Friday, February 27, 2009

I forgot to tell you all that I ate something else weird...Aloe Vera leaves...actually good. Abuela grows them on the porch. We ate them kind of like stuffed peppers with meet and cheese on the inside!

Field Trip to Cuenca

Today I went to Cuenca on a school field trip. Cuenca is about 2 1/2 hours from Alcala and the roads were horrible the whole way but I saw the most green I have ever seen in Spain. The town is built on rocks and all the buildings are going off the side of it. It is a pretty cool thing to see. We went to the Museum of Modern Art which is a big deal to the town because it only has art produced after Franco's rule and a lot of the pieces show the emotion of Spainards during the time of his rule. We also went to a Cathedral which was freezing! The Cathedral does not seem to have a lot of money for restoration so all the paint was chipping and you couldn't even walk in some parts but I kind of like that better. You could see the age of the building which was really cool. Unfortunately we could not take pictures on the inside. A lot of people are buried there too but mainly old Bishops.
Main Plaza
I'm standing on a bridge in the middle of this huge canyon.
The Museum of Modern Art...hanging over the side of the rock
At the bottom of the rock

Monday, February 23, 2009


Tombs of Jacinta and Lucia
The Cathedral
Stations of the cross
"those who are pure of heart will see God" Portugese! Theme for 2009
Father Felix!
Fanny and Blanca...we took a break from Karaoke for a picture...did you know that the song "La Bamba" actually has words..
Abram and Fernando...bus buddies!
People from Alcala...Javier, Inma, Me, Craig, Abram

Pilgrimage to Fatima

I can not think of a better way to start the Lenten season then by taking a pilgrimage to Fatima. I started out on Friday leaving from Toledo towards Fatima (Toledo is about an 1 hour from me). In Toldeo Craig, my travel buddy, and I met up with 200 other people including about 25 priests preparing to take the pilgrimage. They were all under the age of 30. We got on our bus and were immediately known as the Americans and everyone welcomed us and loved to talking to us. We loved talking to them to because they could only speak spanish so I got a lot of practice! We started out on our journey towards Fatima probably around 4 on friday and only went half way. We slept in a school hallway the first night which was actually fun until we had to wake up at 5am to continue driving to Fatima. SIDE NOTE:Portugal is absolutely beautiful and all the little towns we walked through still had old women with aprons on and bandanas in their hair. So beautiful and unfortunately the pictures I have do no justice for it (i am really bad at taking pictures or the camera is). Anyway, we arrived in a town 20 kilometers(about 14 miles) outside of Fatima around 2pm and began our walk to Fatima. During the walk we sang, prayed the rosary, had moments of silence...all 600 of us walked on the right and then the priests walked on the left so people could go to confession as we walked. I met a girl along the way named Sam from Canada and although we could both speak English we only spoke in Spanish to each other. (I love it!) We arrived in Fatima around 7pm and immediately had mass in an outside chapel in Fatima...beautiful and truly emotional too. The next day everyone was going to visit the houses where Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco lived but because Craig and I would have to leave later that day we wanted to see Fatima in the daylight...the site consists of an outside chapel, a Cathedral where the 3 children are buried, outside stations of the cross and a very large church (kind of like the ones on TV Sunday services)...We then had mass with just the six of us who had to leave early (the pilgrimage lasts until Tuesday but Craig and I had exams this week so we had to leave early) ...I had a six hour car ride to Talaverra, 2 hour busride to Madrid, and then an hour busride to Alcala...totally worth it! I never thought I could have had a six hour car ride with all Spanish people and talk the whole time but I did and it was probably one of the fastest car rides of my life! (and I have been on many roadtrips)
Waiting to start our walk
Countryside...does it no justice...

