Well hello again :) Any guess as to where I am writing this blog now? You will never guess… Murcia, Spain. I know, I haven’t really heard of it either. I am currently en route to Calpe, where the family of my host family lives! Quite honestly, it’s a lonely trip… most all of my friends have already returned to the dream land we call the United States, and I am traveling alone for the first time since I am one of the lucky ones who gets to stay in Granada a few extra weeks awaiting my real family to come visit me. Yeah, you read that right. MY REAL FAMILY IS COMING TO VISIT ME!!!!!! IN SPAIN! FROM THE U.S.! I’m really excited to show them my new world (and to see some familiar faces)!
Gains: Some really fun memories of these past few weeks! We packed them FULL of adventures and activities :)
Pains: The fact that my study abroad experience is actually over. I had nightmares about this, and they have come true. Time goes by so fast!
Finals: One word: TORTURE.
Trains: Las Alpujarras, Lagos, Nerja, Salobreña and Calpe.
Semana Santa hit Spain! It was a whirlwind! We got back from Morocco late in the evening on Wednesday night. Thursday through Sunday of that week were full of activities for the holidays. Semana Santa is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, but Spain celebrates it a little differently than we do in the U.S. Instead of just going to church on Sunday, they celebrate all week long with processions, masses, food and family. When I got back to Granada, the city was PACKED with people. You could hardly move from place to place. I pretty much hung out in the house for those four days, except for when I went to the processions. The Pepes/Theresas family came to town (the fun family from Calpe), and I was so excited to see them! They are my favorites. They arrived on Thursday evening, and we all went into town to watch some processions (which we were unsuccessful at doing because we couldn’t find a good spot to watch them with all the people around). We went home to eat dinner instead, and then returned to watch the silent procession. This procession is peculiar – they turn off all the street lights and everyone is supposed to be silent (and it starts at midnight). All you can hear are the chains that the people (who are dressed like the Ku Klux Klan) are wearing as they walk. It was interesting and shorter than I thought it would be! Hannah and I wanted to get a little closer to the action, so we split up from the family to make our way through the crowd. After the procession, we all were split up still, so Hannah and I decided that Moroccan tea at 2 AM sounded like fun. We sat there for a while, then looked at each other and said “ice cream at 3 AM sounds like fun!” So we went and got ice cream :) It was a fun night! After that we were full and tired, so we called it quits for the night.
Here is an video of a procession:
The next day I went to Alcalá with my family. Alcalá is “un pueblo” of Granada where my madre and Trini grew up. I thought some of the processions I saw in Granada were weird, but the procession we saw in Alcalá was BY FAR the weirdest. During the procession, Judas (the traitor of the 12 disciples) runs around begging for money from the people dressed up as Roman soldiers. What it really looked like was that Judas was running around checking out the Roman soldiers! It was kind of creepy! He scared the little kids. We returned for lunch in Granada afterwards (bringing back two new cousins with us). I didn’t like the lunch much that day… we had bacalao. I REALLY don’t like bacalao.
My favorite family left on Sunday, and I said goodbye to them before going to church. I’m really excited to get to spend a little more time with them (and try the paella and cupcakes they tell me about). Easter Sunday was really uneventful! I went to church with Hannah and then we met up with Joaquín to show him our Morocco photos. I was actually really surprised that nothing big happened.. everyone just prepared for the next week!
The next week was also uneventful. However, on Friday, ISA had a community service day. It was so fun! We played fútbol, rugby and ultimate frisbee with kids from northern Africa. I really had fun that day! At the end, I had a conversation with one of the kids who all the other kids made fun of because he was a little overweight. He told me about his family who still live in Morocco. His father was a physician but had passed away. This boy (I wish I remembered his name) had the opportunity to go to school in Spain to be better educated and had to leave his mother and all of his siblings back in Morocco. He was really sweet and told me about how he wanted to become a doctor and move to the United States. When I asked him about which places he would like to visit in the U.S., he said, “Wherever you are from!” Oh, and NYC (of course). I complimented him on his bracelet that he made out of the tabs from pop cans, and he insisted that I have it :) It’s a nice little momentum from that day. I really hope that he goes far in life!
