Thursday, May 29, 2008

first essay, service, and the dog bite

I have just finished my first essay en espanol! An entire page and a half describing my weekend in the Sates - all in Spanish. I feel so accomplished.

Today I got to go to my service - Casa Hogar. I work with about 40 girls, doing whatever they want to do...of course, as soon as we help them finish homework. Remember how horrible word problems are? Try doing them in Spanish...but I adore the girls. They love just talking, even if half the time I can't keep up with their speed fire Spanish. Yesterday I spent the day with the same 3 girls, taking pictures throughout the orphanage. I think they like taking the pictures more than being in them because each one had to take a picture of the other 2 with me in every single new spot. It was refreshingly fun?

Oh and yesterday, a girl in my group was walking to school and a big scary dog stuck his head through the fence and bit her hand!! He got her pretty good so she had to go to the hospital. They sent her to the pharmacy where she got a shot she had to give herself. Her daddy here told her just to take it to the medical office on campus. Instead she let one of the girls in my group give it to her!!! crazy - nat recorded the whole thing too. haha of course!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So, I started this a little late considering I have been in Guadalajara for exactly 4 weeks today. I am in Guadalajara through a Study Abroad program with BYU. We are completely immersed in Spanish filling our days with class from 9 to noon, service for 3 hours (3 to 6 for me) and then whatever activity we have planned for that night. I am here with Natalie, a friend I have known since we started at BYU. She was on my floor when we were freshman and we were roommates all last year. She is actually the reason I am here studying right now. I always wanted to do a study abroad but was set on somewhere in Chile or Argentina...hoping to be close to family. Sadly, BYU doesn't offer too much in those countries and it is impossible for me to learn Spanish in a classroom setting. This is when Nat told me how she wanted to study in Guadalajara. Before long we became a part of about 24 BYU students studying in Guadalajara.
We live with the local families and I believe Natalie and I got put with the greatest family in all of Mexico. I absolutely love them. My mom here in Guadalajara is Yolanda - the most beautiful lady I have ever seen. She is blonde with these stunning blue/green eyes. She really is an angel and would do anything and everything for Nat and I. Guillermo is our pops. He is hilarious and has this love for fun music. He loves that I am part Argentine and brings up the culture all the time. We talk of the tangos, Carlos Gardel, the delicious food, mate - we have covered it all. He always has some joke to tell. They have 3 kids. Memo, 30, Vanessa, 27, and Stephanie, 17. Memo doesn't live at home but we see him from time to time. The girls are gorgeous and a ton of fun.
I love it here. My Spanish is coming along. The weather is even more perfect than San Diego's. The food is delicious, until it comes to beans and tortillas for breakfast...haha but I am not complaining. The culture is rich and I love being right in the middle of it all. We have been to futbol games and even seen a lucha fight. How often does someone really get to experience that?! The group I am here with is perfect. We are all learning from each other and I love each and everyone of them. I know we were all meant to be friends :)
Missionary experiences are coming all the time. I get caught a little off guard because they are so sudden but so far, so good. We are the first LDS students that Guillermo and Yolanda have hosted. The other day we were talking about Christmas traditions. Yolanda was shocked to hear that Christ was our focus, our foundation. We probably won't get them baptized in 3 weeks - but they are definitely learning the truths about this wonderful gospel.
I don't really know where to go from here. I might do some flashbacks in between updates so just go with the flow :)

My Best Friends Wedding!

Alyse, my best friend since before I can remember, got married May 23rd. We didn't think I would be able to go to her wedding because I am studying here, in Guadalajara. Then surprise - dad asked if it would be possible for me to miss a weekend and if my dear roommate, Natalie, could make it without me. Well, I made it work out. :)
I flew into Tijuana on Thursday all by myself. I took the taxi and entertained myself for 3 hours all alone. I have never traveled alone and I was scared to death, especially since everything was in Spanish. It all went smoothly though. I arrived safely to cold, overcast Tijuana which turned into cold, overcast, rainy, San Diego and Orange County. Don't worry - this weather did not do any damage to the wedding.
Oh the was beautiful. She was beautiful. The colors, the flowers, the cake, the bridesmaids :), all beautiful. It has been fun because I have been able to sort of go through this with her. I have to admit, I was a little worried when she started dating Chad, just because I didn't want to lose my best friend to some man I didn't even know. Luckily that changed quickly. He is officially my favorite best friend's husband. In the development of their relationship, he became one of my closest friends and isn't that a best friends dream.

Attention Ladies and Gentleman: The girl is sick

I have no idea why I am starting this blog half way into my study abroad...
This weekend I fly back to the states for my best friends wedding (which I will talk about later) and I spent Saturday on the couch with a fever. It is now Monday night - or Tuesday morning and I can no longer sleep. When I told Yolanda (my mom here in Guadalajara) or Hermana Stalling (my wonderful director) that it began on Saturday the first thing they asked is if I saw a doctor. I never just go see a doctor for a fever... do you? Whatever I've got has gone through my group and it is getting stronger as it moves on.
Tonight it was like an epiphany came with my stomach ache. "Start a blog!" it told me, so here it is. But this is just the beginning.