May 20 Santiago

Today was only the second day of class, but I can already tell that I am going to love our professor at the Academia Iria Flavia, she has a great mix of whimsy and inteligence with an incredible ability to get her students speaking that I respond to very well in a teacher and hope to one day emulate when I teach Spanish myself! We discussed the differences between the education systems in the US and Spain which were much greater than I would have ever thought. The act of immersion also helps out so much more tremendously than I had originally thought, and I thought it would help a lot. Just today I learned about 15 new vocabulary words referring to specifically the school system that would not stick with me just reading from a book or studying a list, so take note y’all, immersion is the best way to go!
Another really interesting thing is the fact that immersion with a small group of people tends to produce its own dialect and our little group of friends here has already come up with several new words and phrases. Some of the following are ones that have been adopted since arriving in Spain:

Peng-British slang for something that’s cool, learned from Maja, a British girl we met on the Camino

Bocadillar-Spanish verb that we have created to refer to the act of eating a bocadillo

Comidar-a silly verb we made up stemming from the word comida which means food. Literally translates to “to food”

Trache-to drink something quickly (or chug), stemming from the Spanish word trachetear, which refers to the chugging of a motor. It sounds vaguely like trachea though, so we decided to play with language a little and use it to refer to chugging liquids (like zumo de naranja when you are in a hurry, don’t fret parents!)

I am also becoming dangerously accustomed to this Spanish concept of a siesta. I am almost incapable of doing things other than eating and sleeping between the hours of 2 and 5pm! There is quite literally nothing open on the streets and nothing to do other than that, so it was somewhat forced upon me, but I actually really like it; it gives you an extra little spark to get through the rest of the day and party/study heartier into the night! Also the food our little abuela has been fixing us is absolutely incredible, words cannot properly describe it. This is partially due to the fact that Spanish breakfast is absolutely pathetic in that it consists of almost exclusively toast so I work up quite a lot of hunger by then, but homemade pasta and sauce with mini ribs, huge Spanish tortillas, fresh fried calamari rings, and lightly fried patatas bravas are delicious any day of the week!

Another interesting activity that we did this afternoon was a sort of scavenger hunt involving walking around the city and asking various people to do tasks for us so that we could record it on video. This required us to go somewhat out of our comfort zone and speak to strangers on the street, but that was certainly beneficial, and those that were rude were quickly overlooked in favor of the lovely people that we met that did their best to help us with every task even when they couldn’t actually help us with it. We ended up meeting a French woman who was visiting town, a young Canadian man who had just completed the Camino with his father, a Brazilian woman who biked the Camino with her husband, and a delightful woman who sang a song from one of her child’s favorite shows for us (and funnily enough, for another group of students as well!). Overall it was a great experience and though we had to go out of our comfort zone, it helped a lot!

Love you Mama, Daddy, Tamara, and Chloe! Can’t wait to see you all and give you your souvenirs 😉 Shout out to Fintel Library and its employees, I’ll have some great pictures and stories for you guys soon enough!


Today was our second day of class at Academia Iria Flavia, and it was as good as the first. We are getting to know each other very well in class, and are learning new things as well as accompanying each other when help is needed. It has been an awesome experience. Laura, our professor, is extremely helpful, very funny and we all get along so well as a group. In class we discussed new and different uses of verb tenses with new phrases used ion Galicia that we weren’t as accustomed to, as well as incorporating tenses in talking about the differences between the United States and Spain. It was very interesting to see how many things both cultures have in common, many of the differences, and some of the differences being similar in a small aspect. As Eli said in his blog, I feel like I have learned a tremendous amount of vocabulary words since being here, and it has helped me out in a majority of situations in school and in Santiago.

After a fantastic lunch every day, I have had an awesome time walking around Santiago and explore if it is sunny and find my way around. It is a lot of fun to walk and try to find a park or bench outside of the center of the city to look at the beautiful scenery and history that Santiago has to offer.. it is truly a special place to me already. Also, an occasional siesta is not a bad idea, either!

Today in our afternoon activity we were given three tasks to complete within the city… kind of like a scavenger hunt where we asked people in different plazas to do different things for us, for example a magic trick or, as we decided to throw in the mix, line up with a University student we spoke to sitting outside of a café and to jump and pose in the air on video… really fun stuff! The best, though, was a task where we were to ask if someone could sing the song “Escándalo” by Raphael in the plaza. We couldn’t find anyone, but the kind woman who was working at the convent cookie bakery we stopped at (which are some of the best I’ve ever had!) was very enthusiastic about it, and it warmed all of our days up! These two days of classes have been a great learning experience already, the afternoons are a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to see what the next week and a half has in store!

Mom, Dad, Jim, Grandmommy and Grandaddy… Miss you and Love you!! Can’t wait to show you the experiences I have had through my hundreds of pictures, and hope all is well in the Noke! And to Jim… loved seeing you play out there this spring, man.. you’ll get ‘em next year as El Capitán!



2 thoughts on “May 20 Santiago

  1. Eli mere words cannot describe the joy your Dad and I have that you are living out your dream! I can only imagine how happy you are to be mingling with the locals and seeing the magnificent sights. We can’t wait to hear every detail as you relive every moment! We love and miss you dearly. Mama, Daddy,Tamara and Chloe

  2. Eli tells us: “I am also becoming dangerously accustomed to this Spanish concept of a siesta. I am almost incapable of doing things other than eating and sleeping between the hours of 2 and 5pm! ”

    I reply: Well, it’s a good thing you’re not scheduled to work between 2 and 5 pm in June (except on Saturday when Shannon will be here to prod you awake)! Ha! Safe travels to all, and see you next week. –Sara

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