That evening was a little emotional for me. I was stressed out with figuring out my life and keeping in contact with the rest of the world (while trying to make the most of my time left here). So while I was having a mental breakdown, my friends sat in my room and booked a trip to Lagos, Portugal (while eating pie my madre and I made them) as I cried in the bathroom (one of the few times I have cried here – this number has since increased). Pathetic, I know. It’s comical as I look back on it! That night was basically support group night as we cried into our strawberry pie. Too much estrogen and pie for one room. Anyways, we stayed up until 2 am chatting and planning, and then we remembered we had to get on a bus in the morning!
The next morning we took our final trip with our program. We went to the Alpujarras, a series of mountain towns in between Granada and the beach. When we arrived on Saturday, we went for a “hike.” It was more like a round-about way to walk to another town. It was funny to see some of the students who weren’t accustomed to hiking struggle a bit! We hiked for about 4 hours, stopping for lunch in the town below and spending an hour or so shopping around. For the rest of the day, we just had free time! It was so nice! Hannah and I took a nap, then we went to find candy. Have I told you about “Pulpos y Amigos” yet? Well, they are all of our favorite candy. Nancy got us hooked on them. They are basically sour gummies in the shapes of octopi and other sea creatures. And they pica pica (no pica). You weren’t supposed to understand that, especially because I don’t fully understand it! Pica pica is some sort of flavor sensation for Spaniards. Hannah hoarded a bunch to take back with her to the States. Anyways, after we found some candy, we ate dinner at the hotel (which ISA surprised us and paid for!) and got ready to walk into town. They were having a fiesta in the town and were supposed to have a concert, so we decided to check it out! It turned out to be pretty lame (the town of Capileira is like small-town Montana), so we went to tapas and came up with a different plan! Hannah and I wanted to go stargazing for a while, and a few guys from our program overheard our idea. We had never really hung out with them before, but decided to all go find a good spot to watch them together! We snuck blankets out of the hotel and walked up a dirt road for a while. We were going to camp out next the road when Kay found a great spot up on top of a hill! I think we sat out there for close to two hours (until 2 AM) just a-gazing away! I haven’t done that for so long! We also downloaded the stargazing app on Hannah’s iPhone so we could see the constellations and planets. It was such a great time!
The next day, we took the bus to Nerja, a beach town. I really liked Nerja! We had half a day to spend there, which we spent on the beach. This was also the first time I had ever been to a beach where people are topless… a little eye opener for me! It was hard to get used to at first (this was nothing compared to the beach I will describe later in the post!). Even a few of my friends decided to “embrace” the culture. I like my tan lines so I didn’t :) After toasting ourselves for a little while, we got some ice cream and shopped around a little before heading back to Granada!
The evening that we returned, Hannah and I received a text from Joaquin that said “run to el Palacio del Congreso.” Of course, we couldn’t just do as he said; we had to ask him why and for what and what we would benefit from doing that. He didn’t text back, so neither of us went. As I was talking to my parents on Skype that evening, fireworks started going off. I was distracted by the fireworks, and at that point, I decided I should probably do as Joaquin said (so I forced Hannah to as well). When we arrived, we had missed almost the whole thing! They had brought a falla down from Valencia and burned it in the plaza! We saw the very end of the burning.. we were SO disappointed. We should have just listened to Joaquín. Oh well. Anyways, we were lucky to see a little but of it and got to observe the bandera that they had afterward. A bandera is like an outdoor concert with a DJ. The Spaniards were super into it and it was fun to watch! Oh and we also tried to get a picture with a grumpy fallera.. she was in a bad mood! Especially when I couldn’t get my flash to work. It was fun for the time being!
