October 14, 2011

Catching up – Part 2

My first couple days in Spain, I started thinking “This is going to be harder than I thought.” I think it mostly had to do with knowing no Spanish and having no idea where I was. The first day I only quickly drove through Avila with FJ, then spent the rest of the day at the gym and the hotel. When Matt and I ate dinner at the hotel restaurant, the food was really different (looking back, I think I had my worst 2 meals the first 2 days I was here). The second day I slept in at the hotel while Matt went to shoot-around, then I went to his game, which was really fun, but everyone was speaking Spanish and I was scared to talk to anyone. All I could say is “Hola, Como Estas?” and that’s it. Not a very exciting conversation. Obviously I was so excited to see Matt, and so happy I already was getting to watch a game, but I was thinking it was going to be a tough year of eating weird food, not talking to anyone, and being by myself a lot.

But…the next day (Sunday) Matt had the whole day off and we went for a walk around the city. It is so beautiful here! We walked inside the wall and saw all the houses and apartments that are so cute and old fashioned, we saw the famous cathedral, we ate at Burger King, went shopping in some really cute shops, and even found a public library that had an “English” section with some books we had heard of! I think it just made me feel better to know a little more about my surroundings. The next day I walked the same path we had taken on Sunday and sat outside the wall on some rocks and read my Nook – it was so nice to sit outside and read surrounded by a beautiful place! (P.S. Mama - the Nook was the best gift! I use it all the time!)While I was reading, a Polish visitor asked me if I spoke English, and asked me to take his picture by the wall. It was nice to speak English for a minute, and he was the first of many people that I have met who are touring Avila (I didn’t realize it was such a tourist city)! This is where I sat to read:

Monday and Tuesday are Matt’s busiest days, where he is gone almost all day at practice – usually 9:30 weights and practice and he isn’t back until about 3, then he takes a nap, then another night practice really late, 8:30 to 11:30. They are on a really tough schedule! I was hoping once the season started it would slow down, which it has a little, he was on that schedule every day, but now they only have one practice on Wednesday  - Friday. It’s so funny though, they have to do a lot of community events, like visit schools and talk to the kids, they had to go to church for the Saint Teresa festival the other day, today they have to be present at a Saint Teresa ceremony and each put a flower on her statue (I get to go to this one). They are pretty involved in the community, which is pretty cool because in return they have a lot of fans at their games.
At dinner at the hotel I’ve been practicing my Spanish with the waiters, waitresses and Matt, which has helped a lot! One night he only spoke Spanish to me at dinner and made me figure it out – I learned a lot. I told him whenever he gets tired of me talking to much, just tell me we have to speak in Spanish only…haha because I only know about 20 words. But I am learning! I really like it a lot here, and I think once I learn more of the language and once we get our apartment I’ll like it that much more.

Yes, by the way, we are still living at the hotel. The hotel is really nice though, so we don’t mind! The restaurant is right downstairs, they clean our room every day, and now they are also doing our laundry for us! So I really don’t have anything to do! The only bad thing is the restaurant has certain hours, so we get hungry sometimes and have no way to get food if its too late at night (the hotel is a decent walk to the city). Also its getting kind of tough living out of a suitcase for this long, there isn’t a dresser or anything in our room, so all my clothes are wrinkled and I don’t know where anything is. But that’s ok! Our apartment will most likely be on a different side of the city from where the hotel is, so I’m trying to spend some time outside and get to know this side of the city, then it will be kind of neat when we move to another area.

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