The first day of class is underway! But what have I done since I got here? I'll try to fill you in as best I can. 

Like I said, the first night was very hard for me. With no AC my room was hot and stuffy and I was muy cansado (very tired) from my travels. I didn't have luggage to unpack and I hadn't figured out the internet system yet. The next morning I woke up around 7:30 and went to the caf at 8:00. Luckily I found some of the guys who are Justin's friends and ate with them, and they said we could all meet up half an hour later to go to la playa (the beach) and Carrefour (basically a European Walmart). Since I still didn't have new clothes, I borrowed someones shorts and wore my one extra top I brought. The walk down the hill to the bus stop was beautiful with naranjos (orange trees) and palm trees, and we had quite a lot of time to enjoy it. On the way I met and talked with several really nice girls from Walla Walla and PUC and, of course, with Adventist Connections Everywhere, we had several mutual friends. 

We finally got to the bus stop where Justin's friend Ryan was kind enough to pay our way since we hadn't had money changed into Euros. It's less than 3 euros to ride the bus to the beach and back at €1.40 each way. The day was hot and humid, but not very windy so once we got to the beach it was calm and not extremely blue. Still, I loved seeing it and wading in! The boys and a few girls went swimming but myself and 4 or 5 other girls stayed out (my swimsuit was in mis maletas, my suitcases... still lost). Once the boys decided they were done swimming, we headed to the street right next to the beach. Some people in our group got helado (ice cream) and then we walked to Carrefour. 

Going to Carrefour was so interesting! Even though most of the products were the same or nearly the same that we have in the US, it was funny to us which items were expensive and which were pretty cheap. For example, the makeup was outrageous... sometimes almost $20 USD for a basic L'oreal foundation. It is also interesting to many of us that they play a lot of US pop songs in English. Right now there is an Adele song playing over the school speakers! Anyway... back to Carrefour. That day all I got was some off-brand shampoo (the Garnier Fructis small bottles were near $5 USD and the large ones that are usually $4-5 in the US were €8 !!!) and a small, thin towel since I needed to take a shower regardless of where my bags were. Finally we got on the bus and headed back to ESDES tired and ready to eat and shower. 

When I returned I found that someone had moved in with me! I have a new roommate named Kari. She's from Southern and this is her junior year too. I was so glad to have someone to talk to since I was lonely in my room at night. 

That night as I read emails and facebook messages from my family and Mikey, I was still feeling pretty sad about leaving all of them. I knew that if I had a project, say, unpacking, it would help keep my mind off my troubles. I also felt sort of pathetic since I know I have so many friends who are SMs this year and have way more difficulties to deal with than I do. I remembered that Rachel was supposed to fly in at six, and I was so excited when I realized that she should be here any minute! However, since almost none of the american kids here use phones, there's almost no way to contact people to let them know where you are or when you are going to meet them. Luckily, just as I walked downstairs to the dorm lobby, I saw a van pull up with mi mejor amiga (my best friend) inside! We greeted each other with a big hug (and of course a few tears on my part), unable to believe that we had actually made it through all the airports and flight changes. I was excited to help her unpack, and asked her where her bags had gone. Lo and behold, they were lost too. 


Check out my photos from the day! Click to enlarge!
9/19/2012 10:29:29 pm

Looks like you made it through the first day of class. I'm so happy tu mejor amiga is finally there. I'm glad you finally got a roommate. Does Kari know Rachel N. Oh, looks like you're having a great time. I love the photos. Send more--- Love you good!

10/7/2012 04:03:39 pm

The building with the blue yellow and orange tile is so beautiful! Great photos Shel :) Also, googled Carrefour. Cool :)


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