Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Past Week ~ Classes, Trips, Parades/Holidays, & More!

The past two weeks have been very eventful for me.  I began class on Wednesday, January 13.  I have two classes on Monday/Wednesday and two classes on Tuesday/Thursday.  On Monday/Wednesday I have one class at 12, then go home for lunch and siesta and go back to the school for my other class at 4:45.  Those classes are General Translation and History of Spanish-America.  My Tuesday/Thursday is a little less hectic with class at 10:30 and then 12, so I don't have to go home in between.  I have the same professor for both of those classes, which are two literature classes but I really like her.  The classes are Present Day Spanish Literature and a combined class of Spanish literature (starting with the Middle Ages) and Cervantes & the Golden Age.  
I really like the three professors that I have.  

The daily schedule here is a little strange compared to the American daily routine.  Here in Spain, people generally wake up at around 8am, go to work and then come home for lunch for around 1 or 2pm.  After that is "siesta" until about 5 or 6 when places reopen for the evening for a couple hours, until about 8 or 9pm.  Then dinner is served and there is the option of hanging out or going out until it is time for bed.  On the weekdays, it seems normal to go to bed around 12am and if people go out on the weekends to the bars/clubs, people generally do not return home until about 5 or 6 in the morning.  That's quite a schedule compared to the United States! 

Last Friday I went out with the girls that live near me in my program (Megan & Christina) and also Rachel (another girl from my program who was also here last semester).  We met up with some friends that she made from church at a bar.  They were so cool! They are from all different countries including Germany, England, Bolivia, and Colombia.  We really had a great time that night meeting each other. 

Last Saturday we took our first excursion to Sagunto, which is about 20 minutes north of Valencia.  It is there that the are ruins from a Roman castle and Roman theatre.  That was pretty cool to see.  It is located up really high because we had to walk up a really steep hill to get to the top. (My FitBit said at the end of the day that I did the equivalent of 67 floors!)  Because it was so high, the view was really amazing because I was able to look down onto the city and also out to the Mediterranean Sea.  
I have posted videos and more photos on my Facebook. 

The day after our excursion to Sagunto, there was a festival in my neighborhood.  I live in San Antonio and Sunday was San Antonio Day, the patron saint of the protection of animals.  I went out with Christina & Megan to go see what was going on at 11am.  We walked through the streets of our neighborhood where people were out walking their dogs and also looking at all the horses that were lined up in the street getting ready for a parade.  So we walked around looking at the animals until the parade started at 12.  I have a video of my Snapchats from that day on Facebook.  
Also, last Sunday I met my "mom's" son, daughter, and 3 out of 4 of her grandkids (one had soccer). 

The beginning of the week was nowhere near as exciting as last weekend was for me.  I went to my classes and back home and started getting into a routine.  On Wednesday I got very sick where my stomach was bothering me a lot.  I went to my class in the morning but was unable to go to my second class because I wasn't feeling well enough.  I think I may have gotten sick from something that I had eaten the night before.  After I slept for the rest of the day on Wednesday after lunch, I was feeling well enough on Thursday morning to go to my classes.  After attending class, I also took the rest of the day to rest.  

Yesterday, Friday, was yet another holiday for Valencia.  It was the day of San Vicente Mártir, who lived and died in Valencia around the year 304AD.  Christina and I met up with Rachel, Jordan, and Jackie (other people from our group) to see a procession from the cathedral in the center of the city.  

After the procession we decided to walk around a bit and go to an art museum.  On the way there we stopped to watch another short procession that was also pretty cool. 
After the people dressed up to represent San Vincente, there were people dressed up in traditional Valencian dress.  That was cool to see!  What was also cool was that they were also throwing out candy, something that I was not expecting from a parade in Valencia.  
After the parade, we finally ended up at the art museum where there was a whole floor of a Picasso exhibit and upstairs were more really cool paintings to see.  

Later that night, there was a birthday party for one of Rachel's friends (Hernan) that we had met the previous week, and we were all invited.  We went to the apartment of one of the other friends (Leonie) where we surprised Hernan when he arrived.  It was a fun celebration. 
(In the picture is me, Leonie, Megan, Christina, and Rachel.)

I had a really eventful past two weeks since I arrived and I hope it will only get better, including my Spanish skills! 
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more!  


  1. great first week and it will get even better as you learn your way around and your speaking skills improve. Have fun.

  2. Melanie... Love the pictures..thank you for sharing them with all of look so happy and I'm glad you are having such a wonderful time ..looking forward to seeing more safe and enjoy.