It has officially been a week since my arrival in Granada. I think this has been one of the most difficult weeks of my life. I knew going into it that it was going to be very difficult, but I don’t think anything could actually have prepared me for an experience like this. Not very many people here speak English, so I have to try to use my Spanish whenever I need to talk to someone. Which has been difficult, but I am improving. It’s so frustrating to know what you want to say, but not being able to say it or understand what others are saying. I suppose it can only get better from here. This week I have had to battle: the jet leg, the time zone adjustment (9 hours ahead of Seattle), the stress of not having a permanent place to live, the stress of not knowing where anything is, the adjustment to Spanish meal times, getting used to the siesta time, and basically dealing with the overall culture shock and the use of a whole new language. On top of all that, I think the most difficult thing for me to deal with right now is not having my friends and family around. I am basically completely alone right now. I don’t know anybody yet, and it is difficult for me to meet people because school has not started and my Spanish is not up to par. Thank goodness that I have internet access in my hotel room. I also bought a cell phone on my first day here, but calls to the U.S. are very expensive.
My one reassurance right now is that things can only get better from here. I keep on reminding myself that I signed up for this and that I knew it was going to be hard. It hasn’t all been bad either. I have already learned a lot and everyday gets a little bit easier. I definitely don’t regret my decision to come here, even though sometimes I wish I could just be at home.
Anyways, let me update you all on my current status. I found my school after several hours of exploring (wandering around) the city. I got checked in with the secretary there, and received my class schedule. Another lady also helped me find a place to live by giving me a list of several possible apartments that I could live in. That was very stressful however because I had to call the number on the list and contact the person on my own in order to see the apartment. Nevertheless, I found a place. It’s a decent apartment about 10 minutes walk from the school. I will be living with 3 other people, but I have not met them yet. So tonight is my last night in the hotel and tomorrow I will move in to my new permanent Granada residence. Hopefully then I will meet some nice people and things will start to get more fun for me. We will see, I suppose.