Today makes a full week of living in Spain.

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The full group from Marcos’ party

Yesterday, we went to Mass in a gorgeous Church. I understood more than I thought I would in the Mass; I’m pretty sure it’s just because I know it so well in English that it was natural for it to be in a different language. However, it was also the fastest Mass I’ve ever been to. Seriously, it was only twenty minutes and we did everything! It’s not like we skipped anything! There was two readings, the full Creed, sign of Peace, literally everything. I mean, they speak at lightening speed but I still feel like maybe I missed something in there, I don’t know.

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Anyway, after the Mass, we went to a park in Portugal that’s only but five or ten minutes from the country home. There was a huge outdoor pool, a little ampitheater, several little playgrounds, basketball/futbol courts/fields, and miles and miles of hiking trails. We walked a few of these trails while we were there and the view is breathtaking everywhere you look. There is a famous river in Spain that is literally the northern border of Portugal. The water separates the two countries. When we were on the trail, we could see the river and the other shore as Spain; what an incredible, mind blowing experience. I can see us spending quite a bit of time here this summer.

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All of us were so tired from the long weekend at the country home that when we came back to the apartment last night, we could barely keep our eyes open for dinner. We were supposed to go to the gym this morning after dropping the boys off at school but that so didn’t happen and I ended up sleeping in pretty late in the morning. This may be related to the difficulty in falling asleep at night. I don’t think my body is fully used to the time change yet and probably staring at a screen right before going to bed isn’t helping either (as is repeatedly pointed out to me by an annoyingly logical person who shall remain nameless).

Ana brought me to the shopping mall in the center of town today so I could see what it was like. There are many layers to the mall with food places at the top and a parking garage at the bottom. On the floor level, there was a huge grocery store! We looked around in some of the stores and enjoyed some girl time. After much walking around the city, we stopped for coffee at the local bakery. This has consistently become my favorite part of the day; like England has tea time, Spain has café time and it is Heaven. The coffee here really makes America look sad, sorry. It’s so strong and so delicious. Dunkin is really a disappointment, it really is.

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It’s really incredible how much easier it is for me to communicate after just one week. We can now hold full conversations with only minimal interruptions to look up words one of us doesn’t recognize.

After school today, Marcos had his semi-finals for his futbol league. Unfortunately, his team lost and they won’t be able to continue in the season. From what I heard, it was a really good game. Yago and I went to the beach while the game was happening (the little guy doesn’t have enough chill in him to sit through a futbol game that he’s not playing in). We did have a blast though. Let me tell you, that little ball of energy totally has me wrapped around his little finger. What power he has over me! We spent a lot of time playing soccer where he would constantly change the placement of the nets in the sand so every once and a while, he would just kick the ball in a random direction and run around with his arms out screaming “gooooooooaaaaaal”. Also, in reference to the famous soccer player Lionel Messi, Yago refers to himself as “Yago Messi” anytime he’s near a soccer ball. His commentary during our games go something like this (kindly translated to English):

“Yago Messi gets ready for the kick,

he’s running down the field,

players are falling everywhere,

Ereen, you have to fall down,

he’s going up to the goal

*kicks hard in random direction*

GOAL!!!!!!!!!!”

And his favorite thing to do is whenever he trips himself or loses his balance when both of us kick the ball at the same time is to fall as dramatically as he can, roll around in the sand a few times and cry “FALTA”. This translates to “foul” and he proceeds to tell me if it’s a yellow or red one. I’m telling you, I have learned more about soccer in the last week than I have in my whole life.

After soccer, we spent a substantial amount of time trying to jump over the incoming waves, playing trash-knife-paper (his version of rock, paper, scissors; I have not figured out which one beats which one because he changes it every time), and burying each other in the sand while running around screaming “donde esta Erin?” or “donde esta Yago?”. In all this, the kid somehow learned the English words “big” and “small” today, along with “house”, “Christmas”, and “sunshine”.

Overall, it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, I got to go to the beach. My little man was adorable as always, I spent some great time with Ana this morning, we ate a lot of food, and I love living in Spain.

Published by Erin Koehler