Hi everyone! We made it, safe and sound (though obviously with some aches and pains) to Santiago yesterday! Today, we had our first day of class at Iria Flavia, the language school here in Santiago. It was pretty nice being able to wear normal clothes, shower with hot water (that was guaranteed), and wear makeup for the first time in a week…and not walk anywhere with an oversized backpack. Anyway, we were split into two groups based on our speaking level. My group’s professor is named Laura, and so far, she’s absolutely awesome; though I will admit she does talk quite fast and it is somewhat hard to understand her, but I’m sure that it will come with time. We have class from 9:00 to 10:30, where we have a 30 minute break. Many of us went to go get coffee during the break (so much for breaking my caffeine addiction) at the little coffee shop down the road. Today, we discussed (in Spanish) ourselves, the culture of Galicia (the region of Spain that we are currently in), and took an assessment quiz so our professor would know in which areas we needed the most help. I’ll admit my Spanish was pretty rusty on the first day, mostly due to my group on the camino jokingly butchering Spanish (and English) to entertain ourselves…however, I can say my Spanglish is pretty awesome at the moment! In all seriousness though, I am quite excited to see all of us progress over the course of the next few weeks in our speaking capabilities.
After class ended, we all went back to our Homestay families for lunch, which Spaniards eat around 2 PM. Kayla and I had turkey breast fried in olive oil and pasta with a tomato-olive oil mix…it was SO good! I need to ask our abuela how to make it for future reference when I have to feed myself next month while I’m doing research. Their lunch is definitely much more filling than their breakfasts, which is normally two pieces of toast and orange juice (or instant-coffee for Kayla). I know we’re all excited to finally have a break from walking so much (I know my legs and back are VERY ecstatic, anyways), but I do miss the serenity of the Camino in comparison to the city. I am excited to finally have a chance to explore Santiago though, and we have a day off tomorrow so we have the opportunity to do just that. I hope all is well in the United States and that it is not raining as much there as it is here (oh Galicia… it’s somewhat similar to San Francisco).
Love you Mom, Dad, and Hannah! I’ll see you soon, and I have some awesome pictures to show you when I get home!