That following weekend was “puente.” Many of our friends were going to Lagos with DiscoverExcursions, a company that organizes trips for students out of Granada. My friends and I thought we could do the trip on our own for cheaper, so we did! We caught our first Blablacar to Sevilla at 6 AM, hung out in Sevilla for a little while and caught our second Blablacar to Lagos with this kid and his girlfriend. At first the ride was nice. However, the closer we got to Lagos, the more he started to drive like a maniac! Instead of watching the road, he was gazing into his girlfriend’s eyes and driving 170km and hour (which translates to 105.63 stinkin’ miles per hour!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry mom, I think I left that out of the story before). I was praying and holding on to the ceiling handle until we arrived. When we arrived (hallelujah), we drove around trying to find our hostel, which proved difficult. We probably drove around for 30 minutes before finding it. Lagos had a lot of really narrow streets that were hard to navigate (especially for that driver).
Finally we found it. The hostel was so nice! The man who owns the hostel checked us in, and he was quite the character! He talked like Dracula. The hostel was very clean, so for my first hostel ever, it set the bar very high! We stayed in a 4 person mixed dorm because all the other rooms were booked up. The first night a Canadian woman in her 50s or 60s stayed in our room. She was nice with a touch of awkward :) We were sure glad that she was a woman! We also realized that day that we had no money.. which was a really big problem. I was planning on my friends bringing their debit cards with them, because they always do. However, they didn’t this time and I didn’t either! I have very little cash on me, and they had just enough to pay for the blablacars. And we ended up having to pay for the hostel in cash. We were desperately trying to figure out how to get money! Finally, we figured out a way. Thank goodness our friends from Granada were coming to Lagos and could bring us a little extra cash! Crisis averted. That day, we hung out in the hostel for a while and then went to the beach for the afternoon. After we returned to the hostel, we got some groceries, namely broccoli, and relaxed at the hostel. We met two other guys from Canada who were most likely on something and told us a joke I won’t repeat. And we ate salad with dressing. Yes, DRESSING :) Creamy garlic. I hadn’t had dressing since I left the U.S.! Later, we decided we were still hungry, so we went to get shawarma. We were too tired to do anything that night, so we just went to bed.
The next day, we found another beach. The beaches of Lagos are so pretty! We did some tanning while we waited for our kayak trip. Kayaking was my favorite thing that we did! We paddled in and out of the grottos, which were caves around the coast. The people were we were with were from Australia, and we lucked out with having a super small kayak group of 6 people and a guide! We paddled for an hour or so to a private beach. Hannah and I were in the same kayak, and we found out that we are very good at beaching a kayak… We were going straight towards the sand when a giant wave came up behind us and turned our kayak to the side. Then, the wave tipped us over! Hannah was able to get out from underneath the kayak, but my hair got caught in something on the kayak. I was more preoccupied with trying to save the waterproof bag that held our iPhones than the fact that my hair was caught! I couldn’t reach the bag, though, because my head was stuck under the kayak. Of course. I yanked my hair loose, luckily, and grabbed the bag. All was fine but water did get into the waterproof bag to reach Hannah’s phone! No damage was done. While we were at that beach, we played paddle ball, volleyball and swam for about 45 until the tide got too high, forcing us to leave. We paddled back to where we started, Hannah and I starting a little war with our new Australian friends we made (crashing into their kayak and throwing seaweed back and forth). This was by far my favorite thing we did! I’m hoping they send me the video they have from their GoPro so I can share it with you!
That evening we decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner. We met up with our friends Jenny, Lia and Marisa, who were also in Lagos, and went to an Italian restaurant that served really good food. It was really fun! Then we got DELICIOUS ice cream. We usually see mint chocolate chip as an option in the heladerías, but they had it! And a mango flavor that was to die for. After parting ways with our friends, we walked around a bit and listened to live music at a bar from the outside so we didn’t have to pay for drinks. It felt like Hawaii! Eventually we were too tired to do anything else so we went back to the hostel to go to bed. Oh, we got a new roommate this day. Connor from Ireland. He was harmless but liked to get pretty drunk at night! Luckily he caused us no trouble when he came into the room in the early morning hours.
