My host mother, Begoña, has been very welcoming, and has made me feel right at home! We live in a suburb of Bilbao called Getxo (pronounced: geh-cho). Begoña lives in a beautiful 2 floor apartment with her Yorkshire terriers, Gordito and Mickey. I live next door to to my friend Milan, who is staying with Begoña's sister, Teresa. Milan never studied Spanish before coming here, and Teresa speaks no English, so it's been a challenge for them to communicate. Begoña speaks English, so she and I help them, and Milan is learning very quickly! Jessi lives on our street as well, so we go to the downtown shops together and explore. The beach is a 5 minute walk from my apartment, which is great!
We had two days of orientation at the University of Deusto, and classes start on Monday. I'll be taking Culture and Politics in Contemporary Spain, and 20th Century Spanish Literature. We've met some of the other American students who will be our classmates, and are planning to go out with them tonight.
It turns out that the biggest challenge I'm having here so far is not the language barrier, but a different barrier. You know, the one that gets me into my apartment. The door. The keys here are different than what we have at home, at least in the building I'm living in, and are more old-fashioned looking. Begoña had to give me lessons in unlocking the door, and it takes me a few tries every time I try to get into the house. Hopefully I master that task soon!
many photos to come!