Friday, January 20, 2006


¡Bienvenidos a mi weblog!

As I am currently in Madrid, I hope to use this blog as a way of keeping in touch with my friends and family back in the US, so please use the comments function to let me know what you think, or to let me know what is going on at home, or you can also email me. For those of you who are unfamiliar with blogs, the comments are public just like the posts, so don’t write anything you wouldn’t want the world to see!

I have been in Madrid for a little more than six days, and I am still adjusting to the time and the food and the language. Yesterday morning I slept right through my first class, and I am trying to blame that on lingering jetlag! The food here is actually quite good, but it does take some getting used to. My señora cooks with lots of olive oil, which she tells me is “muy sano” (healthy). Usually meals have several courses: first a salad, soup, or pasta (usually without meat); then some sort of meat (beef/pork/fish); then of course dessert, which is fruit or yogurt as often as sweets. It is very strange to me to eat each food separately rather than putting them all on my plate at one time. Every meal is eaten with a piece or two of French bread, which my señora buys each day.

Living with a host family is working out quite well – my señora cooks all my meals, and it is nice to have someone with whom to practice my Spanish, and to ask questions about life in Madrid. There are also two adult children who live here in the apartment –apparently this is very common for unmarried children in Spain, in part because of high housing costs, but probably more due to cultural beliefs about family.

For a girl from suburbia, city life is magnífica. I walk almost everywhere (including school) and for longer distances I can use the extremely comprehensive metro system. There are stores everywhere – the only problem is determining which store sells what. I have already learned the hard way the difference between a farmacia (which sells medicines and specialized types of shampoo, etc. at a high premium) and a drogería (which is the equivalent of a drug store in the US without the actually pharmacy part). Also, almost every store closes between 2 and 4:30, the time of la comida, the main meal. Everyone, even schoolchildren, goes home for that meal, then returns to work/school until about 7 or 8 at night.

I haven’t yet seen much of Madrid outside of the area in which I live and go to school, but I have been to the Plaza Mayor, which is in the central part of the city. Yesterday evening I went with my school group to have churros con chocolate (a sort of fried dough that you dip in cups of dark chocolate). This is a very typical Spanish food, and it is delicious.

Hopefully as the semester goes on I will be able to share more about Madrid and Spanish culture in general, as well as the other parts of Spain I will visit. More later!


At 11:31 PM, Blogger Mom said...

Hey Kendra! Love the blog! You are so smart and talented. You must have inherited that from your mother! I want to know more about your classes - what you are taking, when the classes meet, who is teaching them and are there just Sewanee kids in the classes or Spanish kids too?
Hugs and kisses. Mom

At 6:36 AM, Blogger David Brown said...

Hola, Kendra, y buena suerte con su "Jornada de Madrid." Es muy importante que tu entiendes y no le olvido el razon por su jornada es la escuela! No es una fiesta!
(Sorry, they don't have upside down exclamation points here.) Siempre trabajar! Siempre trabajar! Sus padres son muy simpatico, pero le expectan cosas grandes de tu!

Okay, I know you're probably tired of my 7th grade spanish...hope you're having a wonderful time over there...enjoy it as much as you can! When do you come home?

From your Dad's cousin, David Brown

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Callie said...

I MISS YOU SOOOO MUCH SISSY! i bet you are missing me lots too, but who can blame you...well school is going pretty good, but the bus SUCKS! i am super jelous of you for getting svu dvd! GRRRRRRR! i think that i might buy seasons 1-5 because i am just a tad bit obsessed. but, whatever. OMG...i know that you are uber excited about the day of your birth tomorrow! i know i am, mom and dad said that we should go out to eat to celebrate tomorrow. i'm notreally sure if we can get a free birthday desert if you are not with us though. whatever. anyway, i guess i had better go. Hau'oli la Hanau<---thats hawaiian ...pretty flippin sweet huh

anyway bye

At 1:42 AM, Blogger Mom said...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Kendra! Happy Birthday to you!!!! Love, Mom, Dad, and Callie

At 1:43 AM, Blogger Mom said...

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Kendra! Happy birthday to you!

Happy #19 sweetheart,
Love, Mom, Dad, and Callie

At 2:35 AM, Blogger Grandma said...

Hi Kendra,Happy , Happy Birthday to you. Aren't you glad that Grandad and I are not singing it to you this time!!!!!!Is the apartment on the 5th floor of the building? Your meals sound interesting. If something is especially good get the recipie!
Loads of Love,Grandma&Grandad

At 2:43 AM, Blogger Annie said...

ok so i have a funny story for you. This happened over break when I babysat for my parent's church group. I was watching 11...yes ELEVEN kids all under the age of 10 (including a set of 8 year old triplets, their older 10 year old brother, a 4 year old, a 6 year old, etc.etc.) Anyhoo, the triplets especially are a handful; they seem to enjoy wrestling with each other-I'm talking full body flying kicks type wrestling. I was trying to seperate two of them (a boy and a girl) and I managed to drag the little girl away. She started kicking and wrestling ME, and yelling "GET OFF ME WOMAN! GET OFF ME WOMAN!" The next time I had to seperate her from her brother (at this point she was running up to him from behind, kicking him in the butt, then running away...REPEATEDLY!) her cries had progressed to "GET OFF ME HOT WOMAN! GET OFF ME HOT WOMAN!"
Well, needless to say, when I told my Mom and Dad the story after the seemingly endless two and a half hours had passed, Mom couldn't wait to tell the mother at the next meeting. Well, the next meeting comes around, and evidently the little girl shouts that at her mom regularly...she doesn't know where she got it. In addition, the boy triplet went up to his teacher the other day and said "Hey good lookin, what's cookin?" Ah, the things children say...they are so cute when you aren't trying to control your urge to strangle their little necks!

Hope you are having a spectacular time! I MISS YOU!

At 2:45 AM, Blogger Annie said...

Oh I forgot to add that while i was babysitting, the older brother of the triplets got into big trouble for biting his sister's butt...there were tears and denials...regular soap opera stuff. Heehee

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Aunt June said...

Hi, Kendra! What a nice way to celebrate your birthday and get started on your 20th year--going to classes a few hours and sightseeing during others! I was planning to suggest you Carpe Diem ("seize the day", as in Calvin and Hobbes), and then I was surprised to find there is a Spanish school in the center of Madrid with that name. Is it, by chance, the one you are attending? Even if it isn't, I know you will do a good job of combining study and pleasure.

We are fine here in CA and were happy to hear from you--both now and via the Christmas letter you wrote for the family!
With love, Aunt June

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Amanda Dugan said...

Thanks for sending me the link to the blog :) The pictures look like you are having an amazing time- how lucky!
I will write an email later, but wanted to let you know I am checking the blog!


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