The following day, Saturday, was our last full day in Lagos. We had little planned for this day. We started it by eating at Cafe Odeon, which served an American style breakfast for super cheap. The beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach in the world by the Huffington post! Check it out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/15/ponte-da-piedade_n_5133300.html. We laid there for a LOOOONG time. I don’t like to sunbathe that much, so I was kind of bored. Right before we left, Michaela fell asleep. The tide was coming in, and Hannah and I decided to let the water wake her up as a little joke. Well, we thought the water would just hit her feet. It did a little more than that. A HUGE wave came in and got us all wet! All of our stuff was soaked, and Michaela was a little frustrated with us. The disoriented look on her face when she woke up was priceless though! I wish I got it on video. As we were leaving the beach, we were approached by one of the Portuguese guys that had hung out near us on the beach all day. His name was Juan or something, and he gave us a little advice on where to eat. He also tried to convince us to go out. We politely declined and left the beach. Well, once we hiked out and made it to the road “Juan” came out of nowhere! He told us to wait, and we were like, “run.” We didn’t know what he wanted. He came back out of a building with a card, which was for a Portuguese restaurant for us to try! Harmless. He told us if we wanted to hang out that evening, he worked in the building we were standing by. We were like “ok, cool Juan” and left for the hostel. That evening, we ate our broccoli salad (which was like the best thing ever) and decided to get another shawarma. Did I mention we love shawarma? We also decided to go to a bar with our friends. While we were walking there, ice cream sounded better, so we got ice cream again! We also ran into an English speaking kid who was from Dubai who was very drunk and trying to convince us to come to the bar he worked for. He came in handy later.
Reluctantly, we decided to go to the bar called “Joe’s Garage.” It was like a cross between a discoteca and a bar. I did some people watching. We also played a game where Hannah mimicked people’s dance moves and I tried to figure out who was dancing like that! It was all fun and games until the people caught on to what we were doing… and until Hannah got her butt grabbed twice by two kids that could have been my little brothers. I don’t know how they got in! Hannah got super offended, and we walked out. Which is when we ran into the Dubai kid, who I then asked if he functioned as a bouncer as well as a bar promoter. He said he could, and we all walked back into the bar to find the kids. We couldn’t find them, so they must have gotten scared and left. That killed the night so we were going to go back to the hostel… when we ran into “Juan” from the beach and his friends. We played the age guessing game with them for about 5 minutes, and we left still not quite sure how old they were! It was boring so we decided to just go back to the hostel.
The following morning, we got up late, checked out of the hostel and went back to the cafe with the American food! It was so refreshing to have a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast! Since we had all of our luggage with us, we couldn’t do too much. We waited on a bench for a while, then decided we should maybe get ice cream one more time. So we did. Funny thing is we won’t spend money on food, but we will spend it on ice cream…. Then we tried to find the train station to Portimao so we could catch a Blablacar. We almost missed it because we got a little lost! Luckily, we made it with 5 minutes to spare. The ride back was very easy. The only awkward thing was that the couple we rode with seemed to be upset with each other, and the second driver was very tense! Everything was fine though :) Even though it wasn’t my favorite trip that we took, it was very relaxing.
The next weekend we went to Salobreña for the second time! Hannah, Joaquin and I had planned on going since our first trip there. We left on Thursday and stayed until Saturday morning. Right when we got there, we went to the grocery store. Gosh, shopping with them is miserable! Everyone wants something different. Hannah and I wanted beef, but Joaquin wanted ham. Hannah and I wanted scrambled eggs for breakfast, and Joaquin thinks eating them for breakfast is weird. Hannah and Joaquin wanted smoked salmon. I don’t like smoked salmon. We probably spent almost an hour there! That evening, we made the Argentinean sausage sandwiches again :) YUM. I don’t know why they are so good! We also made a pie that evening.. of course! We couldn’t hardly wait. Oh, by the way, everyone in my host family makes the pie. The aunts and uncles make it, and we eat it like once a week. It’s a hit! After dinner we just relaxed.
