I felt these were more than necessary seeing as in only 2 days I'll be leaving the 'comfort' of my new European Continent for another.. AFRICA! We'll all have to essentially start over again as we submerse ourselves in another culture with languages none of us speak. After doing it once (upon arrival here in Spain) we all feel like we're ready for anything.

The most important realization (of the week):
What we've been doing here for the past 2 weeks is not real life. Friday we will complete our final week of orientation with the official level exam and after that day life will change drastically for us. 4 days in another city of Spain traveling to Morocco until Tuesday.. then we are free to travel wherever we want because we don't start semester classes yet. Once we do finally start classes and have our approved schedules for classes we won't all be heading together to classes, or seeing one another as frequently. We won't be having all of the professors we have become accustomed to and know that we are second language Americans and take the time to get to know us and make sure that we understand.
Classes will be spread throughout the week ranging anywhere from the early morning to late nights with lots of time to spare in between.
I think that the walks will begin to feel much longer as we have to up the number of times we walk to and from home and school. We also will be beginning tutorial classes in 'Granada Seminar' and Phonetics. So not only will our class schedules feel crazy hectic for a while, we're adding 2 different possible locations!
So there will be more possibility to get lost, to lose track of time, possibly a larger workload, and the chance that I won't see the friends that I've connected with, as frequently as I am now.
On the other hand, I'm hoping that all of this change brings greater probability to meet Spaniard students and make Spanish friends. That's one of my top goals. That and speaking Spanish all of the time. There are students in the program that insist on/don't really try speaking the language when we have every opportunity to do so. I honestly start to feel a little bad when I am speaking English and everyone around me speaking the language that I came here to speak with fluidity.

Reflections on my Morocco Exchange and what's to come:
A brand new host family for our time there! We get to pair up 3 to a room which is great and may even get to choose our roommates. This makes me VERY happy :)
-As aforementioned, exposure into a completely brand new culture and way of life in a different area of the world, a continent that is classified as third world. That's exciting enough because not many people have any desire to see what life in the South is really like. They have no care if that gap exists and to see what the discrepancies really entail. I do. *FOOD is going to be cool to make comparisons with. Although every family and the way their kitchens operate in comparison even to their own neighbors and culture, my next blog will attempt to portray the difference in Spanish and African (Moroccan) cuisine. I'm excited!
-Communicating with the people there? The official language is Arabic but they also speak French and another language. I hear that the students that we will be meeting with etc will speak English and will be easy to communicate with. It's just equally amazing to me the fact that I can be exposed to additional languages in such a quick trip. (Of course there are foreigners that I can hear, French, German, etc. walking through the streets of Granada.)
-CAMEL RIDES! It's supposed to be a surprise event but they always do it for the Exchange program, to my knowledge at least and I must say I would be kind of disappointed if we didn't get that part of the experience ha.
-Pretty much all of our time there is on a set schedule because this isn't simply a vacation for us but an educational experience. This explains exactly what we'll be up to! and I'm sure all of our excursions, meetings with the Morocco Exchange program are going to be in English. (It was founded by an Irishman, I believe.)
Here's a fun fact for you. 40 euros = 444.55 Morocco Dirham. That was the recommended amount that we bring with us!

After Morocco Exchange
We have time to travel but I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO YET! The Czech Republic, Italy, France? I don't know!

I must start getting ready for class and such now though but I wanted to make sure to get this in. Despite all of the quick change and fast pace speed we're moving at, I'm excited and ready for more!
25/1/2012 02:11:02 am

So exciting you're going to Africa! where mom went as a child...Not sure where she actually went tho HAHA but if you go to italy i might cry:'(

Joy Angelos
26/1/2012 08:00:36 am

So jealous. I lived in Morocco for 2 years whn I was a kid (my dad was in the Navy and we were stationed there). Have always wanted to go back. Sounds like your trip/experience is great!

Chantal Madre de genevieve
26/1/2012 11:42:03 pm

Hi, Hija! Enjoy Africa. The food is great ! The peolple very friendly and very curious.
I lived in Kinsasha , Leopolville as a child. I loved it. They spoke Lingala, French and other dialects. As a child I remember the warm friendly African families and the fun activities we did. Priceless memories engraved in my soul....
I am happy you will experience Africa next week.
Bendicion Hija!
hasta el martes, que le vayas bien! Amor Papa


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