Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Greetings from España, yet again :)
As we are leaving for Galicia at the crack of dawn tomorrow (Wed), I'm gonna go ahead and post now so you're not left hanging or think I died... ;)
Also want to let you know that I have put up lots more pictures, and am, for the first time since arriving, caught up to current time. Enjoy them!
Let's see... last Wed. we went to a play for our theater class -"El burlador de Sevilla" by Tirso de Molina. Personally, I didn't like it at all. It was hard to follow, what I did follow was dumb, and the props weren't very great (although I must say the costumes were decent). We had a nice dinner as a group afterwards, and returned home late and tired.
The rest of the week and weekend I spent a lot of time with Kelly, Liz, and the young people (jovenes) of the church I've been attending. They are a delightful group, ages 16-26, and are very patient with our struggling spanish. Thursday was a Bible study and dinner with Pastor Hanna at the home of Miriam, my summer penpal. We had a time of prayer afterwards that was very sweet, and left us 3 americans crying because of the christian fellowship that is so lacking around us in this society. Friday night we went bowling, Saturday we went to the bilingual Bible study at the home of the american missionaries here, the Campbells (their daughter Jessica was my other penpal this summer), and Sunday was spent at church again all day.
Come Monday morning, I was left sad because I likely won't see any of my new friends again for a week and a half because of our trip to Galicia this weekend. Despite that, I had to go to classes and take my "midterm" in grammar. Apparently I didn't fail, because when I woke up this morning to the first day of rain we've had here (all my clean clothes were on the line outside, I'll have you know!) and showed up at school for Theater class, my new class schedule for the rest of my time here shows that I will proceed on to the next grammar class. Woohoo! (perhaps I should explain this... university classes in Spain don't begin until October, so we took a 1 month "intensive" grammar class, and now we proceed into the normal schedule. our other 2 classes, while the times change, will remain the same because they are just Furman students and have never meet more than twice a week.)
Wow... this got long, fast. Sorry. Please pray for a great trip to Galicia and that we would continue to speak in spanish alot, even though we'll be with just our group of americans and the temptation will be strong. And you can pray that it doesn't rain the WHOLE time we're there, as is forecasted.
Hope you're doing just wonderfully, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Soli Deo Gloria...

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

el Fantasma

Hey hey! How's life in the States? Enjoy it for me, alright?
I'm gonna keep this week's entry a little shorter, for sake of your time and mine, since I realize that last week's was rather long.
Last Wednesday afternoon, my friends Miriam and Jessica (who live here in Madrid) showed myself and some other Furman friends where the Christian bookstore is here. As Madrid (and Spain as a whole) is such a Catholic/secular place, it's encouraging to know that they have one, yet discouraging to see the limited resources that are available in Spanish. And especially stuff like fiction literature... very, very little.
After that, 5 of us Furman girls went to see "El Fantasma de la Opera"... yes, that is Phantom in Spanish. It was a blast! Thanks to Ms. Williams in 10th grade who made me read the book so I knew what was going on, but it was very well done.
Last Saturday we went to see the Escorial (a big, old palace) and Valle de los Caidos (a tomb/cathedral built into the side of the mountain that houses the remains of Francisco Franco, the dictator who died in 1975, and those of people who died in the Spanish Civil War).
On Sunday, I returned to Miriam's church, Iglesia Cristiana Presbyteriana, and spent all day there. Service and communion from 12-1:30, lunch and fellowship and some praise singing from 1:30-4:30, a meeting about evangelism and a time of prayer from 4:30-6, another service from 6-7:30, and then fellowship, dinner, and laughter with the "jovenes" until 11:30. What a blast!
Yesterday we went to see the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) here in Madrid. It reminds me a little of our White House, only bigger, older, a bit more ornate, and with no one currently living in it.
That's all for today, so have a great week!
Soli Deo Gloria...

