is doing a long distance relationship too, but it is only across 2 states; and he tried telling me how difficult it is! I was like, yeah I know it is. I really wanted to say, Oh yeah! You try being in a foreign country with NO LOVED ONES around you and trying to maintain all your relationships back home, not to mention the one with your significant other. You try only sustaining your emotional self with emails, FB posts, and Skype; and the odd, but totally appreciated, letter or package. Then you go to classes that are in a whole other language, and you tell me how hard all that is. But of course, I didn't say any of these things. A person doesn't need to hear something like that when they are having a hard time. So I tried to be understanding and helpful; I hope I succeeded.

On top of all this, I was feeling frustrated with myself too. I feel/felt like my Spanish should be improving faster. I still make mistakes and have a hard time understanding some people.

So I was kinda feeling down and out on my way to the bus stop. Every Monday and Wednesday I go to a little neighborhood and speak English with a 12 year old girl to help improve her English. It also helps me tremendously since I learn new words and concepts. I was also concerned with her too, since I wasn't sure if I was helping or anything.

Well I get there and she is happy to see me. We go up and talk. She is telling me about her classes and asks me what a word was in English. I forgot! I could not remember! That helped my spirits a lot, since it means that Spanish is kinda settling in my brain, and not just staying overnight. Then, after walking down the stairs I run into her mother. She has really cool parents; I think they are art teachers or something. Well she hands me a bag of freshly picked apples from their backyard. I was like OH! And then she says that the reason there are holes on them is because there aren't any pesticides or anything. I got so excited, since Dad is an organic farmer. AND then she said that they will pay me next week.

So I was content when I got to the bus stop, but the best part was to come. When I sat down, I decided to snack on one of those apples. They taste JUST LIKE the apples from Grandpa Haich's orchard. It was perfect timing, since I have been having dreams with him lately and have been missing him a lot.

I took the long way walking home from the bus stop, since it was such a beautiful night. I also took some pictures of life in Spain. Just random ones.

I am so happy right now, I just had to share. Thanks for reading. :)

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