I've been back for a week and I feel like I've already done more than I did all of last semester.
My friends Ruben and Fede picked me up from the airport and took me to San Germán when I got in on Sunday night. It was so great to get to see them again so the drive back was really fun. Off the side of the highway, there was a huge smoking and glowing mass and I freaked out, but apparently fires are pretty common this time of year. They never get out of control or cause too much damage so they’re not a huge deal.
In December, I had to pack up all of my things and move them into storage. The funny thing is, I ended up moving back into the exact same room this semester! However, since I chose to live with three others instead of just one, I had half the space to fit my stuff into. I am still shocked and impressed that I was able to do it! Besides saving money, I am also able to practice my Spanish much more because I’m living with Puerto Ricans instead of another exchange student. My roommates are all so awesome and finally I am understanding them! They are all athletes here at Inter, and I love them so much already. Young people speak SO quickly and with SO much slang, that it seemed impossible at first. Since I’ve been hanging out with less exchange students and more locals, I better keep improving. If not, I’ll be really confused, really often haha!
A really phenomenal experience I had this weekend was going to my friends’ house for their family dinner. Not only did I get to talk to adults that speak slowly and with correct grammar…but I ate a delicious home cooked Puerto Rican meal in a beautiful Puerto Rican home overlooking probably 1/8 of the island. I saw mountains, homes, beautiful trees, fields of cows, and a river… It was so gorgeous.
I got to see more Spanish Disney movies!! La Bella y La Bestia was awesome, and I am actually watching Tárzan on TV right now. I know I ranted about them before but they deserve another. They are seriously so much fun. They speak at the perfect pace for me and I already know the story lines so I can just enjoy them! And the SONGS… I could seriously go on all day.
Also, I’ve been realizing the concrete evidence as to why road maps and directions are so impossible here. This is mostly just to make myself feel better about why I always get lost when I have the responsibility of being a navigator. First of all, no one knows the name of any road. When someone gives you directions, they say really confusing things like, “turn left when you get to the really big tree.” Also, the word for right is derecha’ while the word for straight is ‘derecho.’ Even more confusing, when dealing with highways, east and west (este y oeste) are only differentiated by one little letter which gets lost in my poor little gringa ears! But that’s ok, its Puerto Rico and that’s the way things work down here so I’m trying to become more aware of where I am all the time so I don’t have to ask for many directions.
Words are boring. Here are pictures:
I'm excited to be eating real Puerto Rican food! (Meat.)
This is a relleno, a little ball of deliciousness filled with chicken and potatoes. I just discovered la plaza de mercado en San Germán, and they sell all kinds of fresh, unhealthy, criollo food.
A pretty mural in town celebrating the diversity of Puerto Rican racial background.
I just noticed this pretty door the other day, even though I've walked past it probably 20 times.
The view from Isabela, on the northwest part of the island. We ended up driving/hiking down to the beach... it was gorgeous.
This little guy takes me to get my groceries every week. You have to hold on to them tight haha.
Ok, that's all. Hopefully this semester I'll make this more interesting so I want to write it more and you'll want to read it more. =)
Hope everyone's happy and staying warm wherever they are! I miss you!