Week 1

Hola Amigos! Viver en Valencia es muy difícil pero estamos bien.

This week has poised a number of problems and has felt like the longest week of our lives. Coming off of a cruise carefree and happy and then walking into a different world might not have been the best idea . . . fortunately, we made it! After arriving in Valencia by train from Barcelona, we found ourselves looking for a taxi. It wasn’t hard to find one, but unfortunately for me, they were all relatively small so, my bag was too big for the trunk! I felt like we were in one of those Three Stooges movies with the circus music as Grayson and the driver attempted, at least ten times, to rearrange our bags in the trunk. I think I was exhausted and nervous because all I could do was laugh. We finally got the luggage situated and drove to our street Calle Bilbao. Our door, number 33, is situated between a cafe and a movie store very unobtrusive. We page up and are let into an an apartment complex with seven stories. Of course we live on the seventh floor, thank goodness for elevators :)!

Mercedes greeted us at the door, Grayson talked and I nodded and smiled, I’m getting really good at this. Mercedes is a host mom for several programs in Valencia, but it just so happens that Grayson and I are the only ones living with her this semester. Her apartment is nice and our bedroom is great, but unfortunately its excruciatingly hot, being on the seventh floor without air-conditioning, woo it’s been quite a stretch! Two days in we decided it was impossible to put off buying a fan because neither Grayson or I were getting much sleep. Needless to say we are fine now.

Things I like about Valencia:

– Everyone walks; there are always people up and about on the streets, sitting at cafes, walking their dogs, looking at shops. The school is about 20 minutes from our apartment so we get some good exercise in before class. The city center is about 40 minutes from us, but there is so much on the way that the walk is really enjoyable.

– The buildings are gorgeous; not all of them, but a lot. There is so much history in Valencia and I’m having so much fun exploring it!

– The food is great; not necessarily healthy all the time, but really good. Lots of soups, lots of meat cooked in various kinds of sauces, and lots of fruit (my favorite)! Not a lot of dessert, but that’s okay I’ll just have to convince Grayson to take me out for Helado (ice cream) every once in a while :). I will definitely be adding to my list as the semester continues!

School is like school in the US, just all in Spanish. I am taking four classes, Spanish in Business, Spanish Literature, Spanish Conversation, and I have an independent study for Intermediate Spanish. Yes, I am the student who knows the least, but I’ve got a whole semester to catch up (this is what I tell myself so that I have a positive outlook). I am really grateful that Grayson knows a lot of  Spanish because I think I would have had a lot more break downs (a Couser trait I think) but so far I’ve only had one! I’m doing good!

It’s been encouraging to read Psalm 34. I realized this week I’ve been consumed by my worries and fears. I find it hard to put myself out there and look stupid, but I know it’s necessary in order to learn the language. It seems my pride in my reputation needs to come down a couple notches. Thank goodness my independent studies teacher, Professora Blasco, hasn’t given me a choice. She informed me that I will be participating in “intercambios” a fancy word meaning set up conversations between Spanish natives and people like me were I will practice speaking Spanish. This will be good . . .  🙂

I haven’t taken many pictures in Valencia yet, I’ve been too caught up in listening, attempting to hear words I know! Hopefully I’ll get out and about during the next couple of weeks!

Hope everyone is doing well back in the states! Love you guys!

Jak xoxo

P.S. Kristen and Dana, I have started the Divergent series, read the first book in one day and almost have the second one read as well. Soooo good! Grayson is going to read them next, so I won’t discuss them yet 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Week 1

  1. melody cato says:

    Thanks so much for the update …. it helps so much to know a little of what you are experiencing. LOVE YOU TONS!

  2. k&t says:

    I read the first book last summer!!! loved it. perfect read for a brain tired from learning a new language. i just saw the second book of the series is out! haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list! tell me what you think when you’re done 🙂

    p.s. loved your post. i totally know how you feel!!! it will get easier:) the hardest part is turning off your english thinking brain and letting the spanish flow. it will though. you just wait!!!! i’m super excited for you. it’s gonna be a challenge, but you’re going to learn so much! pay attention to and celebrate any and all progress you make! big or small. write it down. be encouraged by every tiny thing you remember. even if it’s just how to introduce yourself! it’s ALL a huge accomplishment! love you!! xxoo

    • JaklynCato says:

      Thanks Kristen! I will start a journel, I have some things to add to the list 🙂 . . . The second book was great! Soooo good, I think I liked it better than the first. It was really hard to put down! And yes, perfect for the weary mind.

      • k&t says:

        Ooooooooo….i’m super excited to read it now. i just requested it at the library and now i must wait 🙂

        p.s. happy early anniversary! i’m pretty sure it’s tomorrow 🙂 you guys have done soooo much in just 1 year of marriage! so exciting. can’t wait to see what else is ahead for you guys. miss you, love you.
        kt

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