The only thought that willed me out of my bed this morning was that I could wear leggings to class and be comfortable. I prioritized sleep over a nice morning because I only had one class today and wasn’t going to get enough sleep otherwise. My class was really interesting today; everyone had to pick a traditional Spanish holiday and present it to the class. We talked about traditions like the Tomatina where for one hour, everyone in one town throws tomatoes at each other. TONS of tomatoes. And people typically wear white and have to regularly get sprayed with a hose to combat the tomatoes’ acidity. There’s a really cool celebration in the community of Valencia where people dress up and reenact the battles between the Moors and the Christians. The costumes are really elaborate, and it looked like it would be an interesting tradition to experience. I presented over a holiday in the north where extremely religious people are carried in coffins through the town by other religious people. It seems like it’s a way to put life in perspective and symbolize devoting life to the religion, but I could be wrong. It was very cool to learn about them though.

After class I restarted my morning. I did yoga, then took the longest shower of my life to practice self-care, and it. felt. amazing. After my shower I decided to keep up the love, so I painted my toenails and watched Anna Karenina on Netflix. That movie is absolute art. I had no idea, but it was seriously gorgeous. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to watch a visually and creatively stunning film.

After lunch, I finally got to return to the Hello English School to volunteer. I seriously love my teacher and the students. We talk about differences in our cultures a lot, and then I help them with English concepts and pronunciation or whatever else the main teacher needs from me. Today we discussed Halloween, why Americans use dryers for clothes instead of just hanging them out, and where our middle and last names come from. It’s always so fun to talk to them and it’s helping me learn things that I need to work on to be a better teacher! Also, at lunch today I had some really good conversations with my host mom and her granddaughter. I didn’t even really think, I just spoke, and was able to communicate a lot more even if it wasn’t perfect Spanish (which it definitely wasn’t). Baby steps! I’m excited!

I walked around after school and then went home to do a lot of writing before dinner. I asked to eat early which ended up being eight thirty because at nine I had to FaceTime my school back in the states for a mandatory student teaching orientation. My professor at home was really excited to see me though and actually acknowledged me to the class, and I thought that was really sweet.

I know it’s Halloween, but I didn’t accept the invitation to go out with friends tonight. Instead I decided I would stay in and eat candy. My host mom’s granddaughter gave me a plastic pumpkin full of candy, which was really sweet because no one really does trick-or-treat here. Then later my dad FaceTimed me and he and I ate candy together and talked about life. It’s been a really wonderful day. Tomorrow’s a Spanish holiday so there are no classes, but my plan is to take care of myself and my responsibilities and not be lazy.

Today’s picture is of a building I pass almost every day, but I just realized that I really like it. Now that I’m more comfortable, I’m slowly falling in love with Spanish architecture and the beauty that is everywhere in my city. There were so many moments I wanted to take a picture of today but didn’t for time or convenience or because I was with someone else, but trust me, this place is gorgeous.

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