Hola, from the Iberian peninsula! I arrived in Madrid this morning, and after hours of waiting for luggage and buses, I finally made it to my host mom's apartment! Result! It's weird though--because I'm so sleep deprived, it hasn't hit me that I'm not only in a foreign country, but on a different continent, and in Europe. For all I know, I could be in an apartment in Ohio. But I'm sure that once I get rested and get out and explore and start going to classes, everything will change, and culture shock will hit me like a ton of bricks.
Life this week is going to be pretty chill--we were supposed to take a tour of the city we're staying in, as well as a tour of Madrid, but that got pushed off to Wednesday, after our first day of classes, and we don't have a trip planned for this weekend, so I have tons of free time. Tomorrow, our señora Pilar (who doesn't like to be called "señora" because it makes her feel old) is going to give us a small tour of our city Alcalá, and is going to show us where we're going to school, as well as showing us where to exchange money, and where we can buy essentials like shampoo and conditioner (don't worry-I had access to some travel sized bottles, so I've showered, thank the Lord).
When my roommate Luisa and I got here, after putting our things away and eating almuerzo (lunch), we crashed for 4 hours. It was probably the best nap I've had in a long time! It was weird because we're still on our US schedules so it was really like we were napping at 8 in the morning, but definitely worth it. After the nap, it was time for cena (dinner) at 9, and then after watching the news and chatting with Pilar for a while, we went back to bed around midnight.
I gotta tell you, life is pretty good right now. Just from my one day here, I can already tell that I'm going to love Spain and the Spanish people. For the most part, the people here are really easygoing, and whereas most of the US has the mindset that we "live to work", I can already see that they "work to live". This is a perfect environment for me because when we don't have to go to class at 9, we get to wake up whenever we want to (encouraged by Pilar), which, if anyone knows me at all, knows I'm not a morning person, so waking up late and staying up late (which seems to be what they do here) is right up my alley.
All I can say is that even though I've only been here for a day and have only seen a small portion of the city, life here is going to be phenomenal. Moral of the story is that Spain=glorious.