One of my favorite ways to unwind at night is to think of what made me smile that day; you know, really smile. It is nicest when I find someone to tell them to. (And Jarrod is usually that person).
I know my blog posts have been sparse and all over the place lately. I have, amid the craziness, managed to create a list (rather, a collection of paper-like substances with hastily scribbled notes) of many such things I have encountered over the past few weeks. (Speaking of which, it is so hard to believe I have already been in Spain for three weeks + one day!).
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the simple things that made me smile:
A sweet student who excitedly, and hopefully, asked me if I know his aunt: "She wears glasses, she is very nice, and she lives in the United States, too!"
The t-shirt a student wore last week that said "Atlanta".
Hearing one of my favorite Amos Lee songs playing on a restaurant patio.
Seeing the classic green of a John Deere tractor in Sonseca.
The rooster crowing while I walked to school, in an area which does not seem rooster friendly. (Although on second thought, I just mentioned seeing a tractor, so maybe I am the crazy one?).
The Siamese cat that befriended me while I was eating tapas outside one afternoon. He looked just like my dear Eddy!
"We are Siamese if you please...we are Siamese if you don't please...We are former residents of Siam...There is no finer cat than I am!" (I know my sisters will understand the reference!)
Spending the evenings outside, sipping wine, nibbling on tapas, and feeling like there isn't a care in the world. These moments have a knack for making graduate school and a "real job" fall to the back of my mind for a bit.
The emotion that the students put into gym class; blood, sweat, and tears (thankfully I have not seen any blood-yet). I really do laugh out loud sometimes!
The notes my parents and sister Elizabeth tucked away in my luggage. Thank you.
Seeing the children's faces light up when the gym teacher and I enter the room. Today, I taught the classes solo because Fernando, the gym teacher, was out. The children had been told that there would be no gym class, so imagine the sweet surprise when they heard P.E. was ON! One class was taking an exam when I entered, so the joy was heightened. I even received hugs from a couple of boys!
The substitute teacher with whom I ride to and from Sonseca put in a Keith Urban CD once. I felt like I was back home in the good ol' midwest!
Though waking up early to catch the bus to Sonseca is not my ideal situation (and I do my fair share of grumbling when I hear my alarm go off, all four times before I finally get up), getting to see the city like this, lit up and quiet, makes me smile.
Being around children, thought they can be tiring (read: exhausting. Parents and teachers, I have a greater appreciation for you!), they really do bring joy to my day! They are full of humor and life.
I saw Paco the other day (he is the kind owner of the hostel, who took me under his wing my first week). He is so sweet and kind, and genuinely concerned with how I am adjusting. I owe them a visit, soon.
Hearing students greet me with a cheerful: "Hello, teacher!" (Unfortunately you cannot hear the cute little accent they have).
The architecture here. I loved it before, and I love it now. When I stop to appreciate the beautiful buildings, I can hardly believe I am here again.
Emails, Skypes and notes from people back home-yes, you! Thank you for giving me reasons to smile.
The sunshine here. It. Is. Amazing.
The fact that I live reallly close to "Calle de Toledo de Ohio" (See the post below for proof).
Well, as you now know, in spite of my homesickness, I have been smiling plenty! I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here. Life is sweet, and God is good.
Un abrazo y un beso.
P.s. If I keep up this rate of posting (three posts in four days!), will I have to apologize for writing too much?!
P.p.s. Less words, more pictures. Soon. I promise.
P.p.p.s. (Annoying, I know) Quiero dar un saludo muuuy especial a la clase de español 4, la hora cinco, de Señora Marciano, y a mi hermana (pequeña) preferida.