I have officially been in Spain for a week and it feels more like a day. It seems like I was immediately swept up in this new craziness as soon as I landed and it is hard to really wrap my head around all of it. This first week has definitely not been a good representation of how the rest of my year is going to go. Next week I have orientation and then I start working at the school by the end of the week. I'm actually pretty anxious for a routine.
The biggest thing that is going to change is going to be the loss of "the Colombians". I think I mentioned before that there are four Colombians staying with us while they present their thesis' at their University in the city. Well, I've come to really love them as we've all been kind of like a family this last week. We all eat most of our meals together and we all hang out in the apartment at night. Today I spent all day with them in Majadahonda, which I'll say a little bit more about in a minute. The whole experience has been a lot like a home-stay. Their names are John, Adriana, Jorge and Lucy. John and Adriana are both about 30 years old and they are married with a newborn at home. Jorge is in his 30s and Lucy I would say is probably in her late 50s or 60s. Lucy has basically taken on the role of grandmother to me. She calls me for meals and she takes care of me whenever we all walk around the city. She's incredibly sweet. The others have been like older siblings and have been really fun to hang out with. They have a lot of patience and take time to explain lots of things to me, sometimes 3 times before I finally understand.
As I'm typing this Adriana is trying to show me how to dance salsa. haha I don't know if she's expecting me to try but I think I'm going to pass.
Anyway, I'm really going to miss having them around.
You won't believe what one of my biggest challenges has been. I brought with me a set of hair clippers because that's how I trim my beard. For the first 5 days I didn't have an adapter that fit so my facial hair has just been growing out of control. In the States I wouldn't really worry about it because I think that kind of thing is a bit more accepted. Here, everyone is clean-shaven so I've been walking around feeling like Wolfman. Anyway, I finally got the adapter and yesterday I went to use it and I failed to realize that the outlets here put out 220 volts and we use about half that in the US. Luckily, the clippers didn't break but they made sure I was aware something was wrong with the amount of noise they were making. So today I asked the Colombians about it and we found a transformer that cuts the voltage in half, but since I already supercharged the motor in the clippers, they now always make that noise. Awesome.
Majadahonda is almost like Madrid's equivalent to Rockville or Silver Spring. It doesn't look the same, but there's a huge shopping center there and the residential areas there are very, very nice. I wasn't able to find the school that I teach at, but we tried. The only problem is Majadahonda is pretty far out of the city so I will have a hefty commute to work, but there's not much I can do about that.
Anyway, that's all for now. There has not yet been a time when I haven't felt God's protection and guidance here in Spain so I'm very grateful for that. Thanks for all of the prayers. Let me know if there's anything you want to hear more about. It's hard to know what's interesting enough to put in the blog.
*Pictures: 1. The best picture I could find of Majadahonda on the internet. It doesn't really show the part we were at, but at least it gives you something. 2. Me and Lucy tonight after dinner. Adriana was playing with my camera and we weren't paying much attention so we weren't smiling. I promise we were having fun.