I am having a great time. I arrived in Málaga on Tuesday and met those of my fellow students who had already arrived. The people are extraordinarily nice. We went to the beach (my first sight of the Mediterranean) and to the Picasso Museum. Both were quite gorgeous. There is a restaurant named after Antonio Banderas; apparently he was born there.
We traveled (all 72 of us) to Granada yesterday afternoon and met our host families. My roomie's name is Callie. Our host mother is Rosario, a doctor who treats people with drug problems. She is very upfront and talkative, and I like her a lot. Her 16-year-old son Ramón is incredibly surly and has a mullet. Haha. Right now he is watching Futurama in Spanish, which is really weird because the voices are different.
Every once in a while I step back mentally and am astounded at the ability of humans to adjust to a new environment. I feel quite comfortable and adventurous...I suppose the culture shock will come later. I am able to converse with natives without stumbling too terribly much, and it will only get better. :)
The IES program is in some ways just like the beginning of freshman year, meeting new people all the time, asking small-talk questions and forgetting names immediately, but we also have a lot of freedom. Today (our first day of orientation in Granada) the professor of my 7-person class sent us out into the streets to find the post office on our own, and to buy a newspaper. The program directors, aside from requiring us to attend class, seem unconcerned with our activities (in a good way).
I saw Kirsten today! I was walking back from class (it's a good half hour by foot) and she walked right in front of me, crossing my path. I sort of exclaimed her name, ecstatically, and I think I scared her to death. We're going out for tapas tonight.
OK! That was longer than I expected. There's so much. Hasta luego,