Travel
Study Abroad in Spain, Summer 2002

Salamanca, Spain
Salamanca-My home city for six weeks. Salamanca is about three hours from Madrid in the northwest of Spain.

My Host Family
My host sister Lourdes, roommate Jocelyn from Las Vegas and host mom Concha. We found Jocelyn's stylin' hat in our closet. The discos and bars give away hats like this to get people to come inside, and students who stay with Concha usually don't bring them back to the states. Wonder why?

American Friends
I met five amazing friends while studying abroad. This picture is in Segovia, home of Spain's ruins of the Roman Aquaducts. The Spastic Six: Me, Jill, Hong Van, Laura, Cassandra and Ushma

Portugal
The six of us visited Porto, Portugal for a weekend. After tasting free port wine at various wine lodges, we needed an ice cream break by the river. Warning: small amounts of port wine are stronger than you may guess.

The town on strike
The entire city went on strike for a day to protest an unemployment law. Even our professors striked equaling a very fun day off.
Journal Entry: June 20, 2002

My beautiful city isn't quite as beautiful today. There's a Huelga General (strike) throughout the entire city to protest an unemployment law, and just about everything is closed. And the street cleaners who clean twice a day have also striked. Usually the streets almost sparkle they're so clean, the buildings of stone glow like gold and people sit in the Plaza Mayor with friends and drinks.

But today trash lines the streets, the doors are locked and the Plaza has been deserted. I'm sitting in a park in the northern part of town trying to take in all I can before I leave next week. This experience in Spain has been everything I always knew I needed. I can breathe here. I can be alone here. I'm not sure if I'm ready to go back home - there's things I've learned here that I couldn't have learned back home. I was so scared, it's funny becaue this has been the best thing for me. I had everything to gain and nothing to fear. It's going to be hard not to regret not staying here long enough, and no one back home will understand my experience or my need to be without them for awhile.

I hope I don't lose touch with all of the friends I've made here. I hope I can readjust to my real life.
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