Finals, Travels, and Goodbyes

These last few weeks have been crazy! About 2 weeks ago, I studied a lot for fast approaching finals. Last week, I took them and got ready to say goodbye to all the friends that I had made. I am going to miss everyone! Right after finals, I had so much to do! I DSC03043started my online classes in the states and had to pack for a wonderful trip! I also spent some time getting to know my roommates family. On Sunday, I got up and went to airport. At six in the morning, I was off! My first trip entirely on my own and I was headed to Paris! I was nervous but ready for the journey ahead. I got to Paris and I first visited the Arc de Triomphe, then the Sacre Coeur, and went to my hotel. After that I saw Notre Dame. It is so Loud! I got there as the bells were chiming and you can hear them for blocks between many buildings! I also went to Medici’s Fountain, Moulin Rouge, and the Effiel tower. This was also really cool! I went there 3 times. 2 during the day and one at night. I got there around 10, just in time for it to light up with twinkling lights! It was a really cool surprise! After that I also went to the Louvre to see the Pyramid all light up at night.

The next day, I went to Louvre! While I was in line I met this nice family from Canada and DSC03101I spent most of my time at the museum with them. We looked at a lot of amazing art, the winged victory and a statue from Chili which is on “The Night at the Muesum”, (Dumb Dumb, give me gum gum statue). We also got to see the Mona Lisa, which I took a selfie with! A bad one, but it was hard with the crowd. She was an amazing piece of art, although it was had to get a good look at her.After that, I went to see Lady Liberty. She was bigger than I thought the one in Paris would be, and it was cool to see the Eiffel tower in the background! After spending the whole day in Paris, I left and went to the airport and headed to Porto, Portugal.

In Porto, I went to the old town, Every building was done with different shades of red,DSC03255 yellow, or has tile of different colors. It was beautiful! I walked around there for about 2 or 3 hours. I loved it! I also took a boat tour, and met a nice couple from Madrid, Spain. It was really cool to talk to them and realize, Wow! I can speak Spanish! I got to know them well as the boat took us along the river to see many different parts of the city. After DSC03299that I went to a beautiful church. The alters and ceilings were entirely in gold. It was magnificent, unfortunately I was unable to take pictures. The last thing that I did in Porto was take the trolley to the beach and that was an experience! I was sitting there, I look out the window and see some teenage boys just hop on the side of the train! It was crazy! I look out the window and instead of holding on he is texting. I would have fallen and hurt myself if I did that! After arriving at the beach I took some pictures of the lighthouse before heading back to the airport to go back to Madrid.

Now, with only three days left, I am finally going to the Royal palace with one of my friends and get Chocolate with Churros. Then after that I am going to pack, get some last minute things, spend time with my Spanish family and leave Saturday for the states. I cannot wait to see everyone!

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DSC02926I have begun my last month of living here in Spain. It is all amazing and part of me is so not ready for this. I am working on making last minute travel plans. Trying to see the last bit of Madrid that I can, studying, and trying to spend time with my host family, whom I will miss very much! At the same time, I am also looking forward to getting to see all of the family and friends in the next few weeks.

Over the past week or so, my family and I have had more time getting to know one another. I went out for a walk this weekend around Madrid with my host parents. I got to see some of the older past of this city, It was interesting and my host mom was very into seeing some of the churches. After that we got a snack before heading back to the apartment. I also got the opportunity to cook for my host mom for Mother’s Day here in Spain. I made ranch chicken and rice! She really enjoyed it!

Although that was all a lot of fun, I have found myself being sick. I do not know what is going on, but I have not been feeling the greatest. All I want to do is sleep. As far as this week in general, not much has happened. I have spent much of my time studying and sleeping, especially since finals are in 2 weeks! Although, I hope they are not overly difficult. I am also looking forward to what may happen in my last few weeks here in this lovely country.

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Segovia, Italy, and family.


