Tuesday, September 23, 2008

White Roses are needed.

I’ve been here for three weeks now and I can’t wait to come home and share all of my experiences with you back home. I can’t wait to show you pictures and tell you stories behind them. I can do that a little bit here but it will be so much better when we’re all in one place and I can sit there and just talk to you for hours on end. I can tell you how much little things like emails really helped me when I was homesick. I will tell you how much finding a Starbucks in Madrid really meant to me. I’ll tell you how hard I laughed when I found videos of Greg and Alex playing old-school community songs on my laptop. I want to go out to coffee with everyone and show you my pictures. I want to tell Steve Logan about the guy who looked just like him and acted nothing like him. There were way too many random Spanish guys who looked a lot like Alex and Kyle.

Spain is wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I’m learning so much here and not just in school or about all things Spanish. I’m also learning about myself and what certain things mean to me. This past weekend, when I couldn’t go to Mass because I didn’t know Madrid well enough to just go off to Mass by myself, I knew had a traveler’s dispensation but it still made me so sad. It means so much to me here. I don’t completely understand the Mass here but it is the Mass. I’m realizing the Real Presence so much more here. I think because it is the one part of every Mass that I really and truly know and understand. I know what those words “Este es mi cuerpo” and “Esta es mi sangre” mean. And that means the world to me. I see it and I know it and I believe it. And I love that church, San Vicente Martir. It’s so beautiful and it makes me feel like I’m really close to God.

I found out when I’m going to Vitoria. I’m going to be there from October 10 to the twelfth. I get to go to a prayer meeting and a community meal, which I’m guessing is something like a Lord’s Day. I’m also going to get to just spend time with some of the younger people/families in the community. It sounds really amazing and I’m really excited about it. I’m really looking forward to getting to meet these people and see what community life is like in Europe. I want to experience this side of community but also just to meet some people who have the same love of God and passion for charismatic worship that I do.

And then I’m looking at heading to Austria the first full weekend of November to see Katie Joy. And that will also be great. I like seeing people especially when it also means getting to go to another country. I want to see the world. I also want Majorcan pearls. But that’s another story and I don’t know if I can get them in Bilbao anyway.

One thing that I miss that I never really thought I’d miss is honorable guys. Here, as in most places, they’re few and far between. It makes me miss and appreciate the guys I know that much more. I think I’ve taken them for granted at some level. I have always known that they were the exception to the rule but I haven’t realized how much of an exception they really were until these past three weeks. Here, it’s rare to have guys honor you and respect you in a chivalrous manner. The guys in the CIDE program and the guys that I encounter around Bilbao and Spain aren’t the type who would consider the emotional ramifications of looking or speaking to a girl in a specific way. They don’t acknowledge what a look or a word or a dance means to a girl. Or if they do, they don’t care. It makes me appreciate side hugs more. But it also makes me appreciate guys who work to honor their sisters in their speech and in their actions.

In fantastic news, I’m making dinner for my host family on Thursday. I’m making Mrs. Kilpatrick’s meatloaf, which is amazing and hopefully I can do a good job of making it. We had an interesting discussion last night about what I wanted/needed to make it though. I need what we Americans call “salsa” but here that word refers to all sauces so I had to explain that I need “salsa Mexicana.” And then I had to explain what the ingredients were and that I could make it if she couldn’t buy it. That meant that I had to explain what jalapeños are. I was having trouble with that and we ended up looking them up in an encyclopedia. But then we realized that you could probably buy it here in Spain since you can make tacos and stuff like that here.

Above all, what I want here is to grow closer to God and become better with Spanish language, literature and culture. And right now, I'm doing pretty well with the Spanish but I'm really struggling with the God thing. I need to listen to more of Dr. Peter Kreeft.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you're coming to appreciate the goodness of the occasional side hug. Sometimes, it's just better.