*pronounced “k wai, no?”
So much has happened in the past two days!
Granada is absolutely beautiful. The city itself is beautiful - some of the streets are classic old European streets that can’t fit a car through and others are wide enough to accomodate for a tree-lined cobblestone walk in the middle. There’s a combination of modern, Baroque, Moorish, and Renaissance architecture (and certainly more types of architecture that I don’t know about. I don’t know much about architecture >.<). The location is gorgeous - Granada sits at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the snow-capped mountains can be seen from some of the more open streets. The people are beautiful - they are very friendly and willing to help (and the kids are SO cute. why aren’t American kids this cute??)
Yesterday I met my host “mother”. My Señora is more of an abuela than a madre. She’s super sweet and always wants to give me more food hehe. She lives with her two daughters and her granddaughter lives close by. Because of the deterioration of the Spanish economy, many adults have gone back to live with their parents since it’s cheaper; it’s not as big of a deal as it is back in the States for a grown son or daughter to be living at home. My Señora speaks rapidly and with a pretty heavy Andalusian accent, which means she drops her s’s and d’s and slurs the words together. In the two days that I’ve been here, I’ve definitely improved in my Spanish listening skills, which is exciting :) Her granddaughter (who is in her early 20’s, I’d say) was super helpful yesterday, facilitating communication between us and showing me how to get to the school since my Señora can’t walk very well.
Something to get used to: the eating schedule. There’s a light desayuno in the morning, which so far has consisted of ColaCao, which is chocolate milk that is served hot or cold, toasted French bread with butter and marmalade, and a piece of fruit. Lunch takes place around 3:00 and is the biggest meal of the day; there are usually two dishes served then. La merienda, or the “mid-afternoon” snack (I say mid-afternoon because it’s usually around 7 or 8 in the evening), is a light snack to tide you over to dinnertime, which we’ve eaten at 10-ish at night. Yesterday for merienda, my Señora, her granddaughter, and I went to the Café Fútbol for chocolate y churros - it’s their favorite place for this dish. Churros are basically long pieces of denser Chinese donut, or if you don’t know what that is, long rolls of what seems to be fried dough. You dip them into the rich hot chocolate that comes with it and it’s deliiiiccious and so unhealthy.
Today we took a walking tour of the city around noon. Gah Granada is so beautiful…
After lunch and a very short siesta, I went out to the Puerta Real to try to meet some girls from my program that I didn’t end up finding. I wandered around for a bit and actually met the other girl from my program; we walked around for two hours or so, walking along the river, stopping at a pastelería and to a small plaza near a lot of small shops.
At 8:00 I went to La Iglesia Evangelística Bautísta Granada (IEBG) to a meeting of the Grupos Bíblicos Unidos (GBU). As it was explained to me, GBU is basically the InterVarsity of Spain. While I was there, I met a bunch of other students (most of whom I don’t remember the names of… oops!), about half of whom were either American or French. We ate dinner there and I talked to a few other students as well as the leader in mostly slowed-down, well-pronounced Spanish and a little bit in English as well. We sang songs like Mighty to Save and Everlasting God in Spanish, as well as two Spanish songs that I hadn’t heard before: Te Doy Gloria and Cantaré de Tu Amor. Then we had a short time of self-reflection and since most of the students were finishing up finals, they had a closing type of meeting where they prayed over leadership and also talked about various camps and events they were having over the summer. I couldn’t understand much - they were talking really fast - but I was really happy to be with a group of people that I knew were already my brothers and sisters. United in the body of Christ much?? This is pretty crazy.
Tomorrow I’m visiting the Albaycín with my program group! It’s the Moorish/Islamic area of Granada - the area we visited today was mostly Christian. Updates sooooooon!
Tidbit: Call Me Maybe was the first song I heard on the radio here. coincidence?? :P