Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Que Ha Pasado

So, I know that I haven't written in a very, very, very long time. It's not that I did not want to, its just that I got completely caught up in life here at CAS. Seriously it is so hard to believe that I have been here since the middle of September; how long is that? Like almost 5 months and there are only about 4 left. That is just crazy to think about. In that there are only 4 months left, I am going crazy. Sure, I do miss home, there are so many things that I wish they had over here, but at the same time, I love Spain. What I am experiencing over here is definitely a major blessing from God. So, because I have not written in a while, I will fill you all in on what has been going on over the last 5 months. During the first quarter, or trimestre, I was in Grupo B, which is the intermediate group which is great, I mean, I did not really realize this at first, but think about this, I took 2 years of highschool spanish, two years!! Thats not very much compared to everyone else here. A lot of them took spanish in highschool, and have also taken some in college. To be at the same level, above, or a little bit below them with just this, well for me, its amazing. God has seriously blessed me with this gift. Of course, because I am not a native speaker, my spanish will never be completely perfect, but that doesn't mean that I can't continue to make myself better, and continue to use it in whatever way God shows me. One thing that I do have, that a lot of other kids here don't however, is that I have had many life experiences, where I have simply been in the right place at the right time, and Ive had to use the spanish that I know. For example, I went to Guatemala for a summer and lived there with a Guatemalan family, they didn't speak english. The next spring, I went to La Republica Dominicana, and had to translate for church, because no one else would do it(this situation, it was kind of an obligation that I had to fulfill). Then, when I went to Peru, I helped translate with my uncle Paul in a clinic in Calca, un pueblo pequeño in the Sacred Valle. So, anyway, I am very blessed by God, that is what I have realized. Anyway, back to what has been going on these past months. Seeing that I cannot remember when everything happened specifically last trimestre, I am going to summarize it, and try my best to remember things. We got to go on an awesome trip to the southern part of spain, Andalucia, to Granada, Gibraltar, Marruecos, Marbella, Sevilla and Cordoba. Im not sure if we went anywhere else, you see my memory is failing me. Anyway, you probably have seen pictures on Facebook if you have looked. For those of you that haven't they are there, mostly from other people just tagging me, because I am horrible at remembering to take pics, I just want to do stuff, and not take them. So yeah, that was an awesome trip, got to go to Africa, I know, its only Marruecos, but its still Africa. So yeah, Andalucia is really cool, like the mountains there are really awesome, and I hope that someday, maybe while Im still here that I get to go back. Other than that, and Christmas vacation, I haven't had the opportunity to travel very much. Just going to Valencia, almost every week, has been enough for me. Just to experience the culture here, is enough for me. I have made so many friends also, and have gotten to know my roomate, Juan Carlos pretty well. He is so funny, sometimes he will just randomly start talking to me in Portuguese because he just forgets, and then Ill be looking at him, like what are you saying, and then he will be like, oh sorry Jeff, I was talking in Portuguese, wasnt I? Its pretty funny actually. During the last trimestre, some more Portuguese and Brazilians came to CAS as volunteers, so now, another Brazilian and one Portuguese are always in my room. Wesley and Ricardo, they are so cool, seriously crazy though. Oh, I think it was before the trip to Andalucia, but Im not quite sure, we went on a campout thing to this camp called Entrepeñas which is actually near Madrid, kind of. There, was where I really got to know a lot more people from the school, and from the church, just cuz a lot of the youth from the church and pretty much all the internos go too, so it was really fun. It kind of reminded me of highschool, like bible retreat. So yeah, I became friends with John Mejia, Michelle Modad, Elena Acosta, and a whole lot of other people. Those people were the only people that i met however who really speak english though, seeing that they are Americans. John, is a theology student here, and is from Minnesota(well he says that he's from Cali) anyway, Michelle is a menina and she is from Missouri, and Elena is a student at Southern who is working as an sm here this year, teaching english. So yeah, with all these people, and many more, I have been enjoying Spain. Going to the beach, at least once a month, and even though this sounds slightly crazy, going swimming, at least once a month. Another thing that I started doing last quarter, was going bouldering at least once a week, when I can in Valencia, at Vents. Its a salon de bulder or Rocodromo connected to a sweet little climbing shop. So that has defenitely been a great way to relieve stress, and to just have fun.
Now, onto Christmas Vacation... That was defenitely a wonderful experience; it was crazy, but it was defenitely really awesome. I won't go into great detail about everything about that, but I will just tell you that travelling through Europe with good friend, and with Tara, the love of my life, it was defenitely, and seriously so cool. Stayed at school until the last day pretty much that we were allowed to, just because Tara wasnt getting here until the 21st, so we left here on the 19th, and went to Madrid where we met here on the 21st. I was pretty much with John in Madrid. We stayed in a hostal in the city, near the center, which was really awesome, and pretty high tech I thought. Went to church on saturday, its the church where a lot of guys from CAS go, its their home church. Eder, Josue, Dani, Sergio, and theres probably someone that I am forgetting. After church, we got a ride to Eder's house, with some really important dude from Telefonica, which some of you may recognize because it has holdings in Central America, anyway, sorry thats pretty random. Then went to his house, ate lunch, and then he toured us around the city. To be continued....