First Day, Long day

Hola Amigos!

Well, I finally made it to Spain after a long journey to say the least. I left Cincinnati at 2:30 on Monday afternoon and connected through Atlanta. My flight from Atlanta to Madrid left the States at 5:30pm ATL time, and I arrived in Madrid at 8:30 local time. The weird thing was that we jumped ahead six hours, so I kind of skipped Monday night altogether. It went from Monday evening right to Tuesday morning, so I never really went to sleep. In Madrid, we waited in the airport for a solid 7 hours before the bus finally left for Salamanca around 3:30pm. At least it gave me time to get to know everyone in my group really well? Anyways, it was about a 2.5 hour bus ride to Salamanca. I tried to sleep but the scenery was just so pretty I could not help but look at it. There were green field in every direction with mountains off in the distance, and occasionally I saw the remains of what looked like an old castle or something. Once in Salamanca we met up with our host families. My host mom is super sweet and very accommodating but speaks no English, so my roommate Julie and I are forced to speak only in Spanish. She does have a 20 year old son who speaks a little English, so that helps. My new name while I’m here is apparently “Carlina”. We unpacked and ate dinner, and even though we were both dead tired, my roommate and I wanted to go explore a little. We walked (in a very roundabout way) down to the Plaza Mayor which is a huge plaza of a bunch of different restaurants and bars where lots of students hang out. The first thing we heard when we got there was “USA! USA!” and found a huge group of about 100 people, mostly American but some European, decked out in USA gear watching the World Cup! We stayed for a little and watched. It was a really cool experience to see so many people getting excited about the USA playing even so far from home. After awhile we walked back (we found the faster way this time) and showered and are now ready for bed. It’s been some of the longest few days of my life but I can’t wait for what’s to come. I already love this city. Tomorrow we take placement tests to see what classes we will be in and have an orientation for the whole program. Hopefully I won’t be too drained tomorrow. Hasta  la vista!