Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This last week has been full of a little bit of everything.  However, to start off I want to show all of you guys this snapshot of my blogs stats. When I saw this for the first time I was shocked. Who would have thought that people all around the world be tuning into my year abroad.

I have a bunch to say in this post, but nothing is in a nice story form, so hence the following bullet points.

  • Lets begin on Saturday, which was to say the least reassuring. Just the other day I found out that there is another American living in my neighborhood, literally a 3 minute walk away. Shes been here since the beginning of September and is in the class of a kid I swim with, and no one thought of mentioning either of us to the other until 3 months later. I have to say that for me knowing that another American is here really isn't a big deal for me or at least I didn't really think that it would have a big impact on how I'm feeling in my journey so far. I was a bit wrong, because meeting a girl my age who is taller than me and is from Atlanta, seemed to reassure me that I'm not all alone and that if I need someone she is right down the road. However what I do know is that she is going to be a bad influence on me learning Spanish. Which brings me to my next point. 
  • I know that a lot of you have been waiting for this moment. The post when I say that I have dreamed in Spanish! I would love to tell you what my dreams are about, however I'm too tired to remember when I wake up. And most of the time I'm too tired to dream at all. But the other night I remembered speaking in Spanish in my dream, I only remember me saying very basic sentences, but then when I thought back I was speaking real, complicated Spanish. Lets say that the JOURNEY had begun. 
  • How many times at home have you seen a fight, and I mean a real fight...people throwing punches, etc. Its not that often now is it?! Here its normal, mostly in a fun playful sort of "guy" way, but yesterday at practice my host brother and a fellow swimmer who is a beast went at it. No punches landed, but charges were made. Its quite frightening to see how quickly a person can change. They can go from the person you always see them as, to a scary creature. And the worst part is that their team mates. A team should be like a family, not a rival gang. 
  • Being on this adventure, I need to always look at the positives, which at times can be quite a grueling task so early in the morning. However, a week or so ago I was told that I smile a lot, by a guy to whom I had never been formally introduced to, so his comment was a quick judgement, to which I was proud of myself for finding the positive in lifting. 
I'll wrap this one up for now, want to keep them short and entertaining to read. This weekend is a swim meet in Extreamadura, with a group of 16 carefully selected kids to represent Natación Mairena. Wahoo go me! 


  1. Heather,
    WOW! You really are a superstar. It sounds like quite a great experience. To be honest I wish I was having changes like that in my life.
    I know what you mean about the fighting. I saw one at school a few weeks ago and was scared silly...and to think that it was only over a girl.
    I hope all is well! Oh today in Spanish we learned about your Holiday that you celebrate "Spanish Christmas" it celebrates the 3 wise men. January 6th.
    Good luck this weekend if I don't talk to you before then <3

  2. Your smile is illuminating and transcends all languages. Great posting. Love, Meom

  3. Congrats Heather on being one of the chosen few to compete in Extremadura! Regarding meeting the American neighbor--you are right on, seeing the positives and negatives. When I was living in Sevilla, I saw many friends lose alot of their Spanish (or not gain much) when they hung out with other Americans. I had a good American friend, but we both made a pact that we would only talk in Spanish. If that is too extreme for you, another option would be deciding that you would only talk English if you two were alone (so not in front of family, friends, school, etc). That could both protect your Spanish as well as prevent you from appearing somewhat rude and exclusionary-- talking English when most might not be able to understand you... Just my 2 cents, but I am sure you will figure it out! I love you!! Feliz Navidad! Love, Connie