I have been here for 2 weeks now, and I’m enjoying every minute of it! The other 20 students I’m with are a lot of fun and my host family is pretty cool. My host family consists of an older couple, Daniel and Isabel, with their daughter, Paula, and their son, Robert, lives on the floor below us in the same apartment building.
The campus of la Universidad de Alicante where I am studying is beautiful! It’s the middle of winter and there are palm trees and orange trees, water fountains, and it’s usually sunny and warm!
Last Saturday, we went with our program to the city of Valencia where they have some cool new architecture in their L’Hemisferic and their opera house—Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia—alongside some old, gothic architecture found in their museums and cathedrals.
On Sunday the craziest thing happened. I had met this guy, Joshua Platillero at college back at home last winter. I was hanging out with a couple of my friends in the business building and Josh was on the phone nearby. After finishing his phone call, Josh overheard our conversation and decided to join us. We talked for a couple of hours and followed each other on social media. I hadn’t seen him since then because he works in Washington D.C. and was just visiting the area for a couple of days. Fast forward a year to last Saturday when Josh randomly messages me, asking what I’m doing in Spain and that he himself was about to fly here. It turns out his parents are missionaries here and they live here with their family. Josh was coming to visit them for a few days and he invited me to come over and hang out for the day. Both of his brothers had soccer games that day, so I got to watch them play, I tried paella for the first time, and we played Settlers of Catan in Spanish! It was a fun time and I’m going back today for a church service that his parents do for their students.
This Saturday, some other students and I visited the town of Altea which is about two hours north of Alicante by Tram. It had some nice scenic beaches and the city was on a hill. We hiked up through the narrow, weaving streets to the top where there was a beautiful, old church. We got some gelato up there and then we returned to the bottom. We then went to a restaurant to eat tapas which are kind of like appetizers, but they usually eat a lot of them to make a whole meal.
This upcoming week I am going to start working as a tutor once a week on Monday for a couple of kids who live near me. My program sets this up so that we can help these kids learn some English and we can make a little money while we’re here. I’ll let you know how that goes later, but for now… ¡Hasta la vista!