Top 12 from 2012

This post is long past due and something I have wanted to do for more than a month now. Here are 12 awesome things from 2012. Without further ado, here they are in chronological order.

  1. Madison with the BF: I spent the week after New Year’s with my my boyfriend. I spent the week being shown off (introduced) to family and friends and exploring the beautiful city of Madison, WI.
  2. Dance Marathon: I danced FTK (for the kids) at U Iowa’s Dance Marathon. A 24 hour dance celebration (participants are not supposed to sit for down from 6 pm Friday night until 6 pm Saturday night.)that works to raise money for children’s cancer. (more info here) It was one of the hardest experiences of my life. I didn’t make it all the way. I confess. I almost feinted at the end from exhaustion. I would not trade if for the world. I don’t think I will do it again.
  3. Jar meal: My BF and I save all of the money we find, or bet each other, for fun spending only. Slowly quarters, nickles and dimes go into the jar. Our first jar money purchase was a meal for under 10 dollars.
  4. Easter: My best friends and I continued our tradition of celebrating Easter together. After a month of lent it felt great to cook meat and sweets to share with friends.
  5. Being the National Communication’s Coordinator (NCC) for The University of Iowa Associate Residence Halls (ARH) This one doesn’t really have a time, it is several things in one. In 2012 that meant winning the school of the year award in our region, along with several others. That meant organizing three different schools to go together to Boulder, CO. That meant all of the great memories with ARH and NRHH
  6. Hunting and Fishing with my dad: Maybe this makes me SUPER Midwestern  Maybe this makes me sentimental. Maybe those things are both true, but either way, I am always happy to spend what time I can just my dad and I doing our things. Be it fish, foul, or bear.
  7. Moving to Spain: I won’t blither on about this too much. Read back posts if want that (joking…mostly). Let me just say it has been one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. It all began here (if you are interested)
  8. Madrid: Our first trip with CIEE, just a few weeks into our program, we were off to Madrid for a long weekend. We bonded as a group and I began to realize what this was all about. Check out my post from the time, Madrid in My Lense. 
  9. Sweden: The 5 days I spent in Sweden were amazing. I have never been to a place so different yet so like where I am from. I could read the body language of people. I could see for the first time where my people come from. It was beautiful and so like home I cried on the bus after I woke up from a nap and thought I was home for a minuet. (Don’t tell anyone it is a secret). Posts from that trip: Hello Sweden!, Monday Morning Sunset: StockholmMonday Morning Sunset: SwedenWhat’s Up in Uppsala and, Top Ten Surprises from Sweden.
  10. Peninsula with the parentals: Spending the holidays with my Dad and Connie was great. It was great to get to see them again. It was enchanting to spend Christmas in Segovia, and the New Year in Madrid.
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Somtimes being alive is enough…

A few quick updates:

  • my laptop no longer works with the internet, though an internal reset seams to have fixed everything else. I am now just able to post from school, so my apologies on the long absence.
  • I am a little sick but on the up and up thanks to my Spanish madre.
  • Coming soon: Madrid, the first few days of classes, and so much more.

Sometimes being alive is enough…

I had all of these plans to post updates on my life today, but then I had some somewhat shocking news. Some news I did not expect to shake me at all quite frankly and has really made me think about what I am doing here in Spain. Today I learned that a young man, a student here at the UIB, was arrested today for possession of 140 kilos of explosive, which he intended to use on the university. His desire was to ¨create the next Comlobine.¨

If you want more information on the story you can find it here at RVTE (in spanish) or at the BBC or CNN. I am not here to share with you the details of the bombers story of how the police stopped him though, I am no journalist, I am however a student here. I would have been a victim or a survivor, and that my friends is something hard to imagine for me.

I am old enough to remember 9/11, yet not old enough to remember how is shook america. I do not remember a time before it. While this is not the first time that I have had my world shaken, it gave me a glimpse at how blessed I am to be able to say that I do not know what it was like to watch the towers fall and wonder if my loved ones were in there. I am blessed to be able to whine about a computer being broken. I am blessed not to have to live through a Columbine, a Madrid train bombing, a war in my back yard. Today being alive is enough… and yet…

… being alive is not all there is. In the last few days I have been a little lathargic, a little relaxed in my time here, but being here is not enough. We are blessed every day to be alive and sometime it is good to live like a Spaniard, so today I say “Vamos a vivir: ¿Qué son dos dias?” which translates into Let us live life, it only lasts two days, ie it is short.

Today being alive is more than enough because I can be more than just alive I can live.

Lessons

Pictures to come soon ( I promise) but, first a list of somethings I learned today.

  1. Sometimes swimming to an island off the shore is a good idea, sometimes there are sharp rocks, but it is still a good idea.
  2. Sunscreen is a must, tell your friends. Seriously sometimes they burn and it looks painful.
  3. Sometimes in Spain women don’t ware tops at the beach. Ok… maybe it happens a lot. Get used to it, just be careful when taking pictures
  4. Political protests sometimes lead to your bus being rerouted, but sometimes it means there is good music  for free as you walk home too.
  5. The key to my apartment goes in the opposite direction as the one in the US. Oh and when you switch from mumbling angrily in Spanish to swearing in English, people notice.
  6. You hit the button for the floor you are on not the floor you want when you are calling the elevator. If you hit the floor you want it goes up there instead. Oh and you have to manually open the first of the elevator doors.
  7. Sometimes Spanish families talk loudly and all at the same time, this does not mad that they are mad. Seriously you probably did not say anything wrong.
  8. Massive groups of motos in the street at night are confusing, loud, and awesome to watch from your balcony.
  9. Spaniards drive like they all own the road, fact. Watch where you are walking.
  10. Oh Ya one more for a round 10 of todays lessons. THIS ISLAND IS FRIGGING BEAuTIFuL!

Did you learn anything today?