Yes, you read that correctly, Bembibre is now my new home. I had to move here from Ponferrada, but no worries because the two cities are only 15 minutes apart. I went from a city with 400,000 (Sacramento) to a city with 70,000 (Ponferrada) to now a city with only 10,000. It is a big change but I actually don´t mind how little it is. This move happended very fast. I got home from my first day of school, took my siesta, and then learned that AFS had found a new family for me because Luis is not getting any better and being with that family would not work out. It was very sad to change especially since I absolutely love Ponferrada, but I understand that this must happen. But I am very happy with my new family!
In short, I learned about this change on Thursday, met the family on Thursday, moved to their house on Friday, went to the city´s fiesta on Friday and Saturday, and started school today (Monday). I love my host family! I have a sister, Raquel (15), a brother, Sergio (18), mom (Maria), and dad (Jose). Sergio and I go to the same school, but Raquel goes to a different one. Sergio reminds me a lot of my brother Patrick, and he actually looks like a mix of Patrick and one of my cousins...which is odd.
I had my first day of school today! I was so nervous but it wasn´t even that bad! Since I only signed up this morning, my name wasn´t on any of the teacher´s roster, but of course, the other students had to tell the teachers that I am ¡Una Chica de California! (no United States, they go straight for California) Soy famosa en Bembibre...(just kidding). Except math though, the other students didn´t say anything to that teacher and I definitely wasn´t going to say anything either. My econ teacher naturally talks extrememly slow (so that is good for me), my philosophy teacher made fun of me for taking too long to respond and he talks at a semi-normal pace, and my math teacher talks extremely fast and her handwriting is atrocious (to the point where I do not know what she is writing). Luckily, math is universal or else I would die. The rest of my teachers are fine and I actually understood more than I orignally thought. A big issue for me is zoning out based on the fact I don´t understand what they are saying, but I will not learn anything that way so I need to change that...
My class is small (only 15-20 people) and the teachers move classrooms, not the students. I haven´t really made friends yet (it´s only the first day, though) but it´s okay because during break Sergio picks me up from my class and I hang out with his friends. They are all so nice and funny! Lorena (naturally, I think) speaks slowly and Claudia is our walking dictionary; they have been very helpful.
Today I had my first real, normal talking pace, only English conversation in 2 weeks. It was very weird because I felt this strong need to throw in some Spanish (I guess that is a good sign, though). It was with Raquel and Sergio´s English teacher outside of school. This was a shock for me to hear that, but it is extremely common and normal to have extra English lessons outside of school with a tutor. You don´t really hear about that kind of thing (with other languages) in America. It was really nice to talk to her and she is from Atlanta! She and her husband moved here about 10 months ago to get away from the American lifestyle, which led us to talking about the crazy differences between Spain and the US that would NEVER happen in America such as blaring loud outside concerts at 3 in the morning and little kids hanging out in the street at 3 in the morning (to name a few).
Well, that is all for now!
Sergio, Raquel, Me