Monday, January 31, 2011


I am finally in Cordoba. It has a dash over the first o but I do not know how to type it. Hahahaha. I hope all is well back in the US.
Yesterday I rode in the train from Barcelona to Cordoba. It was five hours long but an extremely beautiful ride. My city is in the mountains so my face was glued to the window for he majority of the five hours. (Two hours were spent watching Shrek 2.) I rode with another girl from the program. She lives about an hour away from Cordoba.
Upon exiting the train I saw three people watching me from above and immediately knew it was my host family. They were very excited to finally meet me. I was extremely excited to finally meet them too. My Spanish is very very bad but I am learning and I can understand a lot. Marta, my host sister, speaks English very well but I really do need to learn Spanish. My family decorated my room for me and it is very pretty. I have a wrought iron bed and a floral bed spread. Also there are two paintings with flowers and a beautiful chest. I brought gifts for my family as well. A bracelet for Marta, a Revere bowl, many kinds of Moravian cookies, and a book of North Carolina.
Juana, mi mama, made paella for lunch... which is eaten around 3pm. It was very good. I love the food here. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day too. After lunch we went to the city center because a market was going on that only comes once a year for one weekend. I was lucky enough to arrive on this weekend. It was packed. The people who had booths were all dressed in medieval clothes. They also sold all types of things: food, jewelry, tiny books, figurines, and much more. The food was all amazing. I sampled a lot of meat... like sausages and a sort of jerkey. I have never smelled or tasted food this good. I also sampled cheese. There were people juggling and playing old instruments. There was a woman dressed as a tree on stilts and a man dressed as a faun (half goat half man) on a sort of stilt that bounces. He bounded through the crowd all the time. I laughed and pointed a lot. Marta held my hand the whole time so I didn't get lost.
While we were there my host family bought me a gift. A necklace that is very popular here. I think it means protection from the angels or something like that. It is very very beautiful. I learned a lot of words and wrote them all down in my journal so I can practice them.
We had dinner around 10pm and it was very light. It was a salad.. It consisted of oranges with avacado and cod fish on top with olive oil. It was amazing. I cannot wait to come home and make all this food for my family because I know they will love it. Juana and Carloman bought a lot of the meats and chesses at the festival so we also had those with dinner. For dessert we had greek yogurt. YUM! We sat and watched television for a while after but I was falling asleep so I went to bed. I did not have school today. I start tomorrow because it is the first of the month. I slept til noon. It was okay because they said to sleep as much as I want. Marta went to school but Carloman stayed home with me. He taught me how to make what I want for breakfast. He speaks little English and I speak little Spanish but it worked out well. I understood most of what he said to me. I loved breakfast. I made toast and cafe con leche. But instead of butter on my toast it is very common to pour olive oil on toast. The olive oil is so good. I watched some tv while I ate too. Scrubs was on and then after that the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire was on. Both in Spanish. I was very amused that they had those programs here.
The family dog, Paka, (pronounced pika), just came in my room and sat on my lap. She is so so cute.
I will post again soon! Adios!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I have been in Barcelona for two days now. The flight was amazing. We flew over the alps. I did not once tear my face from the window. The man sitting behind me was Spanish and super duper friendly. The Spanish people are very proud of where they are from which was obvious while I talked to him. On the first day here we went to a Cathedral on top of a mountain. I have no idea what its called, but it was spectacular. I like the areas that are not directly in the city... mostly because it is just like New York or Chicago.. just a big city. But the mountains are beautiful and so is the sea. Even though it is just like a big city it is very clean. I was up for over 30 hours before I got to bed last night around 9pm Spanish time. Today we had orientation and then took a tour of Barcelona. We saw all of the famous architecture. Which was breathtaking. I am so so so ready to be in Cordoba though. I want to be with my host family and get settled. I actually just got back to the hostel. It is 11pm here. Me and a few friends wandered around the city for a little bit and had our first Spanish gelato. It was so so delicious. Tomorrow I leave Barcelona at 8am and arrive in Cordoba at 1pm. I will post again in a few days.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I am currently on the plane flying to Frankfurt, Germany where I will be for a maximum of two hours. It is 9:14 pm North Carolina time.. but it is 3:14am Spanish and German time. We left Boston today around 4pm. I actually had a really good time there. There are eight students travelling with me and two trip directors. None of the other students are going to Cordoba. One of the coordinators, Maggie, said that Cordoba is her favorite city in Spain… so I feel very lucky. While in Boston we went to a acrobat/ psychology show. The acrobats each had a psychological problem and acted it out through flying in the air. It was extremely impressive. I slept like a homeless man in a luxury hotel after an amazing bath and a five star dinner. Also, the hotel had a hot breakfast in the morning and had omelets that were unusually good. So it seems like a great start to a great trip. Not to mention that the flight I am on right now is amazing. They first gave us pretzels and drinks then hot towels. For dinner I had baked ziti, salad, a rosemary roll, cheese, sprite, and chocolate mousse. Maybe all international flights are like this… but I am impressed to say the least. Also I have watched two movies that are new releases… not so shabby.
Leaving North Carolina was the hardest part of the trip so far… I don’t think anything else will be harder really. My best friends all slept over the night before. Saying goodbye to them was hard but not heart breaking. My boyfriend, Austin, and my mother took me to the airport. I arrived late for baggage check so I had to get a flight that was two hours later. So instead of ripping off the bandage extremely fast, I ripped it off painstakingly slow. I mostly held it together until the last 30 minutes I was with them. I cried moderately loud. The thought really of walking away from my mother, who I am really close to, and walking away from Austin was the most heart breaking thing I have had to do. I know it sounds melodramatic but it was really that difficult for me. Watching Austin wave to me through glass while I was in security was just terrible. The woman in line behind me asked if I was okay. And the security guard gave me two tissues. I finally pulled it together while I was at the gate and I have been pretty much fine since then… which is very good.
I know this is kind of a filler blog since it does not have any exciting details about being abroad, but I am on a seven hour flight and I have already watched two movies, ate, and slept. So right now the only entertaining thing I have to do is listen to the four Beatles cd’s I put on my computer before I left and write. I guess I will post again while I am in Barcelona or probably while I am on the train from Barcelona to Cordoba. Hope all is well back in the U.S.!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Last Few Days

