It’s not every day that you walk out of the front door of your house and see the queen of Spain drive right past you on the street. Yep, that’s right. That actually happened to me this week.
Sometimes I feel like this world of study abroad experience isn’t reality, that I can’t possibly be traveling to so many unique places and experiencing so many incredible things. But little by little, the reality is beginning to sink in. Yes, this IS real life, and yes, I’m living in it! And I couldn’t be more excited.
Back to the story about the queen, since I know you’re wondering what in the world that was all about. On Wednesday Queen Sofía of Spain actually came to Burgos, and one of the main places she came to visit was the monastery that’s directly across the street from my house. Here’s what it looks like:
I knew she was planning to be in Burgos, but I didn’t know much about her visit beyond that. I just happened to walk out of the front door about 45 seconds before a small caravan of cars zoomed past into the entrance of the monastery. People were lined up along the street, clapping and cheering as the queen went by. (My host mom’s opinion: “I’m anti-monarchical and don’t believe we should even have a king and queen. This is the 21st century and we’re in a democracy.” She stayed inside.) Interestingly, they removed all of the trash containers/dumpsters from everywhere in our neighborhood on the day Queen Sofía came to visit. Apparently she can’t know we’re normal people and therefore need somewhere to put our trash. It’s experiences like these that make me question the reality of this wonderful existence…who would have thought that on a normal day I’d get the chance to see the queen?
Another part of my life that’s sometimes hard to believe is the AWESOME Bible study I’ve been having with my WMU friends (7 of us total). We’re studying the gospel of John, and I’m blown away every week not only by the fact that these girls are interested in studying the Bible together, but also that they have such a deep desire to learn more about God and have so many insightful thoughts about what the Scriptures mean for our lives. Wow.
Oh yeah, and my mom’s here in Spain with me!!!! That’s REALLY hard to believe, especially after a month and a half of not seeing her.
She arrived in Burgos this past Thursday, and I’ve spent the past few days showing her the city and my daily life here. On Thursday night I gave her a tour of the city. Friday morning, I brought her to class with me, and then we went to the castle overlooking Burgos, which was built in 884 (yes, you read that date correctly). We went to a really cool event on Friday night that is basically a group of students that gets together to help Spanish students learn English – my Mom LOVED getting to talk to people and help them improve their speaking skills (that’s definitely the former English teacher in her coming out…).
On Saturday morning we spent some time in a beautiful park, and came home to a huge meal/celebration with tons of my host mom’s friends and family for her son in law’s birthday. There was a lot of loud, fast Spanish being spoken, so I hope she wasn’t overwhelmed. I know I enjoyed it, even the heated (but not mean-spirited) arguments about politics. Today (Sunday) I brought her to church, so she was able to meet most of my church family here.
I don’t have classes this week (also hard to wrap my mind around), since my program gives us a week off to travel. So, tomorrow my mom and I fly out to spend a week together in Paris!! I can’t wait – it’s hard to think that I’m actually going to see the Eiffel Tower and so many other famous places for myself! Make sure to s tay tuned for pictures and further adventures.
Although at times the events this study abroad experience seem almost unbelievable, I’m determined to enjoy every minute of it.