La Primera Semana

Not doing the blog in real-time is throwing me off, so I’m going to try to catch everyone up through the week!  Here we go:

On our first full day in Valencia we walked to La falcultat de filologia, traducció i comunicació for our orientation. The director of the program spoke and most of our teachers introduced themselves. I have very little trouble understanding but I feel trapped in my own head when it comes time to speak.  After the orientation, a small group of us trekked to El Corte Ingles for a little ir de compras (shopping).  I finally bought my cell phone!

On Tuesday we all had our first round of classes. I really love my Tuesday/Thursday schedugle.  I have Introduction to Literature, Cine, and Advanced Grammar and Composition.  The teachers here are so excited about their subjects and I feel like I’ve learned so much this week already, especially in Grammar.  The first day our profesora said that she never understood why we learned little bits of grammar at a time and I completely agree! Our book for that class contains absolutely everything I could ever need to know about Spanish grammar.  That might be my favorite class!

After class we took a trip to the Basilica and to climb the tower to see panoramic views of the city.  Walking around the Basilica took my breath away. The incredible level of intricacy all bathed in gold astounds me.  I understand the incredible power of the Catholic church in earlier centuries.  People both poor and rich worshiped in buildings of untold opulence.  We then climbed to the top of the tower, and that was a workout for sure! The stairs kept getting steeper and more and more narrow near the top. Once I came out on top of the bell tower, every step climbed was absolutely worth it for the magnificent view of the city.

Wednesday, I went to my first literature class. That might be my hardest class. The professor speaks quite quickly and the concepts will be a little bit harder, but I’m really excited about learning about Spanish literature. After class, David and I wanted to buy Universidat de Valencia gear.  Well, went to the wrong store and asked for directions to the one we needed. It took us maybe two hours to actually find the place and no one could tell us where it was.  I did finally buy a sweet sweatshirt though!

Thursday, I booked my first flight for a weekend away to Rome! I’m so thrilled about being able to fly to Rome, Italy in a couple of hours.  We also planned a trip to Granada for next weekend.  Because we don’t have Friday classes, a group decided to go out.  We started a Blau like we normally do, and then we went dancing at Bolseria.

Friday, for a cultural activity, we went to el Mercado Central. It reminded me a lot of the DC Eastern Market. The colors of the fruits and vegetables are so strong and bright.  I really love markets.  Everything is so fresh and the vendors take such pride in their products.  The most interesting part was probably the fish section. There were whole fish staring back at me and even some live eels swimming around. Being in markets like that makes me want to cook again and create beautiful meals.  After dinner a small group of us went to El Río to see the park. It was beautiful there are tons of fountains and green space and soccer fields and orange trees are everywhere.  We came across probably the best playground I have ever seen!  It was Gulliver when he was caught by the Lilliputians.  We climbed all over him and slid down big slides. I felt like a little kid again.  I also finally did laundry (well Agata did most of it). It was kind of an exciting challenge to figure out the washer and dryer deal.

Saturday I felt a bit like a hermit. I attempted to plan all of the trips I want to take, but in reality I might have planned one. It takes a lot of research to find easy and cheap means of transportation.  Sunday I went to mass at the Basilica, and it blew me away. I could feel the majesty of Christ in that place.  The music the priest sang was beautiful and I felt like maybe I was seeing the tinsiest glimmer of the splendor of heaven. Later that day, we went to the beach. Two silly boys jumped in the water while the rest of us stayed bundled in our coats and scarves.  The beach was beautiful, and I can’t wait to see it when it gets warmer.  Well now I need to go to class. Contemporary Spanish Literature here I come!


3 Comments to “La Primera Semana”

  1. Your pictures are beautiful. Take a picture of the outside of where you are living and the street it’s on. I want a visual.

  2. Me too!
    Aunt Debbie (LYMY)

  3. I can’t tell you how jealous I am! Keep the blog updates coming. I really enjoy the pictures. Happy Chinese New Year: Gung Hay Fat Choi!

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