Anyway, yesterday there was a nation-wide strike in Spain. It was crazyyyyy. I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life. The entire country simply shut down. In Seville, the vast majority of the shops were closed. There was no fresh fruit or vegetables or meat in the entire city. Thousands of people milled the streets with banners and stickers and signs – they estimated that over 70% of the Spanish labor force did not show up to work yesterday. Picketers blocked universities, refusing to let the teachers and students who wanted to be there enter. Public transportation was operating on a skeletal system, providing only the most basic services. The only talk on everyone’s mouths was that of “la huelga”. Although my school had class, nobody learned anything. Everyone wanted to go outside and watch the protests that were happening all over the city. I recognize that the United States government has its issues; but yesterday made me very grateful to live in such a relatively peaceful society and functioning government as I have grown up in.
Although this week started out almost as bad as the last one, it has ended quite splendiferously. I FINALLY got all of my applications submitted that I had been killing myself to get in on time – those to the Marshall Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, and Fulbright Teaching Assistantship. You have NO idea how much of a relief it is to not have to worry about that anymore. Whether I get accepted or not is no longer any of my concern; I’ve done my part, and can now move onto other things. Another source of stress is the fact that my class schedule has also been a mess, and I’ve been trying to work with my professors back home to get that straightened out. It’s not ideal, but it works, so that’s another thing that I don’t have to worry about. I’m just glad to have one less stress.
I had another tutoring session today. It went soooo much better than Monday. In my (super limited) spare time, I had spent the last few days looking for games and pertinent activities that I could play with my kids. I found some (and also made some up) that that made them think, and that also taught them things they needed to know. So I tried out several of those games today…they loved them! They were well-behaved and interested and involved, and I just had a grand time.
After tutoring I went and found an internet café and talked to Rachel for a while. It was great to catch up with her :). We also started discussing plans to go to a West Coast Swing workshop for New Years’ Eve / my birthday! It’s rather expensive, but it’s looking like it might actually happen…I’m excited!! I also got to talk to James for a few minutes on Skype, too. He was at work and my battery was dying, so we couldn’t talk long, but it was good to talk to him for at least a little bit – we haven’t really talked at all since I’ve gotten here.
Well, after all of that it was around 6:30. I was about to head home, but then I remembered that they had said something about a Bible study on Thursday at church on Sunday. I messaged Sarah asking her about it. Luckily she answered – even though she was in class – and told me that they were having it at 7:30. I’m sooo grateful that she answered – if she hadn’t, I would have missed an incredible evening. But anyway, I had no idea where it was, so I went back to school so I could walk with her. When we got there, there were about 10 people there, from incredibly varied backgrounds. Most were study abroad students, but studying all different things and in all different universities. There was one PhD student there doing an internship on the outskirts of the city. One woman has been serving as a missionary in Spain for 3 years. A Nigerian man who has been living in Spain for 5 years also showed up. We did ice-breakers and get-to-know-you activities (this was the first meeting of the semester), and then broke up after into small groups to pray. When I started praying, I was so overcome with emotion that I started crying. It was kinda awkward, crying in front of all these people that I had literally just met…but I was just so overcome by God’s goodness, I couldn’t help it. Me finding that group came about by such a bizarre train of circumstances that never should have happened. I originally never even planned to be here this semester – my original plan was to go the Spring of my junior year. If I had gone then, I would have never met Sarah, who would have never introduced me to this church. Sarah, too, only found out about it through a highly improbably set of circumstances. Also, I was originally in a class that was scheduled at the same time as the Bible study. I really wanted to take that class, and almost stayed in it…but I’m soooo glad I didn’t. This group is such a strong group of Christians. I can not wait until next Thursday. I’m already planning out my weeks to make sure that I’m always free on Thursday nights.
So all in all, I had an excellent day. My back is angry at me, because I spent all day lugging around my computer and massive Spanish-English dictionary around (I brought it with me to tutor; it made things much easier). But other than that, I can’t complain. Also, today (although technically Thursday) is my Friday – thus begins the semester of 3-day weekends! I’m super excited :). Going on a 2-day trip with some students tomorrow, and then I’ll have Sunday to go to church and relax. I’m quite psyched about that.