What I’ve been up to

Well, my Spain plans are still underway. I’ve changed some things about them to hopefully make it into a reality.

1) The date that I’m aiming to leave is January 29, 2011. Before I wanted to be there in September. Then October. Then November. Since early November isn’t happening, the next best date is late January. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my birthday (1/19), I think this is the next time I should go. I could go, in theory, in early January, but I don’t want to be freshly in the country right before my birthday. I wanted to already be there so I could have already made plans and have a fun Spanish birthday, but oh well. I plan on living in Spain during my birthday in I’m accepted into the language and culture assistant program, so I still have a chance to experience my birthday overseas.

2) Instead of living in a homestay and taking classes for 24 weeks, I plan on living with a Spaniard and cooking my own food and taking classes for 20 weeks. This will save me $4k, and if you compare my current plan with a homestay for 20 weeks, $3k. I don’t plan on eating $3k worth of food. Also, I’ve lost 30 pounds in the past few months on a unique diet that consists of me alternating between a high and low amount of calories. If I lived in homestay where someone cooked for me, I’d be wasting food by continuing my diet. Now no food will be wasted and money will be saved.

I’ve been doing a few things in the meantime, before Spain becomes a reality.

1) I’ve made my relationship with God a priority. Before, my thoughts and dreams were in Spain. I wasn’t ecstatic with life here- I don’t have any close IRL relationships (just a part of growing up, I guess), but I figured that wouldn’t matter because I’d be going abroad soon, so it really wasn’t important that I wasn’t happy with my non-immediate-familial relationships because I’d be consumed with life in Spain, learning Spanish, the culture, traveling, and meeting new people. When I realized that if I do make it to Spain, it won’t be for a while, it made me reflect on how empty my life felt. I decided that it felt empty because God wasn’t the priority in my life- Spain and my relationships were.

In addition to reading Christian books, my friend Maria I are going to TD Jakes “Women Thou Art Loosed” conference in October. Since I knew I wouldn’t be in Spain in October, I seized this opportunity to finally spend time with my friend and get closer to God. I’m excited for it.

2) I’ve decided to become a volunteer for IMAlive. IMAlive is the first online crisis counseling network, basically a suicide hotline of sorts via instant messenger. I feel that I’d have a lot to offer this organization, plus I’m very eloquent online. Plus, if I make it to Spain, I could volunteer when it’s late night in America, as I remember what it was like to need help at 2am. Also, it’s nice that I can volunteer on the couch in my pajamas.

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~ by Revé on September 1, 2010.

6 Responses to “What I’ve been up to”

  1. I am glad that your plans are still in order! I have been following you for a while. I was supposed to go to Chile, but the earthquake happened and my program was postponed to a date where I was unavailable. Now, I am alternating between a desire to go to Spain as a language assistant or France.

    Well, I hope it works out for you! Also, what is this special diet your reference? I want to loose 15 to 20 oounds by next year…

    • Good luck with your plans! Are you still in Japan?

      If I dedicate some time to my French, I would also like to be a language assistant in France after working in Spain. I’m also thinking about going to grad school in Spain, mainly if I decide to do translation and interpretation (which is what I’m leaning towards, but I figure once I spend time abroad it’ll hopefully cement what I decide to do). Just gotta see where life takes me.

      The diet I’m doing is the Johnson’s Up Day Down Day Diet http://www.johnsonupdaydowndaydiet.com/html/how-to-do-the-diet.html
      I did it a few years ago and had some success, so I’m doing it again. You alternate between a regular amount of calories, based on your age, sex, weight, level of exercise, etc., and a lower amount, which is a percentage of that. It takes some getting used to initially, but I like it. You don’t have to restrict yourself more than one day at a time. Personally, there are some things I just don’t really eat anymore, but I do so because I feel it’s best for me, not because I can’t eat them because my diet forbids it.

  2. 1. I CAN’T WAIT EITHER. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I AM. LOL i’ll probably scream and hug you like a mad woman when i pick you up from the airport. haha

    2. that sounds like a really interesting organization, maybe when i get the interwebz at home i too can volunteer.

    • 1. Lol. We’re going to have such a great time.

      2. I think it’s a really great cause. I have to figure out how to pay for it, but I think that’ll probably come together in like a month or so.

  3. My second time in Spain I went the day before my birthday. I didn’t know anyone yet.
    I think I had some chocolate and went straight to sleep from all the traveling. lol
    Staying with a Spaniard might be good too. I’ve done both host family & a Spanish roommate.
    They both had their pros and cons but living without a family/senora felt more independent, especially since I was older than the first time.

    congrats on your weight loss. 🙂
    I started WW earlier this summer and so far it’s been a good experience.

    That’s great you’re working on other things as well.
    I volunteer for a micro loan website translating Spanish entries.
    It’s been a great way to practice Spanish and help others.

    • Part of me feels like I wouldn’t mind going before my birthday, since I don’t plan on celebrating it with “friends” here *and* my sister probably won’t be in town, but what I like about aiming towards the end of January is that I have more time to save money. If I find a job soon and save up enough money, I may start my program sooner.

      I hope I make friends in Spain so I can enjoy the independence of living with a Spaniard lol. The main thing that appealed to me about living with a host family was the potential to bond with them.

      Congrats on your weight loss too 🙂

      That is a good way to keep up your Spanish. I hope to incorporate Spanish (and possibly other languages) into a future career, but volunteering to use it once I become fluent would be good in the meantime.

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