This part week or so has been really busying. I hardly had any time to do nothing and was always on the go. First of all, I spent a lot of time with my host family. My host mom, Yolanda, took my roommate and I around Madrid. She took us to see monuments to the victims of a terrorist attack back in 2004. In the morning, there were some bombing on trains in Madrid, many people were either injured or killed. After that we went to the post office and got to see a beautiful view of the entire city. There was a lookout at the top of the building! It was amazing! My family also took my roommate and I on a little adventure in the mountains. We went on a hiking trip and went to Segovia! The wall/bridge was breathtaking. DSC02856Also, I feel like I am finally a part of the family. They are joking around with me more and I feel more comfortable doing the same. Even when I am not there my host dad finds ways to be a trickster. The other day when I arrived home I found a Tortilla Patata covered with a towel and it said “No Eat Dangeroux”  with a drawn on skull and crossbones. It was really funny and made my day after a long journey back from Italy.

Yesterday, I arrived back in Spain from taking another 3 day trip to Italy. I also would like to go back, but I should see other parts of Europe. Plus, maybe one day I can live there. I took a flight to Milan and got to spend some more time with my friend Michele and get to know some of his other friends well. I think I even have some new friends that I will have for the rest of my life! Aside from that I spent much of my time exploring. We looked around Milan a bit and found a Villa with flamingos! It was interesting to not see them at a zoo even though they could not leave. I got to see more art and what was going on in Milan. I also went to Verona. DSC02876It was a little similar to Rome. There was a structure very similar to the Colosseum. Although, my favorite part of Verona was Juliet’s house and the wall with all of the letters that had been written to Juliet. I thought that was so cool! Even though no one really know if that would have possibly been where she lived, but this was my favorite! I had read aboutDSC02881 Verona and Romeo and Juliet it was so cool to finally get the chance to see it! I was really interesting in finding out the wall that the movie Letters to Juliet was real! I was tempted to write one myself, but I had no way to do so. I want to find out if any of what the movie said was true, but it is Hollywood. Another place we went was Bergamo. This was what I would have thought an ancient city would have looked like. It was an area on top of the hill overlooking the city and was the only part protected by a wall. This was also an area with churches and other large buildings. An the bottom of the hill there DSC02958were smaller houses. This is where I decided that I really liked Italian art with all the bright colors and expressive paintings. All in all though, I enjoyed Italy very much! I hope that one day I will be able to make the journey back to this unique and beautiful country.

As far as everything else that is going on in my life, I am doing well. I still really miss home, family, friends, and especially my fiance. This trip made me see that I cannot wait to see everyone when I get back to the states. Other than that, I have found myself doing better. I have been working on making changes and fixing the mistakes that I have made. I know that through it all God is going to help me with this and always be with me. Overall, I have doing well and I am very happy!

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Semana Santa

What an incredible journey?! About 2 weeks ago I got the chance to travel around Europe. I only got to see 3 countries, but it was worth it. On Thursday, March 26, 2015, 3 girls from my school in the states and I got up and flew to Rome, Italy. It was my second time in Italy and I think I am in love! For me, my trip was great because of the people again. I like Italians, sometimes they are annoying, but I still really enjoyed it.  In Italy I got to see many new places that people dream of seeing. DSC02135One of the things I will never forget out of everything that I got to see was when we went to see the Coliseum. We took the metro which had a stop for the Coliseum. When we got there, we exited the metro and Guess what?! The Coliseum was directly in front of us! I was looking at this massive structure that I had thought about for years! I will never forget the feeling of awe that I had from when I first saw and explored the history of this antique structure as many before. Other things that we saw were the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, The Vatican City and many more!

