Guiri in Granada

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It’s clear that I will be a guiri for awhile, or at least until it’s warm enough not to wear the North Face jacket that makes me an obvious tourist or until I know my way around well enough not to need el mapa just to get to school, though I am having an easier time speaking Spanish than I thought I would.
It’s certainly difficult, but most people are willing to speak slower and explain things so that I am able to understand. Granted, communication requires a lot of acting things out on my part, but so far I have been able to get my point across. So far it seems as though I am fairly lucky to be living only with one person (and her three cats, one of which must be the fattest in Granada), as it allows me to sit and talk with her as she helps me with my Spanish. We are able to understand each other pretty well, and have already been able to talk about poverty, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, Tawi, the violent political movements in northern Spain, and what a shame it was that the most handsome men in Ibiza when she worked there were gay. We have our fair share of miscommunication, but overall things have been running very smoothly.
It is interesting too that many of the warnings we were given by our program about living in Spanish homes have not been necessary for me. For example, we were told that the homes are cold yet I have to wear a t-shirt in my apartment because it is so warm and that it was rude to put our feet up, yet Josefina (the woman I am living with), pushed the living room table towards me and told me to put my feet on it. One thing they were certainly right about was that the families will try to get you to eat a lot of food. I guarantee I have never had anyone pack me a lunch as large as the one she packed me, including two large sandwiches on baguettes, four oranges (she tried to give me 7), and two water bottles. She is never offended when I don’t finish my food, but she is always worried that I am just too nervous to eat.
We have been going on various tours with the group, but that has been difficult with a group of nearly 70 students, so I am looking forward to exploring on my own or at least in a smaller, less overwhelming group. Also, school started this morning so it will be nice to have a regular schedule and to practice the Spanish I learn in class by talking to people outside of the classroom.

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