Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ciudad Un-Real

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ahhhhh!!!! Still can't believe I'm here. Katie and I were talking about how we weren't uncomfortable at all here because it feels like coming home. It's like we stepped right back into our old Spanish life and every tiny cobblestoned street we turned on felt familiar to us somehow. 

Toledo is a beautiful historic city and so we all walked around and got lunch when we arrived. My first Spanish meal was tapas of course! Partridge pâté, beef stew, croquettes, tuna and potato salad, Manchego cheese and ham, and patatas bravas with sangria! 
Then in the evening we met back up with group for dinner at this yummy restaurant with lots of little alcoves to fit us. It felt like we were in a little cave. I had more pâté, croquettes, and cheese, an egg and sausage biscuit, veal and potatoes, and ice cream with wine and sangria again. 

Then we went to the roof of our hotel which had a nice bar area and a bunch of us played Cards Against Humanity! It's a good way to get to know everyone haha  I wish we were all going to be staying a little closer to one another but it will be good to be a little separated so we make Spanish friends. We're all going to make travel plans together which will be nice. This was the panoramic view off of the balcony in my hotel room with the Cathedral in the distance. 

Today we woke up and had a light breakfast 

and went to our orientation at the library of Toledo: 

We learned a little more about our roles in the school and got some practical information. Then we met our tutors! Maribel is a 34 year old English teacher in the school I'll be at in Daimiel, but she lives in Ciudad Real which is about a half hour away. She picked me up from orientation and we drove about an hour and a half to her apartment. She ordered pizza for me (a very delicious peperone) and I met her boyfriend Samuel. Samuel is also an English teacher; he was born in Portugal, then went to South Africa when he was a year old and spent 17 years there, and then went back to Portugal for 15 years. They're both pretty cool to say the least and we got along well. (ALSO she told me I looked very Spanish right after I met her AND she says my Spanish is good!! Those are THE highest compliments and I love her for them).  She showed me my timetable for school and explained how things would work. Then we went to the city center, met her parents, and took a walk! 

Ciudad Real has about 75,000 people so it's about double the city of Dayton proper without suburbs. I had some ice cream (Chocolate Brownie), met one of Maribel's friends, and talked to the boss of the English academy where Samuel works to inquire about whether I could teach English lessons for "pocket money" as she says. The answer to that question was "vamos a ver," so "we'll see." I'm so excited and grateful for every aspect of this experience and I can't wait to see how this will change me and make me better. It feels so unreal to be here, and thus the punny title of the post. I'll probably be hashtagging it so prepare yourselves. 

I think I'll save my introduction to my host family for the next post because it's 12:58pm here and I am ready to sleep for a whole day. 


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