Monday, April 11, 2011

4th post... updated 2 weeks worth in all!

Hey! After you read all of this... I'll only be a month and a half behind in my postings... hahaha -- at least I've caught up this far!

02/14 Monday

Today is Valentine's day and the school celebrated it!! Every coffee machine on campus was giving out free coffee -- just push the kind you wanted and it popped out a cup, the coffee, the sugar and a stir all FREE! Our track teacher, Eva, laughed when one of the guys walked in after break double-fisting coffees in both hands: "Just like Americans... taking as much as they can when things are free." In a way she's right... but in a way I was offended because I wasn't sitting there with two and three cups of free coffee -- ignorantly, I had actually paid for my one little cup that day. Funny to hear what the rest of the world thinks about Americans, though, and how they stereotype us all being alike.
At break, I went over to the Torre (USAC office location) to check for mail and I got a card from Lauren Berkey, my aunt Cyndi and a huge box of Nutrisystem along with my mom and dad's card... haha. I hit the gym up to do cardio in between classes, grabbed a little bit of lunch and finished out my classes. The box of Nutrisystem was so big that Sylvain (picture to the right) -- the employee -- had to drive me home from school because I couldn't carry it by myself. He was hilarious in the car! He was cussing at all of the other drivers on the road -- but he was using Italian curse words. Then he'd start singing and dancing and making weird faces... goof.

Today was my cleaning day -- I decided to clean the kitchen up a bit: mopping, counters, reorganizing, etc. and I also did a bit of laundry. I like for things to be clean :) and hopefully, the roommates appreciate it as much as I do! Alec came by later with a vase of flowers... 5 pretty red flowers: one for each roommate and then one for Emma McNeil because she was at the apartment at the moment... haha :) It was really cute because since none of us had received flowers for Valentine's day we now had something to decorate the table with!

02/15 Tuesday

BANANA MUSH! Yes -- today I spread the love of the mushed banana sandwiches... now for those of you who don't know what Banana Mush is, it's a spread for sandwiches consisting of:
  • bananas
  • peanut butter
  • mayonnaise
  • sugar
and it's DELICIOUS!! So yesterday, I went to the grocery store to get all of the ingredients and today, I brought it in to share with my conversation class... and yes -- everyone loved it! Even the people who swore they were going to hate it because they don't like mayonnaise loved it. This is the second study abroad that I've shared the Banana Mush love and both classes have had complete success!! (in Spanish success = éxito).
ALSO met with my other intercambio today: her name is Marie Carmen and I met with her in the cafeteria after classes ... she didn't show up till 4PM so I had to sit there for three hours doing homework while waiting on her to come. She was pretty cool even though conversation got quiet at times! Interested to see where this will lead!! (p.s. an intercambio is someone I meet with once a week or so to speak with so I can practice my Spanish and they can practice their English... right now I have two!) She read me a story that they were reading in class and I corrected the English words that she pronounced incorrectly... then I had to leave and rush home because today is Tuesday and you know what that means... COOKING CLASS (and the picture to the left is a picture of Alicante from where cooking class is located)!!
Tonight was mmmmm oober delicious! We made: Ensaladilla Rusa (Potato Salad), Brochetas de Magro con Verdura (Loin of pork and vegetables brochette), and Arroz con Leche (Rice with Milk) for dessert. **remember -- I have all of these recipes if you'd like any of them! Just leave a message on here or something** I remember back in high school my friend Jennifer Palma brought in arroz con leche for our Spanish class and it was one of my favorite deserts that I'd ever tried -- so I was really excited about tonight's class because I was getting the opportunity to learn how to make that (that I hadn't had since that one day in class). It turned out that Jennifer's mom's arroz con leche was way better than the one I cooked up, but she's had more years to practice ;). The other food was great, though! It was just like grilled kebabs on a stick that we make back in the U.S... the meat was very juicy and the vegetables, too. Chelsea and I had great appetites this night.

02/16 Wednesday

Alright... I'm tired of starting off each day with "Today was... " So, let's think of a different beginning. What can I say about this Wednesday?

Volunteering was a thing that was different about this Wednesday than the others I've had so far in Alicante, Spain.


