Wednesday, July 29, 2009

...that went by way too fast...

¡Buenas días!

I just finished finals and it is so surreal. This month has FLOWN by...I cannot believe that I´ve spent the last month in Europe, away from everything I´ve always known. On my way back to the dorms today, everything kind of hit me....all that I´ve done, all that I´ve seen, experienced, tried, accomplished...

First, a quick update about this weekend, because I know I haven´t caught you up recently. Four friends and I went to Salamanca this past weekend. We left Bilbao on Friday after classes and arrived in Salamanca at about 9PM. Ninez (Emily´s host mom) has family in Salamanca, so we met Ninez´s nephew and sister at the bus station. We checked into our rooms and got ready to go out that night. Ninez´s nephew (Luismi) and his brother-in-law (Cesar) showed us all around Salamanca. We had a great time, we got to see all the monuments at night, when they´re all lit up. The Plaza Mayor was amazing, beautiful centerpiece of the city. It´s so alive there.

On Saturday, we explored Salamanca during the day. There are a couple of really old, but very gorgeous cathedrals that are famous. We explored town and saw everything that we had planned on seeing. Later, Cesar, his wife (Monica), and Luismi brought us to their home to have dinner. Monica and her friend, Laura, cooked for us. We ate dinner on the balcony of their apartment building....while watching the sunset in the background. It was picture-perfect. In Spain, people have groups of friends and they will rotate through houses for dinner each we ate with a couple other people from the town too. I have never felt more Spanish than during that dinner [ which is kind of exciting, because my blonde hair tends to give me away as as foreigner ;) ] We carried on conversation with all of them, none of whom spoke any English, other than ´Hello. ´I am continually amazed by their culture...they are so laid-back. We sat down for dinner at 9:30 and left the house around 11:00- they relish their time with other people and they don´t have to eat dinner quickly to go somewhere and do something. Though the dinner seemed longer than my normal dinner, I thoroughly enjoyed that I had extra time to sit there and listen/talk to them.

Like I said, this city has become my home for this month. It´s weird to say that this place, that is 3000 miles from home, has become familiar to me. I am going to miss so much about this culture and the language.....but I definitely cannot wait to sit down with my family and have a huge salad with dressing and a glass of cold milk.

Tomorrow, we are leaving for Paris in the afternoon. I hope to update at some point in Paris, but I do not know how and when I will be able to get Internet.

I do not know how to say thanks for such a trip. It has been way more than just a semester has changed my life. Thanks everyone....your support and updates about the US of A have made it even better.

¡Gracias todos!

Te amo... Lana Nicole