After only 3 days in Rome we moved on to Athens, Greece. This was our more relax part of the trip. We went to random areas of the city, but we got to take our time! One day we spent 4 hours at one of the Olympic sites! We found an area with Olympic Torches and posters, as well as ran around the track. One of the other sites that I really enjoyed was the Parthenon. DSC02641 There were buildings there on the top of this hill overlooking the entire city. These structures were beautiful, but were also being restored. There were a lot of things there, which included Mars hill! A site from the Bible which we found where Paul preached and told people what was wrong about their faith! It was right there where they have the altars! He did what God wanted and it rang true! He saved many people, including important figures in Athens. We also say the temple or Zeus and many other Ruins. On my birthday, We went to see the water, which was just a port we could find, and ate strawberries on the side of the road.

After a week in Athens moved to Germany and stayed there for just 2 days. We walked around town and saw the river. Unfortunately, we did not see much, but that was because everything was closed.  Overall, this trip is not something that I can explain well, but I will never forget everything that we did! It was a once in a lifetime trip! There are so many pictures! Take a look!

As far as how I have been doing with my faith and life, I think that I am doing much better. I am relying on God more for everything that has been going on here and in the states. Also, I feel like I have been doing better personally and I finally feel like I a part of the Family that I am staying with! It is great!


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This weekend has been both eventful and uneventful. I did some traveling with my roommate and host father to Toledo, Spain. It was beautiful! Churches and Cathedrals each done in its own unique way. There was things like gold and stone skulls. Torture devices, Jewish symbols and gold pottery and crosses like I had never seen before. There was a wide varied of culture and art. It is all so new!

The rest of my week has been studying for midterms this week. A lot of my time has been spent studying getting ready for them. I do not know how well I did, but I do not think I did that bad! I also have spent a good time this week getting to know my roommate better. We had random jam sessions during our time studying. It was a lot of fun and a lot of the time a much needed short break. I also realized this week that I miss sweat pants! Here everyone tries to dress up nicely. I just wanted to eat and be comfortable. Is that too much to ask? 🙂

This week has also been very emotional for me! I just found out that my grandmother has been in the hospital, with heart failure. I have been struggling with really want to be there for me, but I know that God has some things for me to do here. I have been dealing with some issues and learning how to deal with them. I have gone through a lot of personal growth and I am now making the appropriate changes that I need to make. I know God is going to use this in the best way He can. I am also getting better with the language. I find myself using more the forms that I am using at school. I am so excited! I cannot wait to see what level I leave the country with!

Finally, Pray for my family, and also pray for me. I have a long way to go and make the changes that I need to make. I am also leaving next Thursday with some friends for Rome, Athens and Dusseldorf. I am so excited for the new experiences that await me on this journey.

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Exploring Foreign Lands

This past weekend had been an entirely new experience for me! I took a little weekend trip to go see a friend of mine in Milan, Italy. I could not have been any luckier! Michele, my friend, took time out of his normal schedule to show me around and be able to learn a little about Italian culture, but I only skimmed the surface. This trip was a whole lot of fun! I really did not want to leave!

This quick 3 day trip was extremely busy, but totally worth it! On the first day I went to an art museum in Milan. The art was beautiful and I was told the expressions on my face as I look at it was priceless! I love getting to look at so much history. Later that day I was introduced to some of Michele’s friends we hung out for a while talking about random topics for hours!

On day two of my trip, I got woken up and had to rush around to make it to the train station on time and we did! We ran and got on the train as the doors were closing, I just about died! After that we were on DSC01822our way to Bellagio. That area had stunning views. The town was on the edge of the crystal blue waters of Lake Como and just below the mountains that were in the distance. I was in awe of this place. We also went to a town named Verenna. It reminded of what I had seen out of a movie. The buildings were close together with a little space between the buildings. After that we headed back to Milan and had dinner at a restaurant with some friends. I liked this restaurant the best because it was a buffet and I could try many different types of foods. After that we went to Gelateria Della Musica and I had gelato! I think that gelato is one of the best things that I have ever tasted!

