Monday, January 16, 2012

Hace un Año:

One year later and my love for Spain has not faded away. I think there really is something to that well-known Spanish phrase 'Sevilla, No me ha dejado'/ 'Seville, you have no left me.'

Since I am in Nebraska for my last year of college, I can't really just pick up and go back...yet.
But I am continuing to write a new blog to chronicle this vagabond's Midwestern sojourn. It will be more creative writing than this blog has been, but the overall flavor of my writing never really changes despite the genre.

While I've been home in Alaska and Nebraska, I have created a list of different possibilities for future. This list will appeal to any past study abroad student or someone craving adventure.


1.) El Ministerio 
Spain's government offers English Teach Assistantships (ETA) to Americans, who come and teach English in Spanish public schools about 16-20 hours a week for a monthly pay, which is really just a stipend. Applications due in the fall. 1-2 years. My friend, Beth, will be doing this next year! I'll link her blog soon.

2.) The Fulbright
The US Fulbright scholarship program has the same sort of opportunity for Americans to come and work as ETA's and get a stipend. However, this is a little more competitive, a little more prestigious, and a little more clean-cut, as it's through the US and not a the complex bureaucracy of a failing European nation...Applications due in October. 1-2 years. I have several a friend who has applied for this, in Armenia. Praying she'll get it!

3.) International Schools
Teaching (see the theme?) in an English-speaking school for ex-pats and wealthy Spanish kids... A real career path...But here's the catch: two years teaching experience minimum required for a Visa. Future plans?

4.) Become a Travel Writer and/or Dumpster Diver
This one is simple: write about cool stuff and get it published...And when you can't live off of that career path, you get your food from the cans behind the Cien Montaditos on Calle San Jacinto! Still in Spain, right?

This list is written here to spur me onward, and hopefully to get you thinking about opportunities too!

For a bit more meat to end this post,
Here are a few of my favorite Spanish blogs of 2012:

For life as an ETA in La Rioja-

For life as an Ex-Pat American in Valencia-

For the Spanish speakers-

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back in the USA

Hello! Hola!

I wanted to inform any previous readers that I will be continuing to blog from my new exotic location of...


Please continue reading to gain insights into the life a girl stuck in her last year of college in a cornfield, while remembering her childhood in Alaska, reflecting upon her previous months living in Spain, and including anecdotes from her travels around Europe.  I'll probably do a little dreaming too, as I plan my new adventures..

That's me: worldly and sophisticated and stuck in the middle of No Where, Midwest, America. Looking for beauty in the clouds and the earth and the sky.

Read on and prosper-

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Today, I bought two books

I don't have much time left here in Spain.
So today I bought two books.

I leave Saturday morning, actually, flying from Sevilla to Madrid, to Nueva York, to Seattle, and finally to Anchorage. The drive home from the airport always seems to last forever. When I arrive, it will be around 3 am for Alaskans, but I'll be wide awake and hungry for Consuelo's guiso de garbanzos y arroz con pollo. She'll probably be eating this guiso in our piso as she watches Catholic tv shows. I wonder if she'll accidently make too much, forgetting I won't be there. I hope that her kids or sisters come over to visit her, because I hate thinking about her eating alone.

I'll be more than 7,705 miles away from Sevilla.

I can't really describe to you how that makes me feel.
I can try, but it probably won't get the job done.
I don't want sympathy or to seem all wallow-y! Sorry! I really, really know that I how fortunate I am to have been able to live as a sevillana, immerse myself in a beautiful language and travel to amazing locations.

(Oh, yeah, on Saturday, I got back from a week in Rome, where I ate the most delicious food I could imagine and drank great wine and visited the Vatican and walked through the Colosseum, and ate more wonderful food... I highly recommend it. Especially the food.)

As I approach the end of this adventure, ("approach"...I still have three days!) I reach a crossroads:
I can look back on the experience and see the regrets that I have and wish that I could have done more with my time here,
or I can see the rich life that I've been given here and travel on, never really leaving Sevilla behind.

I won't waste your time with the regrets that I have.
Because I choose the second option.

I should be studying for my final exams, in Poesía and Gramática, tomorrow. Or, I could be working on organizing and packing up my life here. But instead, I'm watching Pasapalabra and waiting for Consuelo to come home from where she volunteers serving dinner, daily at a local nursing home. (She really has the best kind of heart. I love her so much. And I love the fact that we live in a secular country but she daily shows me how to live as Jesus taught us, without even realizing she's doing it. If I told her that, she's just say "Por nada, hija" and go back to making me dinner.)

But I'm watching Pasapalabra and thinking back to some of my first meals here. I would sit on the couch huddled forward, in order to be closer to the space-heater under the table as well as to hear the rapidly-speaking hispanohablantes on TV. Watching that concurso, or television game show, on those very first nights, I decided that one of my goals for the semester would be to attempt to be able to understand it--how the game works, what the contestants are trying to win, what the announcer is saying... I think I even made silly Facebook status about it or something...

I was all about the goals those first couple of weeks, and slowly they all just morphed into the same goal: vivir más allá de sobrevivir.

Consuelo just got home, so I'll cut this off here and just say this:
I realized today that I understand Pasapalabra.

But that doesn't mean that I am ready to leave here.
I bought two books today. This one and this one, both in Spanish. I bought them too try to get me excited for the plane rides back to Alaska. So far it hasn't seemed to be working. But I guess at least I'll have a little bits of Spanish to carry back with me.

*This post does NOT end my blog--Stay tuned in for future posts about Feria de Abril and perhaps other things that arise in the next few days. I would love to add some captions on my Rome pictures when I have time, so check for those as well in the next week. Thanks.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Things: He is risen.

Yesterday, Lucas, Consuelo's granson, was hopping around the house repeating the word "Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy!" almost absentmindedly, in english.

His joy just overcame him. He was at grandma's house. He had just finished watching his friend Woody, in Toy Story on his dad's Ipad. He had a red ball, pelota roja to play with. Consuelo and he were making face at each other from across the room, causing him to squeal loudly, but nobody minded.

He was happy.

(It made me want to go to my grandma's house).

And it also made me think about happy things in my life here, on this Easter Sunday.

Happy Things:

It was sunshiney, finally.

I started the day out well (with coffee).

I saw a paso, in beautiful, sun-rise weather.

I wore a new Easter dress.

Kelly and I went to Church.
Then Kelly got to see the paso too, when it was returning from the Cathedral. It was a little more crowded by that point than when I had been there, two hours earlier.
We went to Church. A Lutheran Church. A Lutheran, Easter Church service in Spanish and in Spain. I saw Church with a capital 'C' because this Body of Believers meets in Hotel San Pablo (Isn't it fitting that the Church meets in a Hotel called St. Paul?). There isn't much money, nor are there many members. But there are some. And there was law. And There was Gospel. Then there was more and more and more Gospel.

We celebrated Easter, the Resurrection. Not just the Passion, which is the focus of the Catholic celebration here. They had chocolate lambs for everyone.

Consuelo's sister, Paqui, visited. She brought us dulces de miel, called flores or flowers, a typical Semana Santa treat. She makes them every year and sells them in a bakery in her pueblo, town.
He is risen. He is risen, indeed. Hallelujah.