On Wednesday, February 16, 2011, I went to the English as a second language school in San Vicente to volunteer my time to help teach adults learn English! But seriously, after school I waited around till 5PM when Luis took Jasmine (another girl from my program who decided to volunteer as well) and I to the English school about 15 minutes away from the University. I honestly didn't know what to expect because when I had originally signed up, I thought I was signing up to teach kids -- I get more nervous in front of adults! We got to the school and I felt a little better once I met the director there -- a cute little brunette with big glasses that reminded me so much of my friend Karissa O'Keefe I had to smile and feel okay. She had an Irish accent but was Spanish... she said she studied in Ireland, England and then taught English in North Carolina for a few years -- this blew me away because she doesn't look like she could be more than 25 or 26. Oh well.. she calmed my nerves and took us into her classroom where we sat and watched a few students give book presentations... then she beckoned us to get up and talk a bit to the class. You should have seen their faces! It was as if they had never heard an American talk before! Half of the class couldn't understand Jasmine at all because she has a Chicago accent and talked really fast whereas I talked a bit slower and more clearly. It was funny to them to hear the two different American accents rather than just the British / Irish accent they were used to with their professor. Oh and Jasmine and I learned a bit about ourselves: we are TERRIBLE at drawing!! hahahaha. Whatever they needed explained, we would try to draw on the board, but I think that just confused them even more!

After the class was over, Jasmine and I were bombarded by about 8 people wanting to get our emails, numbers, etc. so that they could practice with us after class. We agreed to four girls whose timetables matched ours a little better than the others... so now I have six intercambios to meet during the week. This should be great for my Spanish, don't cha think?! Our volunteer time lasted from 6-8/8:30 and then we took the long bus ride on bus 24 back to Alicante. I can assure you now that Wednesday's are not going to be my most favorite day of the week even though I really enjoyed the volunteer school. I didn't even get home till 9:15!! That's more than a 12 hour day... whoa!

02/17 Thursday

Seeing that I didn't get home until 9:15 last night to even begin homework, I didn't get much sleep before having to wake for school this morning. bleh... I hate waking up feeling like that! Then the day just feels like it drags on and on and on!! Oh well -- today was a good day! I had school, like usual, but it was followed with lunch at Matt Small's host-mom's house and a dinner date with my original intercambio: Alba! I did a quick workout at the gym after school because Matt said to arrive at the apartment by 2:30... so I got there at 2:45 and sat there til 3:30 with Lola (Matt's host-mom), his host-brother and the host-brother's son. I actually really enjoyed the time I got to just sit and talk to them! His host brother lives on a boat in the port and sails everywhere... he had some pretty interesting stories to tell. The son was ADORABLE and loved messing with the big fluffy cat! Then Matt, MaryAnn and Krista came in at 3:30 and we all had a lunch I will never eat again: soup with Conejo... what is that, might you ask? RABBIT. bleh. I don't know why my stomach reacted the way it did, but after a few bites I started quietly gagging -- and could have kept it a secret and just passed my soup off to Matt -- had Krista not asked why I was gagging... So I politely told Lola that it was probably just the egg in the soup since I instinctively gag around eggs, and then did just as I had planned: passed the rest of my soup to Matt. ALMOST got away... I hate people feeling like I'm insulting their food when I don't like it, but I could not eat that. It was a bit like chicken but with a weird spicy / gross taste to it... and the feeling was a bit different as well. The rest of them loved it but there was something that I couldn't handle. The dessert was amazing though! Strawberries and creme... mmmmm!! And the salad -- as usual -- was great as well! So I didn't leave hungry! Lola always makes sure of that...

After homework and a bit of rest, I left to go meet Alba for the first time. I had to take a bus (bus number 23) up to another part of town called "Gran Via". Alba met me at the bus stop and we walked to a little coffee shop where we sat and talked for two hours. I learned that she is 23 and she teaches at an elementary school in that area and she is as picky as I am about her apartment being clean! She studied in England for a few months and she has never been to America... She continues to think I'm from California even though I've told her several times "South Carolina".. and she is from Valencia and she goes home every single weekend to spend it with her family (hmm... reminds me of ME when I'm in Clemson)! Haha... I really liked her and I can't wait to keep meeting up with her! The time we sat and talked flew by as if no time had passed at all...

(the girls: MaryAnn, Caitlin, Krista, Me, Emma, Alexa [in back])

When I got home, the girls and Matt and I along with a few other people from the program went out to go to a black-light party, but ended up just going to the Goa -- the bar that MaryAnn got a job at. Matt and I stayed about 45 minutes at the max before we both decided we'd like to sleep more than to stay out and socialize.
Good night world.

(the boys: ___, Ryan, Alec, Matt)

And that last sentence is true to me now too (on April 11, 2011)... GOOD NIGHT WORLD!!

No time to do homework

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