Hoy fue uno de los mejores días aquí en España. No sé porque, pero estoy muy contento y feliz que es el fin de semana y siento buena, ahora, sobre mi Español. Tenía una semana muy ocupado pero ahora puedo relajar y disfrutar tiempo con mis amigos. 

Today was one of my favorite days in Spain so far. I'm not sure why but everything seemed to go pretty well today and I'm feeling better about my Spanish. I had a very busy week but now I can relax and spend time with my friends. 

This week consisted of lots of homework, reading books for class, monitor meetings, and orange harvesting. Sunday night I was feeling sort of bummed out about not accomplishing as much as I would have liked for a Sunday, so Justin and Shannon and I took a walk to the orange groves in the dark and ate several while we walked and talked. I never really ate oranges or mandarins until I came here, and now I'm addicted because they are growing everywhere and they are SO GOOD. Every time we walk into town or back, we walk through all the orange groves and I think about how much I love it here, and how I'm going to miss being able to just grab delicious citrus fruit whenever I want (don't worry, the farmers have already picked what they take and there are still tons left!).

On Monday, Pepe announced that we were going to have a Gramática exam on Friday and we began to prepare. Some day I'll write about each of my classes and teachers, but for now I'll just say that Pepe is one of the nicest, funniest teachers I've ever had, and he made sure we were good and ready for our test. I'm actually quite enjoying Group E while between spurts of panic and frustration. No, in all seriousness, I am stressed at times but I do like my new group a a lot and it's really not going to be impossible. Anyway, we had various other activities this week, a monitor meeting, teaching the niños, and doing homework. 

In preparation for our test, Hannah and I studied together for quite awhile last night. I'm so glad we can be in a group together and she's done such a good job of helping me to catch up with everything and to explain things I still don't get. We diagrammed sentence after sentence, went over the rules for the Subjunctive, and checked all our workbook pages. I was pretty nervous about the test but Hannah kept telling me that our studying would pay off and that he wouldn't try to trick us. Well, we took the test today, and she was right! It still was hard and took a long time but I think that it went alright. Pepe's tests are only ten points: six points for diagraming three sentences and four more points for various other exercises. Even then, it took a while but after that I was free for the rest of the day!

It was a beautiful day here, sunny and nearly 70ºF. I came back to my room, cleaned and swept with the doors letting in the fresh air, watched a Modern Family episode, and then headed to the caf for lunch. After lunch Hannah and I walked to Mercadona, enjoying the view of the ocean and the sunny day, and got a few snacks for the weekend. And, of course, on the way back, we were sure to harvest a few citrus snacks while we walked. 

Now it's Friday night here in Spain, and I am having a little down time before culto (vespers). It's so weird to think that around the world, my friends and family aren't even in Friday afternoon just yet. This week we've been having presentations by the theology students and they've been quite good. I've been able to understand a lot of what they are saying and their talks have been easy to understand and concise. After vespers I'm looking forward to talking to Mikey on the phone and probably drinking even more tea. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 70º (how can I not love this place?) so we might go on a hike and then go into Valencia tomorrow night for Jon's birthday. 
Oh, I almost forgot one more thing I wanted to share! On thing that makes my week is when I get mail. Mikey's been sending me letters every week since Christmas break, and my mom has continued sending postcards! She's sending me one from each of the places I've gone, and they are so cute and so much fun to get in the mail! Last week I got this one from Rome, the first place we went on Christmas break. I put them all up on my wall around my many maps of the world and Spain. I also got some cool vintage-poster postcards from Zermatt so I added those to my collection as well.It's not as cozy as my dorm room at Union, but I've managed to make the dorm here a place that I can call my home away from home. It sure feels good to come back here after a long trip! Speaking of trips, we have another school trip coming up at the end of February to northern Spain! I'm so excited, especially this trip isn't going to be as long and we will be pretty far away from Morocco and their salad. We even get to go to Andorra, which will be the smallest country I've ever been to! 

Well, it's going to be time for vespers soon and I'm thinking of all my friends and family back home. I miss you and love you all, and I can't wait to see everyone again, but for now, Viva España.
Grand pa
1/27/2013 07:12:22 am

HeyShel, good to see your writing again and know you have survived last week.
I too love your mom's postcards...she sent me one too.. great the likeness she was able to get of you guys.
Have a happy, and enjoy northern Spain!
Like the photos of your room. Love to both you and Justin.

Sheri Seibold
1/27/2013 10:24:25 pm

Shel, I love your vintage postcards, they are great. Love that style of art.

So glad you finally like citrus. It took Spain to convince you. Well, that's okay. Orange you glad you finally tried them? :)

Love you good, miss you lots, mom

1/29/2013 10:03:54 pm

How ha the Spain weather been? It was near 80 here the other day but is now snowing this morning.. Bipolar weather.


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