DSC01854On the third day, I spent the day exploring Milan. We went to Duomo Di Milano which is a cathedral in Milan. It was huge and took a long time to explore all that we could. I loved looking at the unique architecture of this building. Later that day, Michele made me a home cooked meal. We had homemade pasta, grissini with prosciutto and tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and oregano. It was a good meal and I really hope that I can get homemade pasta in the states!

Even though I did get see many different things and have new experiences I had not gone to Italy to see places, I went to see a friend a get to experience the culture or at least what little bit that I could and I had so much fun! I look forward to the next trip, which is over spring break! I will be going to Rome, Athens, and Dusseldorf with the girls from my school!

As far as language goes for me, I did not really get to talk in Spanish this weekend, but this was because I do not know Italian, even though I can understand a little bit and I hope to learn it later. Also, I only used Spanish once with Andrea, a friend of Michele’s, so I practiced a little. Other than that, I know that it still something that I need to work on. As far as my faith goes, this weekend I did not have much time alone with God, but I loved seeing what He had created in Italy. I still know, that I need to give more of my problem to Him while I am here and that is how I am going to get through this. I still feel like I have a long way to go with where I am at and I look forward to see what changes He will make in my life!

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Getting to Have New Experiences

DSC01810This week was a lot of fun! I learned how to made a Tortilla Patata with my host mom. That was a lot of fun and really good! A tortilla patata is a potato omelet, and only has 3 main ingredients, oil, potatoes and eggs. It has been one of my favorite foods here and I cannot wait to make it in the states! There are other experiences I have had with my family. Even after this past Saturday, I have been working on getting to know my family. Even if it has been little things like helping with dinner, or watching a show a little later at night.

I have also started traveling around Madrid again. I went online and found a place called the Templo de Debod. This temple had been moved from Egypt to Madrid. It was really cool and unique. I don’t think that this can be seen anywhere else outside of Egypt.

Finally, I am on my way to Italy tomorrow! I am looking forward to see what adventures are ahead of me! Also, I know what my plans are for spring break! I am going Rome, Athens, and  Dusseldorf (which is in Germany).

As far as prayers, I am doing better with the language. I have been catching myself no longer translating every word from English to Spanish, but I still have to improve! Also, I still feel a little lonely. I know God is there for me, but I know that I am not relying on him like I should. So please keep praying!

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Getting to know you better!

DSC01781Up until today, everything had been flying by. School has passed quickly and midterms are in just a few weeks. I keep traveling and seeing new places, which is really cool, but I needed to take a break and have everything slow down for just a little while. Lucky for me, my host family had some plans, since my roommate was gone, and they did want my to get bored. It was a nice surprise! I woke up early this Saturday morning to see that my family had been ready to take me on a little adventure on the side of a mountain. After getting lost, we finally arrived! We took a short hike in a loop and looked at many trees, but this was more my speed. I really needed to take a breath of fresh air and see a different part of Spain. It was also nice, because I got the opportunity to just talk with my host family and get to know them a little better on my own!

Also this trip was good for the relationship that I have with my host parents. This week I was asked if I liked them and if they were a good match for me. Well, they are! I love my host family, but I realized that I needed to adjust what I am doing a bit and spend some more time with them. I am trying to work ahead and get as much done as I can for school, so that I may get more changes to grow my relationship with them aside from just once in a while on a weekend.

As far as culture shock goes, I am doing a little better and the trip we took was really what I needed to help that. I relaxed a little more and I am not so on edge with everything that is going on. Thank you for the prayers with this. Also for those who do not know, my mother is doing better as well. She had her surgery and is at home recovering.

Finally, with everything that has been going on today and this week. I have seen more of how God is working in my life. He has opened new doors for my family and I as well, as helping me see that he is by my side through it all! I cannot wait to see what he does next! As far as prayers… The language! I know I have said this a lot, but I think this important and the reason why I am here! I also want to be remind the people love me back home, and I know this can be done through prayer as well. I have really been struggling with that this week. I have felt alone in a room full of people. I may be talking and what not, but I have just found that I am struggling with that a bit. Pray that I do not feel this way.

