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Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Classes have ended here in Granada. I'm super excited to get home but i also am trying to savor every moment in Granada. I was hoping to get more done this weekend but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. I have too many tests to study for. Today I'm taking a break from my spanish paper to blog a bit in English.
Today the CLM gave out the awards for the sports teams. AIFS was the winner in Balóncesto and Fútbol. We came in second in Volleyball, but still a hell of an effort by the AIFS kids! It brought back memories of High school soccer tournaments, I never thought I'd be able to add one more to my list!
I hear St. Paul is getting snow, I'm jealous. There's no snow here in Granada but the Sierra Nevada mountains look really amazing from down here in the foothills. Hopefully I will be able to get some good photos of them before I come back. You can kind of see them in the "Granadino" album on Flickr. I have a list of things to get done this week, taking pictures around here is just one of them, I really hope I have time to do so. Classes are tougher than I thought. Most kids only have to pass the class to get credit at there schools back home, I've got my GPA to protect.
Well that's all for now. I'll leave you with some new phrases!
Echar de menos : to miss someone
Mola Mucho: to love something (tastes good,etc)
hace fresquillo : it's a bit nippy outside
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Nerja Trip over Halloween was wonderful: tikka masala, caves, fog, flamenco dancing and the Balcon of Europa, what more can a person ask for.
Gym: I recently joined the gymnasio just down the road from the residence. Florian convinced me to do so and I'm glad he did. I forgot how much I enjoyed working out. The first day at the gym Florian took on the duty of being my "trainer". I learned all the different parts of the body in spanish and that kilos are different than pounds haha! I told Florian to put 150 on the bench press and he just laughed. 150 kilos is 330lbs!
Its been about three weeks since I started there and I'm really enjoying it. I've met some interesting people there, most of them students traveling through europe and studying.
Music: A while a go I decided to start listening to Spanish music, I figured it's another way to take in the language and common phrases. I've found that if I listen to it at night or on the way to school then in the morning I'm warmed up (so to speak) for the day! I've already collected over 500 songs!
Trips: Maria and I made another return to the south, this time to Malaga. We were able to get tickets to the "other" circus (lol). It was fun to sit back and just watch a performance. The acts were interesting and lively, I felt like a kid again. I'm certain that Maria could have walked onto the stage and outperformed the cloud swing girl! The trip was very exciting but a little overwhelming at times... I got a little bit of motion sickness on the bus (thanks for those genes mom). It was warm, sunny and it definitely did not feel like mid-November.
Overall it has been a busy but entertaining few weeks since my last blog. Time flies by so fast, we only have 1 month left. This weekend we are going to Morocco! I can't wait! That should be interesting to blog about. Mid-terms are over with but I have two presentations next week and then a paper the next! Hopefully I will have time to put down some more detailed blogs! Next week I'm planning on documenting my daily life here, with a set of pictures for every day of the week.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
It'll be nice to get out of Granada for a few days. We leave for Madrid on Thursday and Cabo de Gata on Monday. My Spanish has improved a lot in one month, I almost feel like I should blog in Spanish instead.
Well its Siesta time so I should get some sleep before a long night of studying, manana tendrámos el examen final.
I'll let you know how the test went tomorrow (hopefully good news)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
So there we were, sitting on top of a mountain on play equipment thawing our sandwiches when this girl Emmy came over to a building near us looking for a bathroom. Once she realized that it wasn't a bathroom she started to freak out. Apparently she had to crap and didn't know what she was supposed to do. So one of the other girls came over with a plastic bag and demonstrated how to tuck the bag under herself to catch the caca. Well this had everyone in a riot of laughter. Inma thought it was hilarious and I even saw Raul (Inma's man) crack up. So there went Emmy off to the edge of the mountain to crap in a bag ( I don't see why she didn't just poop in a hole or something). Needless to say, our meal wasn't the best one. I made it through most of the bocadillo de jamon y queso and punted the rest over the ridge and into the valley.
