Salamanca: Language and Intercambios

Can a mom’s heart burst with pride, frustration, and worry at the same time?

Enter Wonderland

Only two weeks late, here’s an update on my life in Salamanca!

Today marks the end of my first month in Spain.  Thus far, it’s been a rollercoster of emotions, which is uncomfortable to hear from a guy, but whatever.  Honestly, there are many days where it’s hard to find the will to get out of bed and face my roommates (who are Mexican, though they speak excellent English).  The largest barrier is language: no amount of mental exercises can prepare you for the difficulty of live in another one.  Living here is giving me a peek into the daily life of an introvert, I do believe.

We’ve all heard those stories, the ones where the stupid American says something funny in another language by accident.  Unfortunately for me, I’ve become the stupid American in too many of those stories.  They started before I left the States, when I told…

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And of These Chains

Enter Wonderland

This is San Juan de Los Reyes, a monastery in Toledo.  On one wall hangs shackles and chains, a monument erected to symbolize the freeing of Christians during the battles of Malaga and Almeria against the Moors.  During this same period, the Spanish monarchy was instigating the Spanish Inquisition.  The irony is as real as the cold, hard bolts that secure them to the wall.

I don’t like to judge persons with the advantage of hindsight, but it seems that perhaps humanity should take more time to introspect.  It isn’t wrong to celebrate the hand that brings freedom, but perhaps we should take care to make sure we aren’t overlooking great injustice in the other hand.

“With a grace that takes the place of chains”

– Disciple, Beautiful Scars

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Giralda

Enter Wonderland

Bell tower of Catedral de Maria Santa de la Sede.  Also known as Seville Cathedral, this is the largest cathedral in the world – though both St. Peter’s in London and the Basilica are larger churches, they are not the seats of bishops and thus, not cathedrals.  I will have a series of posts over the next couple days with stories of my travels and time here in Spain, so keep an eye out for that!

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