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Time spent with family!

ThDSC01775is week has been a week full of ups and downs and many changes. At the beginning of the week school was interesting. I had class and I went through what is starting be a normal thing. I get up, go to school, sleep have a day off, then go to school again. Even though I am still enjoying my classes the everything that has been happening is starting to be a blur. It could also be because this week would be a little bit different! I had plans to take the bus on Wednesday to go see my sister Magali!

On Wednesday, I left right after school and headed to Bilbao. At the bus station, I was a greeted hug from my sister! After about 2 to 3 years I finally got to see her I was so excited! After that, I started the long time of meeting many people. This is where I started to be overwhelmed. Everyone had questions and sometimes it was just because of the number of people I had been with. That when I started feeling differences. First of all, here it is about the group, not about the individual person. So at time when I need a break I could not take one. Secondly, in Spain it was a Holiday week for the start of Lent in the Catholic Church. There are celebrations and festivities everywhere. For me, this was different, and I could not understand it, I just had a hard time understanding it. Everyone dressed up similar to Halloween and joined into their interesting celebration. It is hard to explain, but I felt out of place, lonely, confused and a little depressed. I just wanted to go home and I still kind of do. This weekend I experienced something called culture shock. Some of what I had seen or experienced was so different from the States that I had felt so many things at one time.

The next few days where spent with my lovely sister and still dealing with the emotion that had began the day before. We watched movies and talk about lives catching up on what had been going on with each other over the past few years. I love this girl so much! She is the closest thing that I have to a sister, since she lived with my family for such a long time. Magali will always be in my heart and I cannot wait to visit her again!

On Sunday, I got the chance to talk to my parents, my fiance and his family from the states and let them know a little about how my time here. It was so nice to speak to them! I have missed home so much and it helped make my week a lot better!

So, what has this done for my faith this week. I have seen that God will use me in many ways, no matter how I am feeling. He has shown himself to me through something as simple as a rainbow, just to make sure I do not forget that he is there. As far as how things have been for me spiritually this week, it has been hard for me and all I want to do is go home. I have really been forced to rely on God and call out to him. This is one of my struggles. This week I have had times where I just want to cry and turn away, but I know that only makes things worse. I really need to look to him for held and guidance. I need prayers to help me get through culture shock. Finally, this week, is the week my mother has knee surgery. Please pray that everything goes well with that and that she has a good recovery.

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DSC01772My time is full of exploring! I ran across new area of El Parque del Retiro. It was an amazing garden. It reminded me of something out of a movie. Some of the trees even look like a Dr. Seuss picture. I also cannot wait to go again. There are so many things that I have yet to see.

There are also new areas of the Spanish culture that I am getting to experience. Here there is something called the Rastro. It is similar to a flee market in the states, but it is only on Sunday mornings. There were so many different things to see I could not decide on anything to buy.

My friends from grace and I are also finding new areas in Madrid. We went shopping in the more industrialized area of the city, it was different to actually see skyscrapers here. I love spending time with these girls and cannot wait to have more experiences with them.

On Valentine’s Day, I got to meet up with one of my friends from the states. Emily came to Spain to see her parents and wanted to spend some time with my roommate, Precious, and I. We had some really good food at a cafe and later went to El Parque del Retiro (my second time in the past 5 days). We had a lot of fun talking about live and how our time abroad has been going for us.

I am also doing well with my classes. We are stilling playing some games, but are starting to get more into the language. I still really enjoy them. My professor seem friendly, and want me to be able to speak well. In class, much of what we do is talk in Spanish, which is good because that is what I am here for!

Finally, there are many things going on in my life spiritually. I am finding more opportunities to spend time with God here! I have less things that have to be done and it is so much easier for me to have my time. I know that I would be really struggling right now if he was not a large portion of this trip, mainly because I am really miss home at the moment. There is so much that I want to share, but cannot. Please pray for this as well as my well being and that I do not stop learning.

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