Well, it’s finally hitting me. Forty days in and I’m starting to feel homesick. The good news is that I genuinely believe it’s my fault because I keep turning my attention away from where I am to things I cannot currently do. Obviously I’m going to miss making yummy breakfasts if I keep watching videos of people making breakfasts on YouTube. Honestly, most of what I’m missing is just small comforts like certain foods or being able to cook for myself (and people, I’m obviously missing everyone too). I need to do a better job of remembering where I am and living it up, because let’s be real, I’m forty days in and this adventure is no less amazing.
Today was an awesome day. I had one class this morning and then went for a very short run. I got lost, went home, and did some yoga. Then my roommate and I took a trip to the market and came home for lunch. After lunch, I did homework for literature and then headed out to the Hello School where I volunteer to help teach kids English. I mentioned last time that I didn’t have a good experience, so after talking to the head of the program I was switched to a different classroom, and it was amazing. I had so much fun helping the students learn and learning practical ways to teach them. I felt way more in teacher mode today than last time, and this experience of helping with ESL is making me really excited for my possibilities in the future. I love how relevant it feels to teach it as a native speaker to people who really want to learn and use the language. I’ll be working with the same teacher on Wednesday, and I might add on a third day of volunteering with another instructor on Thursdays.
After volunteering, I walked the long way home and felt so happy with the cool breeze, happy dogs running around, and the beautiful, peaceful town that is Salamanca. I could easily imagine building a life here. I don’t really want to do that, but it’s cool to feel that way about a place and to imagine what it would be like to use Spanish all the time.
I’m very lucky to be here, and I know the time is passing all too quickly. I’m trying to make more of an effort to enjoy every part of it, even the two hour classes and waking up early every day because I know these are all really wonderful things and my biggest obstacle is myself. Getting up early is good because it helps me not waste the days. Classes are great because they’re actually really interesting, fun, and I learn a lot of cool things. I’m just fighting my own laziness to make sure I’m actually making the most of each of these days, which I honestly don’t really feel like I’m doing and don’t really know how to change. It’s a struggle between trying to balance what I’m used to doing with living a different lifestyle and just not thinking about it and letting myself be.
//Okay, so I got to this point in my blog and was still feeling really weird, like I’m not doing enough here but I don’t know what else to do, and it was just making me feel like I was failing myself. I started to talk to my roommate about it, and she suggested that we take a walk to the river, something we’ve both recently tried to do on our own unsuccessfully. We went, and I am so glad. It’s a chilly night, but I didn’t mind, and I’m just so thankful to have someone as a roommate who not only is a really nice person, but who also likes going on walks at night and sitting in the grass by the river just to talk. I felt so much better having someone to open up to and to listen to, and I think maybe it’s proof that like our solo attempts and fails to make it to the river, sometimes we just need to do this living-in-a-new-country thing together. It was so nice, and we saw some really cool things while we were talking! At one point a giant stream of bats flew over the bridge and a car behind them was playing artificial bat sounds. I have no idea why, but it was one of the strangest and most interesting things I’ve ever seen. She also saw a shooting star, which is huge because there are hardly any visible stars out here. I feel so much better after talking to her, and I think my feelings are normal and there are things I can do to help them like going to try new things, going somewhere peaceful like sitting at the river, or just getting out and experiencing life more outside of my host home. I always enjoy just getting to soak in this city. Two things I want to do soon are find the frog in the stone wall and visit the Museum Casa Lis. I’ll start there and see where life takes me.