(FYI, “Encantada” directly translates to enchanted and is how the Spanish say “pleased to meet you.”)
Well, this is my first post, but I’ve been here for just about two weeks now and there are about a million things to write about. For everyone’s sake I’ll give you the condensed version.
First, the basics: There are 5 of us here in Toledo from CC right now and each of us is living with a different host family. My host mom, Charo is a stay-at-home mom and oversees the entire (very busy) household. She is also definitely the Spaniard I am closest to in Spain. Her husband spends a lot of the week away on business trips but comes back on the weekends. My host brothers, Christian and Oli, are 23 and 26 respectively. Oli lives and works in Madrid but has come back home a few times since I’ve arrived. Christian goes to school in Toledo and still lives at home (a common phenomenon these days with Spain’s economic crisis). And then there’s Paula. Paula is the most adorable and energetic 7-year-old adopted Chinese girl ever. Also living with us is a cat named Messi (after Leo Messi of Barcelona fútbol fame) and Kelly, another American exchange student from Notre Dame. The abuela lives in the apartment below us (though I have no idea which side of the family she is from). This cast of characters comes and goes from the house freely along with novias (girlfriends), dogs, playdate friends, and neighbors. I never really know who will be there when I get home.
We have class with this very nice profesora named Natalia. She has the most interesting wardrobe I’ve ever encountered; the other day she wore these awesome Aladdin pants that I think were made out of corduroy. This block it’s all grammar, all the time. It is 15 hours a week, just like a majority of CC’s blocks, except we have class Tuesday and Thursday for 3 hours in the morning and then another 3 hours after lunch. And then Friday we have morning class as well. Lunch is the biggest and most important meal of the day in Spain so the whole family comes and eats together at around 2:30. Then the siesta (it’s real it’s real!!!) last until about 4. I actually just learned that siesta is not a direct translation for nap. Siesta only refers the the mid-day rest after eating. I tired to tell them I was going to take a nap one morning before lunch and they informed me I had been incorrectly using the word siesta for most of my life now…
Obviously there is a lot more to tell, but for now I’ll leave you with some photos of this gorgeous place. Toledo is so different from any place I’ve ever been before and I’m just happily soaking it all in. The following images are: 1. one of the gates leading to the historic part of Toledo (El Casco) 2. a view looking towards the Casco, taken in a park near my house 3. Messi!