Sunday, March 29, 2009

don't look back in anger

Its been a very interesting week. Not bad, not great... just interesting. Had a few things that I had been praying about get an answer, but not how I expected. There were a few blows to my self-esteem, but also a lot of love and encouragement. I am still processing all of this and trying to figure out how it will shape me into the woman I am becoming here.

Fundraising for Proyecto Portugal is going extremely well. We are over the halfway point of the money we need to raise. Once we got to 150 Euro, the exchange students had to do a dance (which was performed very well if I do say so), at 500 euros we get to have a pie throwing party and when we reach the goal of 1125 Euros all of the boys on the team are going to shave their heads. There is going to be a benefit concert/auction on April 1st at a local club, so hopefully we will be able to raise the rest of the money before they all leave for Portugal on thursday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

paint me over with your dreams

So I am officially registered for classes for this fall at MCC. I am taking a full course load, and I am going to be busy, but I am happy to be getting back on track with school and heading towards finishing a degree. These are my courses this fall:
Music Theory
Aural Perceptions
Piano 1
Chamber Chorale
Private Voice Lessons
Survey of Broadway Musicals
Psych 101

I may also add another internet class or 2 this summer to help get done faster, but I don't want to overload myself. I have also been given a partial scholarship for this fall, which will be a major blessing.

This weekend was amazing and restful for me. Had a lot of time with Spanish friends as well as American visitors. My favorite moment from the weekend was going out to lunch after church (Chinese food! Yum!) and just spending time with some of the team, Krin and Jared. I am also excited to get to spend more time with friends and have more time to take walks (and more pics for you, mom). Getting ready for Semana Santa.. plans are still not totally finalized, but I think I am taking a road trip with Rebecca, Whitney and maybe another person. I'm pretty thrilled, but also in the back of my mind is the realization that our time here is winding down.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

keep breathing

Campamento was an amazing experience. We took 20-25 students (so there were almost 40 of us) to a camp near Madrid for the weekend. It was crazy and fun and way too short. I was really worried going in about speaking only in Spanish for almost 3 full days, but it actually was not that hard! I am so proud of myself. I got to know a lot of the girls better, the girls ALMOST won in Flamenco Futbal and we had some awesome talks from Hernan and worship time with Lauren, Chris and Krin. Some of my favorite memories were from the futbal game. The girls may not have had the skills, but we made up for it in spirit. And pink clothing. Also, dancing with Antonio in the dining hall. I will never forget that.

I'm still processing all of the cool things that are happening, so forgive me for being a little scatterbrained and vague. I just don't know how to put it all into words. Most of us finished school this week. I passed both of my classes (one with highest marks!) and now have a lot more free time to put into the students. All of the other girls went to Barcelona for the weekend, so I am staying here with the boys, some spanish students and some american visitors. This weekend is a Puente (bridge) because today is a festival... who knows what for, they just like to have festivals. But a Puente is basically a long weekend. So a lot of the students left for the weekend and there are crazy amounts of tourists here. Also- the Carrefour is closed today, which unfortunately I did not know until after I walked the 10 minutes there. Oh well, its good for me. I got the whole apartment cleaned and my friend Carmen is coming over to cook with me and have a fiestita out on the patio this afternoon.

Also, I am almost registered for classes back home for summer and fall. It is strange to be thinking about that already, and I am not really ready to face it. Waiting to hear back from my advisor about my voice lessons, choir and a scholarship and then I will finish registering. :) Lots of performance and music classes this fall <3 me encanta!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm a locked room inside a tall tower

I love feeling loved by my team. We all got to have one-on-one time last night (in a rotation... like speed dating, but it was speed- love time). It gave me a lot to think about, but also a lot of encouragement and good feelings. What a great way to start the second half of the trip! We are now officially in the downhill side... 62 days left in Spain!

I have finals in my spanish classes this week, one tomorrow and one next monday. Also this weekend is Campamento! We are super excited and ready to go. Next week we also have some visitors in from the states, so it it going to be a very busy, but super fun couple of weeks.

In a few weeks is Semana Santa (like Spring Break) and I am not sure yet what I will be doing. I think Rebecca and I are just going to take a random trip somewhere. We are thinking about Santander and San Sebastian, which are on the northern coast of Spain. I'm excited and I hope that it works out for us to go!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

te esperare

I have made a new goal for myself while I am in Spain, because you know school and work at En Vivo are not enough. I am going to translate one or possibly two worship songs into Spanish. I'm sure it will be a challenge and I will need a lot of help, but I think it will be a good experience for me. I am also going to make myself start playing the keyboard and maybe some guitar once school is over with next week! I would like to also write more songs, but that might be pushing it on time.

This week for cafecita (accountability group) we did an exercise on perceptions. We each had to ask 3 people to write to Ansley about what they thought about us... another exchange student, a spanish student and our best friend from home. It was all completely anonymous and Ansley copied and pasted it into one document for each of us. Its interesting to see what people will really say about you when there is little to no risk of consequences. Overall I think they said good things about me, there were only a few negatives. Here is what my list said:
Shy, Quiet, Loyal, One-on-One, Beautiful voice, Needs alone time, Afraid of what others think, Talks to the loners at En Vivo, Comfort allows her to be outgoing, "I notice she doesn't go out much, but I wish she would because I laugh a lot when I am with her", "Consistent- you don't see her super happy or screaming or anything- but content", Finds worth in taking care of people, Doesn't do well with change, Incredible heart for God, Sweet and caring, Compassionate, Cautious, Mom

I'm not disagreeing with any of them, but the 2 things that stuck out to me the most are "Afraid of what others think" and "Doesn't do well with change". Those hurt a little. I don't want to be afraid of what other people think of me. I want to be adaptable to change. Is this something I will grow into? Someday will I wake up and just not care what others think or what may change that day? I think those are the two things that are holding me back the most here in Spain- things that I don't know how to fix. I suppose I can just fake it 'til I make it and keep praying about it.

It also made me laugh that my list said Mom. Everyone on the exchange team talks about my "mom tendencies" and my need to take care of all of them. Jared has even started calling me Cassie Madre because casi means almost in spanish.... haha Jared. (David also calls me Casi, pero no... they all think they are so clever)

We are getting ready for Campamento next weekend. We already have about 20 students signed up to go, mostly girls. We are hoping to bring as many students as possible. Please just pray for us as we are getting ready and inviting students, for Hernan as he is going to be speaking all weekend and for God to prepare and open the hearts of the students.