Our way back down was more exciting, twists and turns and everything was on little paths on the side of the mountain. I've always been one for exciting hikes. I wish I could have brought my mountain bike with me. After 4 hours of walking we arrived back at Jardines. I went out for some food and came back and slept off the pain in my legs. Now its time for an exciting night!!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
First up there is Maria (for those of you reading this that don't know her). Maria is from St. Paul, MN she goes to St. Thomas with me and we've known each other for about a year. She is a very bright person and as much as she won't admit she has picked up the language very well, I've been studying it for almost 5 years and she has only had it in college, thats impressive. She's also my girlfriend for over a year now and it has been really nice to share the experience of Granada with her.
Next up is Chryssi. She rooms with Marisa, right below Adam and I.
Marisa her roommate is and kind of reminds me of Maria's cousin.
Adam is my roommate, I lucked out too. He likes soccer which already makes us friends (ha). He's also very good at Spanish, well he has been to Seville for a J-term before so it makes sense but this time over he placed into the superior level (impressive). He also goes to St. Thomas but we've never met up before. We have some of the same friends, small world hey! We're on the AIFS soccer team which should be fun, I'll have brush up on my skills.
Daryl is another one of the students that lives here at the residence with us. Daryldactyl (inside joke)
Breanna is another girl that is on the other side of the residence.
Jillian is Daryl's roomate and lives on the other side of residence. I think she is from the southern states.
Louis is a British student who has just recently arrived. He and Florian seem to get along very well. I could see myself hanging out with those two in the next few months.
Florian, oh boy, where to start. He is from the Canary Islands, Tenerife. He is a very, very outgoing, Spanish jock (but he's actually pretty nice, he's just obsessed with working out and running).
Alejandro is another student that lives across the street. I've talked with him a bit and he seems like a very down to earth guy.
Merella is on the other side of the residence, where most of the girls live. She reminds me a lot of my cousin Meg.
Merete is Maria's roommate. I think the two of them get along well and are probably laughing right now that I am writing about them.
Alan is from New York, actually I believe Cornell. He is studying here on his own, he just lives across the street but comes over to Jardines for meals and hangs out with the group.
Everyone here gets along for the most part and they are great bunch of students. We were even talking about having a reunion a few years down the road on a Cruise ship (or maybe back here in Granada).
There are also a lot of kids that I've met both Spaniards and students from AIFS. It would take a long time to list all of them.
To end I will say that It has ben almost a month since I left the States and I'm already feeling like I could lead a tour around Granada. I think I will start incorporating my Spanish into the blog as well just to practice using verbs and what not. Well its only 1pm here so if something exciting happens today maybe there will be another blog later tonight!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The next day it was back to the beach. We walked over to a nearby pizzeria and had some AMAZING Hawaiian pizza.
Well to sum it up we ate good had a good time on the beach and even though I stayed another day it wasn't to hard to make it back. I'm starting to feel more like a traveller and less like a tourist. The total trip home took 6 hours but I suppose if we planned it out better next time then we'd have cut it down to 3 hours.
Its back to school, only 5 more days of this class and everything seems to be going okay. In class today I spoke for 5 min in a fairly fluent manner.
A lot of exciting stuff to come in the next week. Me voy
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This weekend is the beach which should be fun too. If I have time later I'll blog some more.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Here's the link again
Friday, September 11, 2009
The other day after some some gelato Maria and I were sitting in Plaza Trinidad and people watching when a man came out of no where and started stalking pigeons that were eating in the plaza. Things just got bizarre from then on out. He started saluting them and acting like he was their general. Then he proceeded to stalk them again, yelling random stuff at them. One older man with a bright button up shirt and a women with a lot of jewelry and a camera walked through the plaza (I can only assume they were tourists). The "pigeon" man walked towards them and I could see the older man swing his backpack around to the front and grasp it firmly. The man circled the tourists and kept yelling gibberish (could have been Spanish) until they couple had left the plaza. Then the man proceeded to talk to the pigeons and began marching around.
