Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I've decided to squeak in one last post before this month comes to a close.

I have my title has "disappointment," because no matter how little the deciding factor can be it always hits home, and maybe even more so when your 3000 miles away from your real home.
I've been waiting for a package for just around 7 weeks now. It contains some really nice stuff, that would be a total bummer to lose. A package arrived today, and we thought for sure this was the one, but it wasn't. And no matter how grateful I was to receive that package, I was unable to control my disappointment. The tears came flowing.
I have to say that for the amount of time that I have been here and the change that I am going through, I have not cried as much as I am sure I need to. It is very rare that I get time alone, and I am not a big fan of public crying.
This post is not meant to be, well the way it is. I just wanted to write about how hard it is to have expectations be crushed, or better suited, hopes.

My time is going great. My body just this afternoon, died quite hard. So it will relish this "weekend" break. This weekend we are going to Mallorca, which is in the Baleares islands off of Barcelona. Don't worry this isn't a vacation. Did you really think I would be going somewhere so soon without swimming being involved? The meet this weekend is the Championships of EspaƱa, I will not be swimming since I have not been a resident of Spain for one year. However my host siblings are going to be swimming so I get the pleasure of tagging along and seeing some cool stuff...and hopefully some fast swimming.
Everyone on the swim team is really great, and I feel as though each week I get to know everyone just a little bit better. I've really been enjoying myself the past few weeks, not that I wasn't to begin with. Thanksgiving was a bit of a challenge. I got to skype with just about all of my extended family, I got all the grandparents, and missed just a few aunts. It was really cool to see everyone and their tables and turkey's. However I wasn't sure if the skyping was for the better or the worse considering, I got a little more homesick with each session.

November has been quite the month, and I am looking forward to what the next 7 months have to offer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Quiet Flame

"There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion." Carl Jung

With my first real holiday away from home just around the corner, I've been feeling lost and unsure of my emotions. My mind wanders without a defined direction and my motivation is somewhere lost on another day.
It's strange for me to think that my family will be together without me. I know that it will be hard for me, but what will it be like for them. Did I make enough of an addition to the family to feel like a gap when everyone gathers, and I am not there? That sounds like a terrible sentence, because honestly I know that I was a large enough part of the family to make a gap. Its just difficult for me to imagine what they are going through. How is me being away going to effect everyone's holidays?

I know that for this year everything is going to be a little shaken up, a little different from years past.

Its hard to imagine that just one person can have an effect on many, how bonds have been built and retained, over and through tough times... for example this adventure. I feel so thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life.
I got to skype with my family on Sunday evening (per norm) and my two best friends just happened to be there. I really miss the four of us together
I just miss having them around and the wonderful energy that surrounds us all, its almost like a bubble. Talking to them was good, just like old times. Yet, it was at the same time yanking a my heart, for I want to be with them. It was hard to watch them all be together without me.

And maybe it was that skype session that a lit the quite flame inside of me that now longs for home. For something familiar and for a break, a rest from my go go go life and the need to always pay attention.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gaining Ground

What a world wind of change, learning and growing that has graced my life in the past two months. And everyday never ceases to add something to my ever growing bucket.

This past week was a challenge. I've gotten a bit of a cold, and just need a bit of down time, however with my go go go Spanish life style, I have to go without. Leading to my emotional, and now physical collapse. Not literally, but much pain was suffered this week, as well as tears being shed.

I was able to make it through today, which was a FAN day, in regular terms...swim meet.
The morning began with the 200brst, which I was able to finish with dropping time. And then the 50brst. We don't get to swim 50's in the states so I had a lot of fun with that one. Came out with a 35.09 which ended up being a club record. Now that's cool! Here I am this strangely tall, and now grossly jacked girl from Maine, just swiping the record. And to tell you the truth, the coaches seemed a bit more pleased than I was. To me, at least right now in my "new" situation, a record means nothing. I'm just out there doing my best and if something comes of it great, but right now I'm not going for anything. Which lead to my 50fr in the relay when I split a 27.8. For me it was no big deal, me just doing what I do best, but the coaches seemed shocked...quite comical.
For the afternoon, after my 200fr (not quite a flop, but not amazing) the coach started talking about how if I want to get on the 8fr relay I have to pull out  2:15ish. I just let him talk, not wanting to burst his bubble by saying that the last thing I want to participate in is the 8fr relay. The coach here is crazy, not literally but he sure does have his moments. Just imagine, a therapist, who is into Buddhism and spiritual stuff, being your swim coach. Yes, if you guessed that he makes the strangest metaphor's, and therapy relations to what we are suppose to be doing in the water, then you are 100% correct. He's always talking about having fun and smiling and laughing in the water. Its annoying, and ridiculous! Although sometimes he has a point, and then other times I just want to burst into laughter, however that would be rude.

