We are off to Cordoba with a pretty rough start. Picture this… Two young American girls each carrying two excessively large rolling suitcases, an oversized backpack, and a large purse trying to make their way through a foreign train station- it wasn’t very graceful. Once we finally make it onto the train the only space available for luggage is in the overhead bins and this wouldn’t be a big deal except not ONE person offered to help us out…assholes. So, we are making one embarrassing scene trying to lift each 60 lb bag while everyone around us just stares. I wanted to scream, “Sorry we can’t lift half our weight!” But unfortunately, my Spanish is not that advanced yet. We finally settle down into our seats and about an hour later we arrive to Puente Genil (the town we will be teaching in for the next 8 months) where we have to repeat this drawn out embarrassing process. We are trying so hard to be discreet this time, but it was impossible with all the luggage. We almost have everything together and all of a sudden I hear Allie say, “We are moving, we are moving, we are moving….,” in a panic stricken voice. I look up in disbelief, but sure enough the train is pulling away from the platform and YET AGAIN, everyone just stares. There was nothing we could do. We just bury ourselves in the first seat we can find with all of our luggage still blocking up the aisle. We are both crying because we are laughing so hard and we may or may not have peed our pants a little bit. We decide that we should probably get off at the next stop and figure out a way to take the next train back to Puente Genil, so we jump off at Santa Ana. No one got on the train here and we were the only ones to get off, or I should say jump off because the train began to move with Allie still on it. We were now stranded in a town smaller than Marion, Alabama. The only good news is that we were done embarrassing ourselves in front of that crowd and now we have a new audience. We have to go up an escalator to get to the ticket counter and on the way up Mary Duncan’s bag falls backwards down the escalator and gets stuck in between the two sides of the stairs… and on her way back up she trips and falls. We experience more glares. After 10 minutes of a broken Spanish explanation they start yelling at us to hurry because another train is coming, “VENGA VENGA!” We finally pull into Puente Genil and feel like we are in an abandoned movie set…it is so small! As we are about to pull up to our hotel, Allie starts cracking up saying, “Oh my gosh, what if that was our hotel!” And sure enough, the barn building attached to a gas station is our lovely hotel.
Pray that our luck will change in Cordoba, Cordoba as we search for an apartment and start our teaching jobs a week from Monday!
“Literally the most embarrassing day of my life.” –Allie
This past weekend Allie and I went to Lagos Portugal with a group of friends! I am obsessed. The sand was white, the water was crystal clear, and everyone was so friendly. For all of you who said that I probably won’t come back to the states after this, you now know where you can find me.
We arrived at the hotel around one, Portugal time, on Friday so we had almost three full days to explore. As soon as we got to the hotel we went to put on our bathing suits for cliff diving and we were shocked when we saw the room. We had a kitchen, balcony, living room, big bedroom, HOT WATER and AIR CONDITIONING! Allie luckily gets to experience hot water and air conditioning on a daily basis, but for me this was heaven on earth.
After cliff diving at a beach called Dona Ana a group of us went to a local restaurant and ate amazing food and after that sang karaoke. We called it a night soon after and woke up early Saturday morning for a sangria cruise around the caves! After touring the caves we went to a beach called Peia Praia and it was gorgeous.
After the beach on Saturday we went to a restaurant called Nah Nah Bar and of course the food was great. But then again anything at this point is better than potato soup-my daily lunch AND dinner with my host family. After dinner we all went out for a while and had a blast! I already miss Portugal and I definitely plan on going back again soon. Allie and I got some good pictures and videos from the weekend that will be posted soon so yall will be able to see it all!
We are SO excited to keep everyone up to date on our lives in Spain this next year. So far, we have done more than one blog post should hold, but no pasa nada! (no worries) We will eventually fill everyone in with all of our adventures.
What are two southern American girls doing in Spain you might ask? Here is an overview of what’s going on:
-We are currently living in the Andalusia region in the province Seville (southern Spain). We live with host families and already have some pretty funny stories about our home stays. (More to come about the families and culture shock later)
-I have been here for 3 weeks now and Mary Duncan just arrived last week. The teach abroad program we are in is through CIEE. The first week here was orientation on living in Spain, how to find an apartment, how to teach English in a Spanish classroom, etc. Lots of information… this is going to be one interesting/exciting year.
-We are currently taking Spanish classes in a small language school called CLIC. It’s really neat because it has young people from all over the world and the common language between all of us is spanish. The teachers ONLY know spanish, which stinks for me since I don’t know any at ALL! So when I don’t know something, the explaination from my teacher is in spanish also. Definitely being immersed in it, that’s for sure! The classes are small and mine contains people from Germany, Holland, England, Brazil, Hawaii, and even Alaska! Alex is in my class (the beginner class-and the reason I arrived in Spain 2 weeks before Mary Duncan) MD is in the advanced class… jealous.
-At the end of September we are moving to the province Cordoba to begin our jobs for the following 9 months. Our job title: Teaching and Cultural Assistants and Language Ambassadors for our school. MD and I are both teaching 3-12 year old little ninos. Our schools are both public and located in a small town outside of the city, Puente Genil.
-We have several trips in mind over the time we are here, and we are planning to travel all over. This weekend… Lagos Portugal!!