In the morning, we decided to go the beach (after making crepes for breakfast!). We thought the weather was going to be really bad, but it cleared up while we were eating! Joaquin wanted to take us to a different beach, so we drove down the coast for about 20 minutes to find it. Hannah and I were shocked he found it on his first try.. usually he gets lost! As we were walking up to the beach, someone spray painted on a building “playa nudista,” or nude beach, and “viva el naturalismo.” Hannah and I both go, “Joaquin, is this a nude beach?” He told us last time he was there it wasn’t, and so he was positive it wasn’t. We walked a little farther, and there was another spray painted wall that read “playa nudista gay.” So we asked Joaquin again. We continued to walk and saw once more sign that said “playa sexys.” At this point we were nervous to walk down to the beach. Once we got to a point where we could see the beach, we decided that it looked like there were enough people clothed and it would be ok. We were WRONG. There were A LOT of naked people. You couldn’t even look around… it was so awkward. I documented the month of May on video, and I have a few clips to help you visualize this experience (don’t worry, it’s PG! no nudity). Just kind of funny. We hung out there, ate ham and melon (an interesting combination), swam and Hannah and Joaquin went snorkeling. That night, we made pasta with beef, sangria, and salad and finished off the pie. I also taught the two of them how to swing dance! It was super relaxed and fun. We made a good group of normal friends :)
The next day, my madre made paella for lunch for the first time! I ate shrimp that still had eyes! They were tasty little buggers. That evening, my girlfriends and I dressed up and went to La Chumbera, a flamenco show in Granada. The location of the show is the best part. The theater is in the Sacromonte neighborhood and has a giant window behind the stage out of which you can see the Alhambra during the show! There was just one male flamenco dancer, and I really enjoyed him! I’m not a huge fan of flamenco, but I would go back to that show. After, we all got shawarma and went out on the town. Hannah slept over that night, and the next morning we went to el Parque de las Ciencias, the science park that is super close to where I live. It was interesting, but not anything to call home about!
Ok, the time after that weekend was a whirlwind. At that point, I only had two weeks left of school and a whole lot to still experience! Hannah and I had a list of things to accomplish in Granada. That Monday night, we had our farewell dinner with our program. Everyone dressed up and went out for tapas – it was fun! They also gave us our “MagazISA,” which Hannah and I wrote an article for. Tuesday, Joaquin, Hannah and I went to Carmen de los Martires, which is like a giant garden that used to be someone’s house. Checked that one off the list! I had a sore foot, and so we decided to take a break on a bench in the park. We let Joaquin read our article, which was about him and our friendship with our intercambio. Well, we were sure embarrassed by how bad it was! He corrected it for us. We found out that we basically wrote it as if Joaquin had died. We also said at one point that we enjoyed each other and our time together. Well, in Spanish, you can say you enjoyed another person – it sounds REALLY weird. I wish it wasn’t published with our names and pictures on it, but oh well! Another hit to the pride. On Thursday of that week, I think we explored the Albaicín (same group). I had actually never been so far into the neighborhood! It’s like another town (or country). Then, we trekked up these stairs to a church to watch the sunset. While wandering around the Albaicín, we ran into a lost Canadian girl, and we helped her find her hostel and invited her to tapas. Well, we arranged a meeting point with her after watching the sunset but never could find her. We felt bad for her and hoped she didn’t get lost. Our favorite bar is named El Chantarella, so we got tapas there afterward.. for the very last time altogether. It was bittersweet. The musaka that we got as a tapa was so delicious though!
On Friday I helped Hannah do a little souvenir shopping in the Arab shops. She was VERY indecisive :) It’s so hard to buy things for other people. Another thing that was on our list to do was watch the sunrise and get a nepolitana from the hidden shop Joaquin ranted and raved about. We decided to do this Saturday morning, so I didn’t do anything Friday night. Hannah did though! We met on Saturday morning around 6:15 AM, and everybody was pretty sleepy (especially Hannah who got about 3 hours of sleep). Joaquin decided that we should walk back up the stairs that we trekked up a few days earlier and watch the sunrise on the opposite side of the church. We sure were tired when we got there! It was a great spot however (even though it was a little chilly). We also made friends with a polar bear. See for yourself :) There are a lot of stray dogs (and hippies) in Granada. After the sunrise, we made it to the bakery to find out that is isn’t open on Saturdays! We were bummed, but decided to get one instead from my favorite shop! They were fresh, doughy, warm and SO CHOCOLATELY! Yum :) Then everyone went home to go back to sleep.
