Well the last couple of weeks have been a bit crazy and life has definitely ramped up for me!
Here's what's happened...
- I got my official residency acceptance (for the next 6 months)
- I got a Spanish Bank Account
- I've had driving lessons from Adam
- I've continued to set up my house
- Countless meetings
- I attended my first Pueblo (kind of like a town) Festival
- We've begun to harvest from our trees in our orchard!
- I had my VERY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

A lot of these things I would've assumed would be pretty standard and straightforward until I came to Spain. But, I have been learning lots about flexibility and letting go of expectations.
My residency actually went quite well and although there was lots of online things to do and forms to gather we only had to go to the office once for 1 hr! It was a record set for our organization and I was so thankful for that.
The stamp that officially says I can live here!!!

My Spanish bank account and phone on the other hand have been very different circumstances. in order to obtain my bank account we had to have 4 meetings at 2 different branches in two different pueblos (and we had missionaries in two other pueblos trying to organize for us as well!) We eventually did end up getting a bank account but only if we agreed to get dental insurance through their bank.
My phone on the other hand has not been successful yet. I have taken lots of time figuring out what company I want to go with and when we finally went in to sign me up they told me they would never give me a phone plan because I am an expatriate (which pretty much means I'm not from Spain or the EU). So we went back to a couple of other phone companies only to find out that I need to have my residency card (which I won't have in hand for another month), 6 months of a bank account in Spain (which won't happen until March) and proof of where I live (i.e. a bill address to me at my house in Los Hueros); the only issue with this one being that since I've living in a house that is functioning as a space for many different people and services none of the bills come in my name. So... we're waiting on that one.
On a positive note, I have officially learned how to drive in Spain!! Yay! Well... well enough to get by in my pueblo. I just HATE it because people don't drive like I would like and all the rules are different and traffic lights freak me out since they are run COMPLETELY different than we have in Canada. I have to stop right at the light when it turns red which often leaves me in the middle of the intersection or round-about and I hate that! So for now, transit and walking are my preferred methods of travel.
We have also had our first real harvest from our orchard, below is picture of that!
Almonds, Walnuts, Peaches, Pears, Figs and Pomegranates!

This past weekend I attended my first running of the bulls! It was so much fun but also terrifying as they use fireworks to announce the arrival of the bulls and everything else. These fireworks seem A LOT louder and closer than what we have in Canada; they are fireworks that are set off on the ground and don't shoot up. That being said, seeing the culture, and the gymnastics and athletic ability of those being chased by the bulls was quite interesting.
Only the Start of the Bull Run!

Angela's Balancing Act to save Ben's ears!




Finally and most exciting I had my first day of school today! I arrived knowing that all I would do today was write a placement exam. I had been told by other missionaries to just answer the bare minimum so I would be placed in the lowest level of Spanish so I'm not overwhelmed by all the newness of Spanish in Spain. I ended up doing this, but it was A LOT more difficult than I imagined! The instructors didn't speak ANY English, not even to explain how to take the test. It was all Spanish from the very first moment.  Once I had finished I came home and had a 2 1/2 hr nap. I have been told that I will be eating twice as much and sleeping twice as much as my brain works in overdrive to understand and learn this new language.
Tomorrow is my first full day of school and like today and everyday there will be NO English and I will be thrown in the deep end. I'll be in school from 9am-2pm Monday-Friday so if you think of it please pray for me. For the ability to learn, maintain and grow in my language and for ENERGY as I know I'm going to be exhausted!
Getting Ready for my Test!
My Beautiful Street
Well that's all for now!

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