I leave for Spain in just five days. I am extremely nervous. There are so many things to worry about I guess... Like the fact that my Spanish is mediocre at best... My cat won't have anyone to play with him... My mom will be in the house on her own for the first time in thirty years... and that I am leaving my boyfriend.. These are all the things I am worrying about constantly and all this worrying has not made me a pleasant person to be around lately. I do know, however, that I am about to have the time of my life.
I have gone to the doctor and got my prescriptions. I have gone to the dentist and had two fillings done. My mom has ordered my contacts. I have learned the 'area code' for the United States. I have put all the phone numbers I will need in my computer: Mom's, Dad's, Kat's and Austin's. And I have started packing, which will be hard to finish... especially since I have exams up to the day before I leave.
This is the most exciting thing I have ever done with my life, so far. So I guess it is normal to be so ridiculously nervous... and excited at the same time. I have never been one to suffer from anxiety, but lately it has consumed me. I was talking to my mom the other day about how my rape whistle will be on my necklace ready for action until I get safely to Cordoba. I do not think anything will go wrong.. but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
I am spending three days in Barcelona... I will be there in one week. Just.. the proximity of this trip drives me crazy. Marta told me today that on the 31st she is taking me to get my school uniform. Which looks exactly how you would think a school uniform would look... Red sweater, plaid and pleated skirt, and yes... bright red stockings. I think I can rock it. Hahahaha.
That's all for now I think I will be posting again when I am in Boston or Barcelona!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

To Begin...

For those of you who don't know, in just thirteen days from now I will be leaving Good Ol' Davie County. I guess my journey will begin in Charlotte, NC on January 26th, 2011. I fly from Charlotte to Boston where I will spend the next day and a half. From Boston I fly to Barcelona, where I will spend two days, and on the 30th I will arrive in Cordoba, Spain.
I will be living in Cordoba for the next five months. Yes, I will be attending Spanish high school and living with a host family, Carloman, Juana, and Marta Diaz. Marta is just a year younger than me and we talk on skype probably twice a week. I am very lucky. My host family is such a good match because Marta and I have a lot in common and the family has already made me feel welcome, before I have even met them in person.
I decided that I wanted to be a foreign exchange student last year before Christmas. Surprisingly, my parents were supportive of it. Going about being a foreign exchange student is kind of an arduous task. I had to research different agencies and fill out long applications. The agency I decided on was CIEE. I knew I only wanted to do a semester, not a year. So I filled out their application (which was almost 20 pages long) and sent it in. I had to wait, and wait, and wait. Finally in September I found out that I had been accepted and in November I received my placement for my host family. I was thrilled. Cordoba is the perfect city for me to live in. It has so much history and the architecture is beyond beautiful... according to google images. I will be going to private school and I have to wear a uniform.
So, in just thirteen short days I have to graduate from high school, get five months worth of contacts, maybe go to the dentist, pack anything I may possibly need, and say goodbye to my family and best friends.