After being in Oviedo for about two weeks, I pretty much have my daily routine down. I’m getting more and more comfortable with my family and their way of living. My host parents have a daughter, Isabel, and a granddaughter, Laura, who is two years old. They watch her every day until Isabel gets back from work. I’m going to have to get used to having a little kid around the house all the time since I only have an older sister, but I know it will be an easy adjustment. She is a little fireball who always has a smile on her face! Mariluz and José have hosted a few students before me, so Laura is used to meeting new students like me, and was quick to grab my hand and give me some of her toys to play with. She doesn’t speak too much yet, other than a few phrases here and there. My host parents really want me to teach her some English because she will be starting school in the fall, but I’m trying to stray away from English. There is never a dull moment around here with Laura, and I learned some new phrases from the commands and exclamations of her abuela (grandmother).. “¡Venga!”, “¡espera!”, or “¡Madre mia!” Lucky for me, Laura watches cartoons most of the day, so I can sit with her and watch them since less complex language is used. My goal is to be able to follow and understand the dramatic soap operas that Mariluz watches. I can’t wait until that happens! Outside of the house, a lot has been going on:
There is a group at school called Erasmus Student Network (ESN), who basically plans events for exchange students. They want to help the new students get involved in different activities outside of school, and give them a chance to meet local Spanish-speaking students. A little over a week ago, they organized a trip to Gijón, a city that’s about 30 minutes away from Oviedo by bus. It is on the Cantabrian Sea, so it is a popular place to go during the warm months. It was pretty cloudy and damp, but we had beautiful views as we walked along the coast at night. I want to go back there at some point so I can explore the city a little more. ESN also hosts “tapas night,” when everyone can come together, enjoy some drinks and tapas, and take a break from school!
Speaking of school, I want to talk about it a little bit because it is relatively different from Temple. We are all divided into different tracks, depending on our language skills. The schedules are really random: I’ll have five classes one day, but the next day I’ll only have one. Lucky for me, I only have one class on Friday’s, which means more time for going on little weekend trips!
This upcoming weekend is our first three-day weekend…already! We have off Monday, so a lot of Temple students and students from the university are going away for the. My plans are still up in the air, but I want to take advantage of the extra day off. There is a tourism office in Oviedo that has information about places you can go that aren’t too far. No matter where I end up, I’m positive I’ll have a great time. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t been captivated by the kindness of the people, and by the culture of Spain. I continue to learn so much every day in school, at home, and walking through the streets. It is mid-day now, time to have some café con leche!