Semana 8

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I have been in Spain for about 8 weeks, the longest time I have ever been away from Oregon! And clearly I have been a bit behind on my blog posts…sorry to any readers I may actually have! 8 weeks in Spain is enough to have a ton of fun, experience the ups and downs of culture shock, and start to understand how life works in a new culture.

Estuve en España 8 semanas, el tiempo más largo estar afuera de Oregon. Claramente necesito blogear con más frecuencia…lo siento a todos! Durante mis 8 semanas en España tenía muchas experiencias agradables, memorables, y difíciles. Empece entender como es la vida de una cultura nueva.

Here are a few musings.
Aquí están algunas pensamientos.

I am not Spanish. In fact, I am very American. I do American things, have fun in an American way, and sometimes I can’t even stop myself when I know I am about to do something very non-European. I order water at restaurants (and YES i really do want to drink water), I fold my sheets at hostels, and I work my hardest to not smile at people as they walk by as my American mind tells me is correct as a default. I eat fruit for breakfast. I have never been in a country different than my own where I have a chance of blending in with the culture because of my appearance. Because I can visually blend in in Spain (meaning that Europeans generally have a similar skin color and physical features), it has made me realize than my mannerisms, attitude, and way of interacting with others really shows my culture.

No soy española. Por supuesto soy estadounidense. Hago cosas americanas, divertirse en una manera americana, y algunas veces no puedo ser europeo por nada. Por ejemplo, bebo agua en restaurantes, y sonríe a personas en la calle cuando olvido no es un costumbre aquí. Como fruta para el desayuno. Nunca estaba en un país donde mi apariencia no es claramente diferente que las personas que vivan allí. Entiendo que mis acciones y pensamientos son estadounidense, y no sólo es una diferencia de apariencia.

It has made me realize I am from the United States, and feel like being from the United States is the wrong answer in many situations. It has also made me realize that it is okay to be who I am, and it is okay to be from where I am from. Being “American” is not all that I am, but it does play a huge part in the values that I have. Traveling has made me realize that some of my “American values” are great, and are something that I stand for. It has made me realize that the world is not centered around the United States, and that there are certain values that I don’t share with the majority. Most of all, I have discovered that other cultures have values to, and while they are different than what I grew up with, many are great and important, and I hope to use in my life in whatever corner of the world I am in.

Soy de los Estados Unidos, y a veces aquí siento que esto es una respuesta incorrecto.ahora entiendo que es mejor ser quien soy, y soy de mi país y mi estado y mi ciudad. No soy sola estadounidense, pero es un parte de quien soy. Entiendo que algunas valores de mi país son buenísimas, y existen otros valores que no apoyo. El centro del mundo no es los Estados Unidos. Otras culturas tienen valores también, y son diferentes que míos, pero muchas son buenas y importantes, y espero que voy tener una mezcla de valores en mi vida.

Being abroad is hard. The roller coaster of culture shock stages is real, and for me week 8 was about as tricky as it gets. Having a tough time in another country doesn’t mean you want to go home. It means that adjusting to something new on a permanent level is hard, and it is natural to react to it. But however difficult it is, the results and experiences are a million times worth it.

Estar afuera de mi país es difícil. El choque cultural existe! Pero para cada momento difícil hay momentos recordables.

Being abroad is great! Though there are hard moments as mentions before, there are tons of amazing, once in a lifetime moments that make every second worth it. I am learning to value these moments, and to make everyday interactions into memories.

Estar afuera es fantástico! Tengo valor en cada momento de mi tiempo aquí.

There is a carefree attitude that I have developed, which I think is very common to living or studying abroad. Trying new things. Being spontaneous. Being more confident that normal because I will probably never see these people again. Making mistakes all the time, and accepting that I can’t be perfect so I might as well be happy. Just trying things for the sake of it. Not worrying because a million things could go wrong, but chances are the majority of things will go right.

Tengo un actitud nuevo sin preocupaciones que creo es típico cuando estudia o viva afuera. Probar cosas nuevas. Ser espontáneo. Ser mas confidente porque no va a conocer estas personas otra ves un su vida. La aceptación que no voy ser perfecto, y la idea que puedo hacer cualquier cosa sin problemas.

I love Spanish, and I am thrilled everyday at the opportunity I have to speak the language in another country. At the halfway point in the semester, I can look back and see how I have been blessed by being here, and look forward to the blessings that lie ahead.

Me encanta el español, y es una bendición cada día estar en un país que lo hablan siempre. El medio semestre puedo entender que mi tiempo aquí es bonita y especial, y tengo muchas mas oportunidades en las semanas que vienen.

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