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

new roommate and social differences

Hello there!
Hope you´ve had a delightful week -- I sure have! Friday night we went out dancing, Saturday we had a trip to Segovia, and when I returned around 6pm, a girl from Boston University had moved into the spare bedroom! I was a little distressed about this because I had requested to live alone and had enjoyed it for nearly 2 weeks. However, she seems nice enough, and we have done a pretty good job of speaking Spanish when we talk. She attends a different university here, so the only time we see each other is when we´re at home or if we choose to hang out together, which makes for a nice change of pace.
Sunday, some Furman kids & I went to El Rastro, which is like a HUGE flea market where they sell everything from socks to thongs, from black market CDs to handmade purses. So many people though, it´s amazing! After returning home for lunch with Eleanor, I went to church. It´s the church that my madrileña summer pen-pal, Miriam, attends. It´s an hour away by Metro and rather small, but it was awesome to worship the Lord with other believers for the first time in 3 weeks. 2 other FU gals came with me,and we went to dinner afterwards with some people from the church.
Now, if I have permission to interrupt this regularly scheduled program for a bit, I need to address a question that many have asked: How is life here different from life in the States? In some ways it´s not... people work, go to school, eat 3 meals a day, etc. But if you dig a little deeper, there are definitely differences. I´ll try to highlight the ones I´ve noticed so far.
Transportation: many people have cars, but there is also a huge underground metro system and a bus system that are full of people from all walks of life
Food/meals: lots of olive oil, and bread with every meal. breakfast tends to be very small (i usually get a few pieces of toast, hot chocolate, and either juice or a piece of fruit, but some of my friends tell me this is a lot!). lunch is the biggest meal of the day and is usually eaten between 2-4. dinner is a little smaller than lunch, and isn't eaten until at least 9 pm, and often as late as 11 or 11:30.
Daily Schedule: much like in the States, work starts between 7-10am, depending on what it is. most everybody returns home for the "siesta" from about 2-5 and all the little shops close during this time and then reopen from about 5-8. the city never sleeps; there is as much traffic at 2:30am as at noon. which reminds me of an interesting tidbit -- because of their schedule, they call noon 12am, and midnight 12pm... in the States, we do it the other way!
Clothes: i was told before coming that it's a more formal city. true, but also false. true in that very few people wear sweatpants to class or the grocery store, or holey jeans & t-shirts. false in that not as many men, and especially not as many women, wear suits like we would consider normal. And women wear shirts to work that we would consider more in style for the hip teenager than the working woman. Women's shoes almost always have pointy toes!
Social: people are a lot more affectionate in public, but a lot less friendly with strangers. people's homes (aka apartments) are smaller and very private, and generally only family or VERY close friends are invited in. as a result, there are open-air bars on every streetcorner where you can sit and have a drink and "tapas" (like snacks or appetizers), and the waiters never pressure you to leave like they do in the States, because essentially, by paying for food and drink, you are paying for table time to socialize.
This is all I can think of right now. As I notice other things, I'll mention them. If you have a question you'd like for me to answer, shoot me an e-mail and I'll do my best to either respond or incorporate the answer in an upcoming journal entry. Also, realize that these are just my observations -- be careful not to stereotype!
As I wrap up, please pray that the Love of Christ would shine through me to everyone I'm around, but especially those I live with -- Conchita & Eleanor. Take care, wish my dear friend Joy a happy bday this Saturday if you know her, and I look forward to hearing from you. Oh yeah, more pics are up!
Soli Deo Gloria...

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Hey guys! Muchas gracias to those who have sent me emails to update me on what´s up in your lives. I´ve read it, even if I haven´t responded... I really only get about an hour a week for internet, so I´m limited.
This past weekend we went to Barcelona as a Furman group... it was a lot of fun. Way too much time on an uncomfortable charter bus, but we had a good tour guide, saw lots of cool places (Gaudi´s Parque Guell, Montserrat, a Dali Museum, la Sagrada Familia, Empuries, Olympic Stadium, and others) and had a good time getting to know the other Furman students better since we lived in a hotel together. It´s back to daily life now, with my Señora and classes, but the normalcy is nice too. I bought her some pure honey from Monserrat and gave it to her this morning, and she loved it! She said that I am a chica guay, which is the Spanish way of saying I´m a cool girl :)
Gotta end for now. Check out my DotPhoto albums because I´ve added a new one for Spain and am slowly adding pictures to it, starting at the beginning of the trip. Until next week...
Soli Deo Gloria...