Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What do you mean it's been a month?

Today I had a pleasant evening. Chatted with my intercambio over coffee and had a pleasant dinner with my host mom and sister.

Rained a lot though.

My host mom pointed out that tomorrow will make a month since I moved in with them. Say what? When did that happen? Weird to think I've been here for a month. Time sure flies when you are having fun.

I felt relaxed for the first time on a school day. This is a most welcome change. I didn't have a lot of homework to do, so I got to sit and chat with my host mom, Pepa, and sister, Elena. They wanted to know how I did on my first exams. Castellano I did ok, but not as well as I should have. Next one I'll do better. Euskara I did way better than I expected. 95% isn't bad at all. Minus half a point for spelling xagua wrong, as mentioned in a previous post. So close, but I can't really complain.

My host mom is still upset that I sat in a stairwell for two hours because I was locked out. No amount of reassurance that I was fine seems to have any effect on her. I really was fine. And yes, next time I will ring the doorbell.

Dinner tonight was croquettas de jamon and chicken nuggets with a vinegary salad and bread of course. I haven't had chicken nuggets since my childhood. I continue to be amused by the fact that they buy me really American foods that I don't really eat back in the States. I don't really eat a lot of peanut butter, hamburgers or chicken nuggets. I haven't opened the peanut butter but I've had hamburgers twice here  and chicken nuggets tonight. I honestly prefer the croquettas over the chicken nuggets. I might be going native. If I don't have bread and ham in every meal, I start looking for them. Almost every dish contains ham and is served with or on bread. There are even ham flavored Lays, no joke.

I also found out why I never met the other two of my host parents' five kids, even though they both live nearby. Elena is the sister who also lives here. Ana is the other sister I've met. Juan stays here often but lives just across the border in France. I've not met María or Iñigo. Turns out that they come over during the week since they are busy on the weekends. I'm gone on schooldays from 10am to 6pm, and I often leave at 7 and come back by 9:30. I don't come home for lunch because I don't have time with work and class. My Spanish class starts at 2:30, which is lunchtime here so my host mom makes me a bocadillo, or sandwich, everyday. Since that's when María and Iñigo come over, I haven't been at home when they come over. Somehow that needs to be changed. We'd all like to meet each other.

My host mom called the program housing director today. My host mom told me they chatted about me. Tito, the director, told her how I ran into him in Egia. She said that they agreed I'm maja. Aww. Cute. (Refresher: majo/ maja is a common adjective here meaning very likable or amicable).

Apparently my boss Joseba told the internship coordinator Cecilia that he is very happy with the work I've been doing for the foundation. That makes me so relieved. I don't know what I'm doing all the time but I do my best and I ask questions when I need to. Joseba is never in the office when I am so for him to tell Cecilia that he is happy with my work is a cool thing. (Usually I show up at the office and Begoñia tells me what they're doing today and/or Joseba calls me.) I realize that this is their passion and the foundation is their baby and I'm just along for the ride. I get to practice my Euskara with them and learn about my heritage. The least I can do is help them facilitate learning about Basque culture for other English speakers since the Basque Diaspora has a decent presence in the US and also in other English speaking countries. Good to know the boss is happy.

Also, I finished all my homework before midnight. This is a first since I've been here in Sanse. That needs to become a regular thing.

Alright, braving the General Strike tomorrow. I'll let you know how that goes.


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