Oh! I forgot to mention that finals were the upcoming week! So the rest of the Saturday, I forced myself to study. What torture! Oh, and my madre taught me how to make her delicious pasta :) The next day was the color run day. My friends and I had signed up for the race a few weeks earlier, figuring we wouldn’t need to study that much for finals. On Saturday, my friends went out to Santa Fe (the pueblo where the race was to be held) to pick up the race packets. Antonio, the guy I tutor, graciously gave them a ride out there! That evening, we decided we needed to buy bus tickets to get out there the next day, so at 10 PM I went to the bus station to try to buy them. I got all the way there to find out that the didn’t sell them. SO FRUSTRATING. So I went home.
The next morning we all woke up early and went to catch the bus to Santa Fe for the race. Santa Fe was about a 10-15 minute bus ride outside of town, and when we got to the bus stop, there was a fairly long line of people pushing to get on the bus. Only one bus left every half hour, so since we missed the first one, we HAD to make the second one. It finally arrived, and while holding hands the four of us pushed our way through and onto the bus. Thank goodness! Two of our friends who had signed up with us decided not to go because they were stressed out with studying. Hannah’s view on this: “What are you going to remember someday? Studying for finals or stressing out about studying for finals because you decided to do a color run the day before??”
Once we made it to Santa Fe, no one knew were the race began. We just followed the people and eventually ended up there. The beginning of the race was really fun! Everyone was standing around in a big group near the starting line where there was a stage with music and a lady pumping everyone up just throwing colors at one another. Everyone was pretty colorful when the race began!
Throughout the race there were different color stations that threw that color at you. We ran/walked the 5K and ended up VERY colorful! I had a sore foot which made it a little difficult. Spaniards are so funny sometimes. Quite a few of them ran with a giant liter of beer or sangria in their hands, drinking it as they went. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a recipe for dehydration and disaster! When we finished the race, we hung out at the bandera (outdoor dance party) for a little while before deciding we should probably catch the bus. We wished we could have stayed longer! However, we are all partially studious :) After searching for the bus stop, someone finally pointed in the right direction. When the bus approached the stop, the four of us outlandish creatures tried to get on. And the bus driver stopped us. He told us we couldn’t get on like that! We were like, “Great, what are we going to do??” He left, and we were desperate. Everything in town was closed because it was Sunday, so we couldn’t buy anything to clean ourselves off. We asked one lady if there was a fountain somewhere (there are fountains everywhere in Spain) and she said she didn’t think there was one around (correction: there are fountains everywhere in Spain except in the small town of Santa Fe). We also didn’t bring a change of clothes. Thank goodness the couple next to us took pity on us and handed us some face wipes, because we had nothing! We made good use of those wipes, but we still weren’t clean. Hannah turned her shirt inside out, and Nancy, Alexa and I decided to see if he would let us on in our sports bras (because the opposite sides of our shirts weren’t any cleaner). While we were waiting for the bus, we saw one pull up and completely avoid the stop, taking a different street. At this point, we started to freak out a little! Hannah and I had been invited over to Joaquin’s family’s apartment to eat lunch with them, and we weren’t going to make it. We desperately called him asking if he could come pick us up. The call consisted of me trying to explain the situation in English and Hannah repeating what I was saying by screaming it into the phone as I explained! She was a little flustered and Joaquin was very confused. Poor guy had no clue what was going on. When he was about ready to jump in the car to come get us, a bus pulled up and let us on! We were SO relieved.