Walking...we were seperated into groups and given colorful bandanas to wear
More walking...the guy you see right in front of the camera is Alfred...he was in my group and from Kenya!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Last weekend Devin, my roommate's, boyfriend came in town to visit her. He loves taking pictures and "capturing the moments" as he liked to say. Well he caught a pretty good one as we were sitting down to dinner one night...
Yes those are steak knives in his hands. Yes he is standing on the chair. And yes he was screaming. And although this picture can not capture motion, he was dancing. O and YES this is normal in our household. David told Devin that they would never have kids after witnessing this.

Heading to Fatima tomorrow!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


If you have seen me or talked to me any time since October I am sure you have heard me mention how excited I was about getting to see Kings of Leon LIVE in Madrid. I bought the ticket immediately when they went one sale (without even having someone to go with) and I listened to the cd for probably two months straight (sorry Crystal). So a 45 minute train ride and two metro trains later I arrive at Palacio concert Hall (which I might add is in the middle of NOWHERE) to read a sign that says "Kings of Leon is Canceled due to two illnesses in the band. They have never canceled a show and are so sorry to do so their first time in Madrid." I wish there was a picture to see my face as I read this. I was more devastated then I was after my first kiss. Of course this would happen to me after I had been waiting sooooo long!!! And the worst part is that they have already done their American tour for this album. It just was not meant to be

Aw Caleb I am soooo sad I will never get to see you like this.

Happy Belated V-day!

Hi All,
Okay so this weekend was not nearly as productive as I needed it to be but I will get everything done. Anyway, Rebecca introduced me to a new blog that basically distracted me the whole weekend. Its called "Bring on the Rain" and its written by a lady named Angie Smith whose daughter died two hours after birth but they knew all along she was going to so her blog just tells her story through the hardships and her walk with God through it all. WOW its amazing I have laughed harder then I ever thought I could and cried just as much. Its hard not to keep reading but I do have a two papers, an outline, and midterms coming up! One thing Angie talks about is going on dates with God to coffee shops. I decided yesterday I needed a break from school (and it was beautiful outside) so I went on a date with God...We walked around the park near my house for close to two hours and I just talked to Him. It was amazing and what a better day to do it then Valentines Day. I want to have constant dates with Him now and I definitely recommend it! Well I have to go get ready for my concert tonight!!! KINGS OF LEON WOO HOO!!! What a great Valentines Gift to Myself!


Friday, February 13, 2009


So my friend Kara and I have a lot of the same passions that we have luckily been able to share a lot of them together. She is always someone I can call that I know will listen and enjoy hearing everything I have to say because she is probably experiencing something similar. Anyways we both have a very big passion for Spanish and have both been so lucky to be able to travel to countries and surround ourself in the language. I was the first to travel to Spain in between my sophmore and junior years and before I left Kara gave me a letter for everyday I would be gone (2 weeks) saying different things about the places I would be (because she knew my schedule and where I would be each day) these letters were so thoughtful and I absolutely loved them that when she went to Spain during the spring break of our Junior year I did the same thing for her. So when I left for four months I never thought she would write me letters again but right before I left she handed me a bag FULL of letters (not one for everyday but still a bunch). I could not stop smiling and just wanted to open all of them right away! All the letters have a date written on them for when I am suppose to read them and the one I want to talk about was from February 1st. I am blogging about this so much later then February first because I really didnt understand what she was asking me to do.
The letter said "'re going to think I am crazy but today I'm telling you to start making a list of the little things about your trip that you want to remember. What things do you see, smell, hear and taste each day that are special? What people are memorable?" She went to Costa Rica last Spring and she said making this list was her favorite thing and she loves looking back on it.
It sounds very basic and self explanatory but I really didn't understand. Was I suppose to write down that I appreaciate all my food being brown or yellow, the smell of the detergant they use, how my school is hotter then standing in the desert? I didn't know so I talked to her about it and so far this is what I have on my list: Fuzzy sheets, going to church with Abuela, walking to school, being surrounded by Spanish, messages from friends, my gold slippers,
But today I realized I really am so thankful for Abuela! She is so funny and half the time I have no idea what she is saying. If you are sitting in a room with her she finds it the perfect moment to tell you everything she knows. Silence is not golden to her. Even when we walk to church she is mumbling stuff to herself. She is so hard working and never expects anything in return. I am trying to think of something really nice I can get her before I leave so if you have any suggestions let me know. Even just today I was telling her I was going to the store to pick up my tickets for the concert this weekend and she started babbling about what we were going to have for dinner and how a plane crashed in Spain today. You just got to love her. O and she always thinks the tv is too quite...I swear neighbors three houses down can hear our TV! And she will break out in song at any given moment. She went to three different stores trying to find me grapes (hubos) because I told her they were my favorite fruit (they are not very common in Spain to eat only to make wine).

