Two weeks into my Spanish adventure. I’m beginning to feel adapted and a sense of comfort in this strange land. The late dinners, the long walks, the gypsies, have all become a part of my everyday Granada life.
My new family… My señora’s name is Purificacion Barranquero (purification of course is a reference to the Virgin Mary and references to her are quite common in Spanish names). With her is Abril, her 3-year-old abuelita. Despite her small stature, she’s not an inch taller than five-foot, Purificacion is a strong woman. She fights for what she believes in. She’s the kind of woman that isn’t afraid to tell a 230 pound man he’s dead wrong. She’s outspoken without apology. One cannot question her sincere love and admiration for her three children and her beloved granddaughter. Abril spends most meals eating with Murphy and me (she loves French fries) and could not be any more like her grandma. She loves the attention her grandmother showers on her and loves to express herself.
Musings on learning a language… I took two years of Spanish in high school and for the last three semesters of college, I’ve taken Spanish language classes. My college Spanish classes were 4-credit classes, four days a week, plus a lab. That’s not including the hour or more of homework each night. For three straight semesters I’ve been doing this.
I’ve been blessed with caring and attentive Spanish professors at both the high school and college level. Through their steadfast dedication and passion for teaching, I’ve progressed up to 300-level Spanish classes. When I searched for a destination to study abroad, going to Spain and immersing myself in the culture and language seemed an obvious choice.
What I’ve learned in my short time here is that the only way to truly learn a language is to completely immerse yourself in it. When English isn’t an option, you have no choice but to learn it. Being in Spain, is like Spanish class 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A never ending string of Spanish exercises: ordering food from a waiter, buying groceries from the supermarket, asking for directions, watching television, it teaches you the language in the real world. I can feel myself improving every day.
Thoughts on food next week. Stay tuned!