When we made it back to Granada, Hannah and I ran across town back to our apartments to shower. We had about a half hour to do so, and we had a lot of colors to scrub off! As I was on the way back out of my apartment, my madre stopped me because I was still a tint of green. The two of us went back into the bathroom so she could scrub my face :D I met up with Hannah, and since we thought Joaquin lived farther away than we thought, we decided to catch the bus. Well, after waiting for a little while, bus number 5 still never came! At that point, we were already a little late so we decided to catch a taxi. We actually were a lot closer than we thought. Lunch was really delicious and we ate like queens! His mom made a dish that was similar to paella with chicken, rabbit, rice and peppers. There were also a bunch of bit size foods like a frozen stringy sweet egg thing wrapped in ham (it was actually really good); fresh sardines with potatoes (also surprisingly good); a salad with onion, tomato, peppers, olive oil and shrimp; and of course Castillo de Salobreña. Then for dessert, what do you suppose that we ate? Strawberry pie of course! 2 and a half hours later, Hannah and I decided we probably should begin studying, so we headed home.
The next week was a sick joke. Finals and studying for your last week in Spain (I was an exception to that rule) is just cruel. I had three finals on Monday and two on Wednesday. In between them on Tuesday, Hannah, Joaquin and I went roller blading near the river. I learned how to stop on roller blades finally! Insert funny story here. On Monday, I asked my directors to make an doctor’s appointment for my foot since it was still hurting after 3 weeks. Our insurance ended that Thursday, so I wanted to make sure it got covered! Well, I was still able to do a lot on my foot, and since roller blading was on the bucket list, I had to do it! I told Joaquin and Hannah that whatever we did, we couldn’t run into one of the directors. Guess who I ran into? The director who was going to the doctor with me!! What are the odds that she would be taking roller blading lessons on the same day, at the same time, in the same place that I was rollerblading. Coincidence? I think not! I was mortified! However, she was more intrigued with the fact we were hanging out with our intercambio partner and that the article we wrote for the “MagazISA” wasn’t a made up lie! Ah, karma. After rollerblading, the three of us went to Nemrut for Shawarma one last time together. Joaquin wasn’t going to join us, but he quickly changed his mind. I like Newrut… my mouth is watering as I type this.
Wednesday night was our final night with Alexa. After our finals finished at 8 PM, Nancy, Alexa, Hannah and I dressed up and went out to dinner at El Agua, a fondue restaurant my madre had advised us to try. The fondue was super delicious! We got one with cheese and one with meat that you had to cook. After, we got a chocolate fondue for dessert. It was a really wonderful way to spend our last night altogether. After eating, we all stood on a corner in the center of town saying our goodbyes to Alexa. Nancy sobbed. Which caused me to laugh. Hannah was crying too, but began to laugh because I was laughing (I clearly have no heart). It was sad saying goodbye, but I know I will see here again.. she only lives in North Dakota!
Thursday was a little harder. That morning I went to the doctor with my madre and got the X-rays (nothing is wrong) and then tutored. Then I met up with Hannah to do some souvenir shopping! She had to commit to buying this time and did a really good job bargaining! After our errands, we went to Ábaco, our favorite cafe, with Joaquin for granizados and crepes one last time. We missed watching the sunset by just a little bit, but Joaquin wanted to show us a mirador that we had never been to. Then, we quickly ran to the grocery store (so Hannah could buy souvenir wine) and Joaquin pointed us in the right direction home. The three of us stood on a corner as Hannah and Joaquin said their goodbyes. It was really hard to watch; I am not certain that the three of us will ever be in the same spot again. And it just isn’t the same when one person is missing from the group. Hannah and I walked arm-in-arm back to her house while she cried a little, and I hung out for her the rest of the night while she packed. Okay, I may have fallen asleep in her room. And she may have had to take my computer away from me and practically tuck me in because I was out! So I ended up sleeping over at her house and walking her to her taxi in the morning at 5:40 AM. It didn’t really hit me that she was going to be gone. I just walked back to my apartment and didn’t really think much about it, going straight back to sleep.
I am going to leave it at that for now. Stay tuned for my final post.. it will probably have a little different feel to it. I will tell you about these next two weeks that I will be spending in Granada awaiting my family and begin to think through just exactly how this study abroad experience has affected who I am.