Another week already

I can't believe another week has already gone by. Nothing too exciting happened this week just a lot of school and lack of sleep. Some girls at school started a Bible study too so we had our first meeting this Wednesday. That was really nice because I am really struggling with being satisfied in the NOW. I am over in Spain experiencing something very few people get to do and at times I am more excited for this summer and graduating then I am about being in Spain. It is something I have always struggled with because last semester I would long for Spain and not always enjoy my last semester in Auburn. It is a constant prayer for me. Anyways it was nice because at the Bible study we went around and asked what everyone needed prayers for and I was not the only one struggling with this. Also I feel like school just always causes stress for me especially when it is ALL in Spanish. I am understanding a lot and doing well in my classes but I have yet to be tested on anything and midterms are in one week. MIDTERMS ALREADY?! I cannot believe it. Dad told me the other day that I only had 79 days left (i guess now 75) and i thought it was a lot but then I still have a couple trips planned so I really only have 51 days left in Alcala! I can't believe that so I am really trying to live in every moment (which I think will be a lot easier once I am not stressing about midterms)
I am also very much looking forward to my pilgrimage with the Archidioceses of Madrid to Fatima next weekend. What a once in a lifetime experience! I am going with a friend from school but other then that it will be all spanish people all weekend and I am very excited about that! So this weekend I need to focus on getting everything prepared for midterms so next weekend I wont have anything to worry about.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Riot in Alcala

Riots are very common in Alcala especially in the plaza. I had no idea this was going on until I walked down there today to catch my bus to the park. Last weekend they were protesting America so I was afraid they were doing the same today and that I might be in trouble because there were a lot fewer people last weekend and this weekend the plaza was PACKED as you can see. But this weekend they were protesting jobs and salaries. The Building with the clock in this picture is the office of the mayor and their city hall and the best Turkish restaraunt is to the right of it (haha).

My Walk to school

This is the street outside my house. To the left is a dog park but most of their waste ends up on the sidewalk. I take a right at the end of the street and see this...
This street has four blocks that I walk down. This is the length of one block.

And this is the next block. Mostly furniture stores are on the main floors and then apartments all above them.
At the end of the fourth block I see this. You can't really see how amazing the view is but I am at the top of a hill looking out to beautiful mountains and down at Alcala. And then I walk down this...
You can't see how slow of an incline this is but its a very big hill!

This is the bottom of the hill and then I walk down four more blocks. This is one blockAnother block
I walk down this hill at the end of the fourth block and under the bridge. The train station is to the right in this picture and the bridge is actually the train tracks.
Then I take a right onto this street and walk until I get to the white house straight ahead and take a left.
This is what I see when I take a left and I would say this street is about 7 blocks with more stores and apartments.
When I get to the end of the street I go around this round about and walk down the street where you see the cars going. Dad the building on the right is the Facultad de Derechos (law school)

(The church I see everyday)
Then I take a right after the law building and this is Calle Libreros...the main street of Alcala and I walk about 5 blocks until I get to the plaza. This is the worst part of the walk because it is always very busy and Spanish people walk VERY slow.

At the end of the street is the Plaza de Cervantes (i could not get a new picture today without snow because there was a Riot going on about how there are no jobs in Spain) But I walk across the Plaza and the little point to the right of the tall tower is my school.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Walls in the Monastery