I feel as though I have ranted enough for now...

Monday, November 15, 2010

8 weeks...

And many more to come.

The other day on facebook another girl who is studying abroad in Spain right now wrote that she has six more weeks until she gets to see her family. That made me think about how many more weeks I have, in total it's around 34! And eight have already passed, that's a total of...a lot!

So today marks the day that I left Maine, exactly two months ago. WOW! What an adventure so far. And today was no less of an adventure than yesterday. For yesterday consisted of a lot of old teenage guys, their girlfriends (just imagine because I don't want to describe) and a bounce house. Entertaining, I would say yes. And today was a monumental day, because I took my first French test and totally flopped. I think in total I left about 5-6 answers blank because I had no idea. How am I suppose to be able to remember French vocabulary when I am just trying to get a grasp on Spanish.
The class corrected the tests after we finished and me having once again good luck got a nice girl who "fixed" some of my answers to be correct and had me write in some of the questions that I didn't answer because, well because I didn't know the answer. Its cool that people are looking out for me, even people I don't even know.

A thanks goes out to all of those people who have helped me along the way thus far, and whom I know will never read my blog.

p.s. I got a 5 on the bio test!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ever Changing Plans

Or just wrong information.

There was no swim meet today, well there's still four more hours in the day so maybe, but lets hope not. Instead we had a practice that seemed to be made just for me, even though it was not. It was a sprint set!! Finally something that I enjoy and am averagely good at.
However my spirit was then pounded to the dirt when lifting began and then even more so when we got back in the pool for another hour. Making that a total of four hours for the day. And now here I am a little over an hour away from going to a party, running on about seven hours of sleep.

Oh, okay you are going to love this. So last night we were walking to the car after swim practice and my host mom was like, "yeah were going to celebrate Juan Maria's birthday tonight, having dinner with him and his girlfriend." I got the impression that we were going to eat dinner at home as a family, etc. However, come 9:30 and I'm skyping with a friend and the mom comes in, saying "are you ready to go," I was totally taken off guard. A little bit of miss interpretation, but I was able to pull myself together quite quickly, and then we were off. It was cool, all of us being out to dinner. I felt like part of something, and at one point I  just thought to myself, "wow this is really a reality," because I remember in January when this ball began to roll and then it just kept rolling, without me knowing really what was happening. But know here I am, so far from home, with something that was hardly a spark, now burning like a wild fire.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Reality of Tomorrow

Who know what will come tomorrow...

As for today,
we had a class excursion to the European film festival where we got the pleasure of watching a movie about out of lesson boy and their girl problems and sexual urges. If that doesn't sound bad enough, the movie was in french with Spanish subtitles. An excursion sounds fun right?! However even after the movie my brain hurt from having to read the subtitles, comprehend what I read and see what was being shown on the screen. Who knew a movie could be such hard work to watch.
My time is going well, swimming is totally draining my body as it should be, however it is not the most welcomed thing at 6:30 in the morning, nor at 9:30 at night. I feel as though I could sleep for 20 years and still wake up tired. Its always the journey that makes the experience though, right?
This weekend is going to be full of swimming, studying and partying. Saturday during the day is a swim meet, and then at night a girl on the team is hosting a party, lets hope this times there are guys. Sunday we are celebrating my host brothers birthday that was on Monday. Imagine this...our whole swim group (tons of teenagers and above) and a bounce house. This should be interesting. And in all of these exciting things, when am I going to have time to study French? Because, me being an exchange student coming to Spain to learn Spanish wouldn't want to fail French class, now would I?!

Don't worry you will be updated ASAP :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Lighter Note

Well tomorrow is definitely going to suck considering I just found out that I have to train from 8-10pm tonight.

