Saturday, July 31, 2004

wrapping it up

tonight is my last night in salamanca. tomorrow i will take the bus to madrid; i fly out late tomorrow night. i feel like i should make some grand statement of conclusion about my experience in spain but it´s way too much to sum up right now, if ever.

the best i can do is say that this has been one of the great adventures of my life. my spanish is greatly improved, albeit not at the level i want it to be. i can understand and make myself understood in almost all cases and that is no small feat. okay, there are verbs and adjectives lying wounded all around me when i finish speaking, but i feel satisfied that now i have the tools to either say what i mean or describe adequately the vocabulary word that i don´t know.

my attachment to this place is greater than i´d anticipated. it´s strange to find that in just 2 months or so your life has fallen into a pattern that a short time before was so foreign. i have met some wonderful people, mostly young people, from all over the world. with some of the students, spanish was the only language we had in common. that was very cool. i am amazed how cogniscent they are of u.s. politics and how universally worried they are that bush might be re-elected...and we barely know the names of the presidents of each european country. my experience with these students has defied the stereotypes that abound about the french, germans, israelis, greeks, russians, and japanese. hopefully, some of the u.s. students and i have helped dispel the negative stereotypes that so many people here have of americans.

no matter how much i have come to love spain, however, i am so incredibly ready to be going home. i miss barbara fiercely, i miss my children and my friends. i miss mi propia casa--my own house! i am counting on all the people in my life who speak spanish to help me continue practicing. i am looking forward to taking additional classes and do whatever it takes to keep learning spanish. i also am looking forward to going to a doctor and finding out just how much damage i´ve done to these old feet of mine! damn, i have walked a couple hundred miles and my feet hate me but good. other than that, the warm, dry climate has agreed with me. i suspect i´ll need a couple of days to adjust to the sauna that is houston.

well, people, thanks for (virtually) taking this ride with me. i have no regrets--what a great time. the culture, the language, the food and the people are now all mixed into my quirky viewpoint. i would love to hear from any of you. especially if you have questions or are just curious about studying abroad.

by the way, i did really well in my second grammar class. i think it was partially a regalo (gift) from the professor, but godknows i learned a lot.
i actually used the subjunctive a couple of times yesterday.
ì have witnesses.

Monday, July 19, 2004

i´m still here

people, don´t give up on me--even though i have been lousy about entries this past two weeks. all is well here in salamanca. barcelona was incredible and i spent this past weekend in madrid revisiting the museums and that was wonderful. got to try cochinillo (roasted suckling pig) and, though i apologize to the vegetarian and faint-hearted among you, it was absolutely delicious.
now, unfortunately, i´ve got homework that needs conjugating and pronouns that need confusing, so this is all i can do. if you are irritated with me about my apparent blog slacking, you can always add your comments...