Saturday, January 24, 2009

por eso te amo

Just a Reminder: If you have pledged to sponsor me monthly, please don't forget to get your checks to my family so they can deposit them! I am still only at about 80% of my total budget for the semester. If you have any questions, please email me at

Pancake Dinner went really well. We had a lot of new people come, as well as a few older regulars. I really connected with two students who live in Salamanca named Marta and Nacho. They are music students (yay!) at the university so we talked for a while about that. Hopefully they will continue to come to events. Most of the people seemed genuinely interested so that was pretty cool. I will also be starting some intercambios soon, which are when I meet with another student for coffee or lunch and we speak in English for half an hour and Spanish for half an hour. I'm a little nervous about this, but I think it will be really helpful.

I am now almost a quarter of the way done with school here! My teacher is really awesome and patient with all of us (and he loves Koral and I, so you know he's smart). Finals are in March right before we leave for retreat. That will be a nice end of school treat. I also started my online class back at home this week, but haven't had anything to do for it yet. Its a music theory class, which might be difficult to do online, but Lauren, one of the staff here, was a music major (woohoo!) so she offered help if I need it.

We spent a couple days spring cleaning the campus house. It is looking awesome now! Lots of touch up painting, scrubbing floors and repainting the calendar wall. We also had some major work done on the bathroom and got a new stove! I will try to get some pictures of the house on facebook soon.

Eating here has been kinda interesting. Right now our fridge in our apartment is not really that cold... more like a slight chill. So good for juice and bread, not so good for yogurt, sauces, meat, cheese... and our freezer is downright warm. Not good. We called the duena and hopefully this will get fixed this week. Right now my yogurt is sitting in a crate out on the porch because it is colder out there than in our fridge. I feel like the pioneers. I just went grocery shopping but could only get things that don't need refrigeration. I am really tired of pasta and had a hard time buying soup because I don't know what some of labels say. I also really miss mexican food. I want some Matta's when I get home. Also my bedframe is coming on Monday! No more mattress on the floor!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I miss the sound of your voice

Things are slowly getting to a start around here. We have all been in school for about 2 weeks now. I feel like I am learning a lot, but I am still anxious about speaking in Spanish. I need to find a way to not be afraid to make mistakes. I'm trying to think about it as not just learning a language, but as an act of worship.

This week is the start of our ministry season. Typically we will have 3 events a week, but this week we just have one to get us started. Wednesday night we are having a pancake dinner- In English! yay! Typically on Wed night we have cafe ingles, but for this first one, we wanted it to be special to celebrate the end of finals for the Spanish students and the beginning of the year for us.

Next week we will be going full swing. Every Tuesday we have a lunchtime event called Tertulia. Its basically a free lunch for the university students, time to hang out and meet other students and there will be a 10 min gospel lesson. Its "first time" oriented, intended for anyone who is interested in what we are all about. On wednesday night, like I said, we will be having cafe ingles. Its name is pretty self explanatory- english coffee. We give out free coffee and tea and give spanish students a chance to practice english with us. Its possible that we may never talk about Jesus or the Bible on these nights and that is ok. Its just a chance to meet new people, get them interested in the ministry and try to minister by example. Every other Thurs we have a bible study/worship night at the house. This is for the people in the ministry looking to go a little deeper. On the weeks we do not have bible study, there is a leadership group that meets with the staff while the non-leadership students get to hang out somewhere else with the exchange students- woot woot! On Sundays we go to a local Christian church. Not going to lie, its a little rough right now. Its a lot of older men who do the speaking (their Spanish is typically harder to understand than younger adults and students) and the worship is all hymns that I don't know in English, much less in Spanish. Every once in a while we will get to one that I at least know the tune of (How great is our God! Yes!). I'm hoping it gets easier as my Spanish continues to improve, but for now, thank God for 3F podcasts :)

Things are starting to get into a routine around here. 2 of the girls in our apt have morning classes, and Koral and I have afternoon. It makes it nice because then everyone gets some time in quiet to do homework or whatever. We were all assigned our "jobs" for the semester (although I am sure we will pick up more as time allows). I am in charge of writing a newsletter for all of us to send out to family/friends/supporters, so be on the lookout for that! I am also helping with all the grocery shopping for En Vivo, which as you might imagine is a lot, and doing the chalkboard wall in the house once a week. I will also be doing some stuff with the band as a rotation allows. I'm going to try to get Koral to record it so I can get it up on facebook for everyone to see.

Alright... I have a newsletter to write. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Living in Europe is weird. I feel really detached from my emotions here and not really sure how to deal. Its weird that I left less than 2 weeks ago. In some ways it feels like I just got here, and in others I feel like I have been gone forever. I told someone before I got back to Spain that I felt like part of my heart was still in Salamanca and I needed to go finish my job here. Now I feel like I have that part back, but I left big parts of it behind in AZ too.

Having an interesting time living with 3 other girls. Its a very small apartment and Mer and I are sharing a room. I still don't have a bedframe (hopefully this will be fixed this week). 4 girls with 1 shower is a crazy arrangement. I love my team so much, but its not the same as having the people around who have known me for longer and just understand me. Koral and I are developing a sort of telepathy with eachother, which is cool and I think Meredith and I are going to be really close. Got to go... exchange student dinner in a bit, and I have to finish cooking.

Thank you to all of you who have been emailing/facebooking/etc, it really means a lot to me and I appreciate it so much. You all always know exactly when I need some love.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Once again- sorry about the delay in updating. We don't have internet at our apartment, so I only have it when I am at En Vivo and they have been keeping us pretty busy for our first couple of days. Today we had our placement tests for classes and then we were sent on a crazy scavenger hunt all over the city. Keep in mind that temps today ranged from 0 to -6 degrees Celsius!

Well, school starts tomorrow for exchange students (all of the Spanish kids are in final exams from last trimester- they start school again at the end of january) We should be starting activities at the ministry soon and I will have lots to talk about once that starts. I have 2 hours of Spanish every day and once hour of culture of Spain everyday. I am in the highest group in the lowest level Spanish... I have jokingly been calling it Espanol para ninos (spanish for children). My speaking is getting better already, but I didn't do so well on the written part of the test. No shock there.

Well. It is after midnight here and I still need to walk home in the freezing cold. If anyone has skype, look me up on there so we can talk when I am online! love you all!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hey Everybody!

Sorry that it took me so long to update, we have just been crazy running around our first couple of days. We spent a few days in Madrid just being lost and looking like American tourists. Saw a lot of cool old stuff.

We arrived in Salamanca yesterday. Our apartment is small and kinda old. It is obvious that boys lived there before us because it was DIRTY! Meredith and I are sharing a room... 4 girls in a 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath apt. We are all safe and going to start testing for school tomorrow.

Will update more soon!