New Experiences

Well I have officially been in Spain now for 3 days! I can't believe how quick time is flying by and yet it feels as if I have been here for far longer than 3 days.

Today I have been reflecting on the new experiences and embarrassing moments I have already had in such a short amount of time. I thought I might share some of them with you. :)

To begin with though, I'm going to give you a bit of a recap to my last few days.

On Tuesday September 6th, I finished packing, said goodbye to the farm and headed to Calgary to get ready for my flight the next morning. It was a sad and surreal experience, but I am thankful for the extra time that God had given me there.

Wednesday morning came early, partially because I didn't sleep much that night and partially because I am just not a morning person (just ask my Mom!). We had planned on being at the airport by 7:30 but were a bit late because of me and Popcha. I worked on getting checked in, my flight connected, and my bags weighed and check. It took longer than I expected but there were two big things that hit me at that time.
1. The lady assisting me asked me about my return flight. I said none... this was something I always knew, but it was the strangest experience to actually speak it aloud.
2. She also told me that there was a chance that Spain could refuse my entry upon arrival and I could instantly be sent back. (I have since found out that what she said wasn't true, but it did give me a bit of nerves as I headed through the Spanish customs upon arrival!).

After this I spent time with my parents and my friend Nicole who had also come to the airport. Then it was time for security and goodbyes. I had expected to cry a lot more than I did, and I am so thankful to God for the peace he gave me. As soon as the goodbyes were done, the excitement took over and a surreal feeling that everything I had worked for for the last 2 1/2 years was about to happen! Two flights and 16 hours later I arrived in Spain.

Upon arrival I had to go through customs which went extremely smooth. Thank you Lord! Then was the task of getting my 2 rubbermaids, 2 suitcases. I obviously needed a cart so I began looking and quickly found what I was looking for. The only issue being I couldn't figure out how much I needed for the cart. I asked someone if I could get change and they pointed me to the booth offering different currencies. I tried to get them to change some of my Euro bills into change but they told me they couldn't and so I parted with my last Canadian bill and got what I am sure was a horrible deal in exchange rate. Then I returned to the carts. Only to see a sign for a kiosk that was making change for people! There was a man there helping people acquire the carts so I walked up, showed him my fistful of euro change and asked what I needed. He said 1 Euro. So I handed that to him. He said, "No." and pointed that I had to go somewhere else. He didn't speak English so I got no explanation of what I was looking for. As I wandered through the many people waiting for their luggage, I found another line of carts. I tried to put my euro in there and it wouldn't fit. Well... now what? I aimlessly looked around to see if I could find some else he could've been pointing at. I found a machine that seemed to be for the carts so I tried to read the Spanish and figure out what I had to do. Luckily I was able to figure out that I could put my money in there and get a token out that was used for the carts! So this was what he was talking about. I also saw that the machine took euro bills as well as change. Once again I was disappointed that I had waisted my Canadian money. Anyways, I moved on from there and took my token to the carts. The man who had been helping me before, walked over and took my token saying, "Ah si." and got my cart for me. Now I had a cart. I ended up waiting quite a long time for luggage, even after all of this and experienced first hand the laid back philosophy of the Spaniards that it will get there when it gets there. Eventually, I loaded up and headed through the gates (one saying need to declare items with no one there and the other saying no declared items with two men chatting and ignoring all the people walking by!), and found two missionaries that had come to welcome me to Spain and who ended up waiting quite a long time since my plane was over an hour late and my luggage was quite late as well! Two hours in and I had not even left the airport, yet I was already getting a taste of the culture.

After this I had breakfast with a few of the local missionaries and then got to see my house! God has blessed me with an absolutely beautiful very Spanish house and I absolutely love it! God has also blessed me with a young Canadian family (Adam, Angela and Ben) on the field who will be helping me out as I settle and live just a few blocks away. What a gift!

The rest of my day was quite relaxed, we went in my pool, and then I went to Adam and Angela's to hang out and SLEEP! Following this, we visited the town where I will be going to school. Saw my school and went out to a cute coffee shop. Then we returned to their house and had a nice evening with supper and chatting. The evenings in Spain are beautiful and I now understand first hand why they stay up so late. At midnight I was still wearing just a tank top and shorts!

Yesterday, I woke up in Spain for the very first time and I was amazing! I settled into my house a little more, unpack a bit and then went for breakfast to welcome Josue and Laura (a Guatemalan couple who I will be living and working with). Once again we swam in the afternoon, but this day we had lunch at the field director's house (Giles and Debbie) around 3pm. I ended up returning to my house for my siesta since I wasn't feeling well. In the evening we went to a block party and then returned to our house for supper around 9:30 and bed around 11:30. I found my second day to be a lot more difficult than the first seeing that I was drinking Spanish from a firehose and there was very little English this day. I definitely am getting a taste of what I am getting into.

This morning (Wednesday September 10), had been quite an eventful one! I woke up and decided on a shower. However, this was not as simple as I had first assumed it to be. Once I found all my shower things in my yet to be unpacked luggage, I found that the shower head was not fastened to the wall. Instead there was a shower head hanging, and a hook that I could put it in. Upon doing this my very small shower got even smaller as the hooked swivelled and moved causing me to get soaked and my bathroom floor to be flooded. I eventually was able to complete my shower but I am going to have to get much better at having a shower in Spain! On the positive side at least my bathroom is now mopped and clean!

I also worked on unpacking and cleaning my house today. As I was working on this I managed to get my window stuck and we still haven't been able to fix it!

At this point I am mostly unpacked, my house is mostly clean and I am mostly settled. I am so thankful for my new housemates and for the fact that I have finally made it to Spain!

One last thing that I have been having to trick my brain into is that C on a tap in Spain means Caliente which is Hot, NOT Cold. I will eventually learn this one, but for now, I laugh at myself every time.

Comments

  1. Sounds like you're managing all the "new" with a great attitude, Kaitlyn! May God continue to give you grace day by day!

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