Monday, October 4, 2010

Strange Waters

A little bit of everything has happened lately.

However regarding the swim team, I’ve begun to notice what I do and do not like about the training. It’s all distance here. The coach loves long boring sets, which for the kind of swimmer that I am, does not at all suit my needs. However we are in the beginning of the season so meterage does need to be put in to boost back up the endurance. Another thing, everyone here cheats! And when I say that, I mean they cut turns like birthday cake. Just think...oh I’m a little too far behind the person in front of me, or I want to pass this person, I’ll just cut the turn out entirely. And one more thing, technique is definitely not the priority here, because, streamlines seem nonexistent, turns are wide open, and I saw someone dive in with there arms apart!
Any way the good things are that everyone is super nice and I enjoy going to practice. The regimen here is very intense, you have to double up 4 days a week. Which means morning and night practice, and if you don’t then you have to do more on Saturday.
What I’m struggling with is the fact that I’m here in Spain to get the whole experience and not just have swimming be my whole life like it was at home. I don’t want to not be able to hangout with friends, or go visit cool places just because I have practice. The other day at school, I was talking with my Spanish teacher and she said that the school does excursions, both during the year and at the end of the year. She said that last year they took and trip to Berlin for a good chunk of days. And that in the end of October they are doing a trip to a city above Madrid. I think that it would be a great way to practice my Spanish and to meet new people while seeing different parts of Spain. Now I just need to figure out how to tell this to my host family, because swimming is everything for them, and I don’t want it to be everything for me. Don’t get me wrong I want to get faster, it’s just that this is a once in a life time experience.

the food here is very different from what I am use to...veggies! Here olive oil is consumed as though it is water, and mayo as...I don’t know what, but it is eaten with everything. French fries and mayo, cheese dipped in mayo, sandwiches slathered in mayo. You name it, mayo is eaten with it. I’m not a big fan of mayo, so I just pass when offered. Bread here is eaten with every meal, and not just boring bread, I’m talking about giant baguettes. Yesterday I had a sandwich, except...I’m sure you know someone who likes their sandwich without the crust, well this bread came without the crust! That was the first time I had seen anything like that.

Yesterday night, well night for me, afternoon for them, I skyped my family while they were at a family friends house whose dad speaks Spanish very well, so he was able to talk to my host family, which seemed to put them at easy. It was a very strange, but good, experience to see my family and my host family being able to see each other basically face to face. Skyping was really great, it was good to see my family and friends, they all look the same which is a good thing in my eyes.

I had my host mom and Ana help me correct my first Spanish paper, for Biology. I had to write about why biodiversity is a good thing and necessary for our survival. And now I have to read it to the class tomorrow...all eyes on me...the strange girl from Maine...the state that no one knows. I need to begin carrying around a map with me!

Lets hope I can channel a bit of my Spanish accent...