My day went a little like this:
Ana was sick today so we didn't go to morning practice, well actually I just didn't wake up to go because I had no idea she was sick. Plus I wasn't totally motivated, who would be at 6:30 in the morning. I went to school by myself, and I felt like a kinder-gardener on their first day of school. I was a bit excited to go to school on my own, see what it would be like. It went fine, nothing exciting happened like I guess I was hoping would. The bio test was fine, the teacher told me that I had to answer at least 3 out of the 6 questions. Just because of me maybe taking longer than the other kids, and to tell you the truth that was a great relief, because 2-3 of the questions I had no idea what they were asking, or how to answer them.
This afternoon, my host father and I went back into Seville, for the next step in getting my student residence card. We have to make only one more trip, in about 45 days to pick up the card and then its official, I'm here to stay...at least until June that is.

My last post was a bit in the heat of the moment, however it was just what I needed to get out. And on top of that, to all of you who responded, thank YOU, because those comments were just what I needed to hear.
I understand that what my host sister is going through is just as hard as what I'm going through. Her having to share her space with a complete stranger, and include me into her everyday life. I get how hard that would be. And I what to put in a but here, but I am going to refrain.

Today is my host brothers birthday, so we are going to celebrate sometime later this week. Yes, another late school night!

Until next time...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sadly the Truth

When I think of my blog, I think of writing about the wonderful experience that I'm having...along with a few rough posts. But something has been bothering me lately, and I want to write about it, and since it is part of the "experience" I am going to share it with you.
I am not at all trying to hurt anyone in this post, I'm just speaking MY truth.

Well here goes...
I feel like my host sister doesn't like me, or at least doesn't take me seriously. Shes always commenting on how tired I always am, and that I got 8 hours of sleep so how can I still be tired, and then after a challenging swim practice (for me) she'll say "and that wasn't even a hard practice." I just feel like she's not looking to see who I am, I feel as though she is comparing me to her. I'm a totally different person in a MILLION ways, I just wish she would stop judging.  And she's not even trying to get to know me, she has not once asked me a question about my life, where I'm from or who I am. You can't get to know someone just by reading their application.
I need a lot of sleep to begin with and then throw in 4 hours of working out and everything in a different language, I think I have the right to be tired by Monday. Obviously I'm not used to doing doubles everyday, so this is going to take some getting use to, granted I don't think I will ever get use to it, or at least the lacking sleep part, because just trying to stay awake in school sucks, let alone paying attention and comprehending.
Ana seems to think that I need her help with everything. We have a Bio test on Monday (not going to be pretty) and she came into the living room where I was studying Philosophy and said "we have a Bio test on Monday are you going to study?" Well right now is Friday night, and I'm just trying to pull myself together after a long week, why in the world would I want to study right now? And yes I'm not stupid I know we have a test on Monday, and yes I'm going to study. I just wish she would have a bit of confidence in me. I wish everyone would.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my host sister, its just that I've been feeling fragile and vulnerable lately, and look whats come of that. 

Okay well on a brighter note. We had a presentation in world science today, and the teacher before we (it was in groups) began, came up to me and seemed super surprised that I was going to present too. She said that just for getting up there and speaking that she would give me a good grade. For me right now its just the effort that counts! And to top it off, after reading off my paper I received a small round of applause from the class, and the presentation wasn't even over. In fact I was the first one to speak.
Good to know people are cheering me on.  

Thanks for listening...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I feel like blogging right now, but I'm not really sure what to write about...well I have a few random things to say.

  1. We've been watching the news a lot lately, and the most recent public interest is about a 10 year old girl who is pregnant...by her 13 year old boyfriend. I'm pretty sure that when I was 10 years old I had no idea what all this stuff was. Its amazing how early kids are learning about stuff, times are a changing. 
  2. The other day is my language class, the class that I go to while my real class is in English, a girl asked me how I spell my name and I wrote it out for her, and she laughed, because she thought it was spelled Jeder. Taking for granted the fact that everything is pronounced differently here, but still...
  3. Oh, while on the name topic. At the first swim meet, when you got behind the blocks you had to tell the timer what your name was, and every time I had to write my name because no one had any idea how to spell it. One woman even asked me if my name is a rare name, and I had to tell her that I'm from the states.
I've been receiving mail, ever since I arrived, but I just want to say thank you. I know that a lot of the letters were written at my going away party, for those of you who attended. I love coming home from school or practice to find a letter sitting on my bed, a bit of good reading before bed.
I want to send a special thank you to my great aunt, Auntie Sam, because she is owning you all in the letter writing. I just received my sixth or seventh letter today:
                                Auntie Sam you rock!!

Until next time...