Granada certainly is an interesting and fascinating place but every now and then (as with any city) you are reminded of the poverty and diversity of its inhabitants. After about 12:00am you start seeing more and more borachos (drunks) walking around the streets. Hostel Jardines is located near the older part of the city and in much safer area than other parts of Granada. The eastern part of town (where we are) is close to the Alhambra, the mountains, the Albaicin, and the cathedral. The streets are small and quaint and there are always multitudes of Spaniards out talking and enjoying late night tapas, a very enjoyable environment. Tomorrow we head the the Albaicin (and old barrio located near the mountains (neighborhood)), I'm so excited! I'll take some good pics with my Nikon and upload them next week!!
We are having numerous internet issues here so mom maybe instead of e-mail I'll send a carrier pigeon over there with some postcards!!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
1. Propinas or tips are seldom given. If you are going to tip it is usually because you really liked the cerveza or the meal and then its only 5% or so.
2. When you (a family or a group) are at dinner and the phone rings it is considered rude to not pick up the phone. Once the person explains they are in the middle of dinner the person on the other side says vale vale (ok) and shortens their conversation.
3. If you are asked to come over for dinner you ALWAYS refuse (not being mean but just say I have homework or something else going on) the first time you are asked. If they insist you refuse the second offer. Only after the third offer or they insist again do you accept. This one confused me but how I understand it is, if you accept the first offer then it is not sincere. If the family insists several times then it is a sincere offer and return.
I'm off to lunch, but I'll blog some more later!!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Outside the walls higher on the hill behind the Alhambra is the summer home of the Sultan. The gardens there were absolutely gorgeous. And the palace itself is a work of art. It is designed to move air through the corridors and out the other side, allowing it to be cooler during the day. Look for the pictures coming soon and there will be more information about each section.
Well siesta is almost over and the city is starting to fill up once again. I have errands to do since its still another week without clean clothes, maybe even do some hand washing....
Not much for dinner tonight so I might go up to the cathedral and sit down for dinner at one of the Italian restaurants.
Friday, September 4, 2009
My favorite thing to do is walk around the city and just explore, I'm starting to get a mental map of the city. I find the more I speak, listen and write in Spanish the more the comfortable the city feels. One thing that is nice about Granada and the province that it is in (Andulucia) is that there are tapas gratis, free appetizers!! Buy a drink, cerveza or sangria and you get tapas.
I haven't been able to get a good internet connection to upload my photos but I am hoping that tomorrow or Sunday I will be able to have over 100 posted!
The meals here are wonderful, fruit, gazpacho, salads, jamon y huevos and much more!! I'm adjusting to the heat and the way the city works around it. Night time is when the city comes alive! Maria and I have walked up to the catedral at night and its a wonderful sight. (i'm stuck in spanish mode so some of my sentences may sound a little weird)
I'll post a link soon with some pics if I can find internet fast enough to upload them.
As for now thats all!
Monday, August 31, 2009
I slept most of the way on the two hour drive from Malaga to Granada. The landscape is vastly different here, Mountains fill the entire vista. We arrived in Granada around 2:00pm and then (my group) the resident students made their way up to our residence "Hostel Jardines" while the other home stay students went off with their respective families.
The rooms are nice here, and the ten of us AIFS students that live here share the place with 60 Spanish students. Our residence directer showed us around and I felt the culture shock begin. I bought a few meals today and some groceries and managed to get by with simple Spanish but I'm still adjusting and it will be a few days before I get into deep conversations with any of the Spaniards here.
For now thats all, its late and I am very tired. We have tests tomorrow at 8:30 and hopefully my Spanish will somehow find its way out of the cobwebs of my mind. I'll post pics and write some more detailed stories later this week!!!!