Day 55 in Spain: Duty Calls



do some homework,

text some friends,

make spring break plans,

call Dad,

practice for an interview,

email a couple of people,

look at GoPro footage,

update my journal,

and relax.

p.s. My Tuesday was busy, but productive. How is yours looking? I even applied to one more internship for this summer. Let’s see how this goes. Here’s to responsibilities!


Day 54 in Spain: Madrid, Sweet Madrid

I’ve missed being able to communicate in a language I know like Spanish

I’ve missed my host mom’s home-cooked, 3-course meals for dinner

I’ve missed Madrid, my sweet Madrid

p.s. Back in my 2nd home for the time being, and so incredibly blessed to have seen parts of Africa I may never be able to see again. Thank you, Morocco for a wonderful 3-day weekend. The animals I’ve seen, the people I’ve met, the music I’ve heard, the places I’ve been, were so surreal.

Day 52 in Chechaouen, Morocco: The Blue City

Blue pants

Blue walls

Blue doors

Blue rooftops

Blue steps

Blue paint

Blue sky

p.s. Incredible time and place exploring The Blue City here on Saturday. I couldn’t believe this view, and I got to see it the best way possible- on a hike up the Rif mountains. What a sight!

p.p.s. I got a pair of pants from Morocco, similar to the ones from Thailand. Yay!

Day 51 in Tangier, Morocco: Unreal Beauty

a view of the ocean: aqua blue mixed in a picturesque canvas of other blue hues and mermaid greens

small, slanted trees: remembrances of Disney’s The Lion King and Tarzan

rain: so much water, cold air, and winds but the earth here in Tangier smiled in relief, quenching its thirst

caves: Hercules caves, a natural structure carved by the Atlantic ocean waves, with rustic brown walls of mystery, outlining the shape of the African continent itself

camels: so soft and unique in stature, and what an experience riding on and alongside other camels on the beach

feeling the ocean water: a new kind of fresh, and the shoreline racing to tickle my feet and ankles, all whilst watching the white-blue sky fight to cover the hint of sun

dinner: Moroccan soup, Moroccan bread, and Moroccan musicians happy to be here and happy for us to be there with them

p.s. On Friday I got to Morocco after a 7-hour bus ride (with 2 stops), and a 1 hr. and 10 min ferry boat ride. This trip was worth the natural beauty I witnessed in Tangier. So grateful for I how I began and ended my day–in pure happiness. Here’s to a beautiful, unforgettable weekend in Morocco, Africa!

Day 50 in Spain: Why I Like Learning Here

I like learning in Spain because my professors and I have a common goal—to help me get better at speaking Spanish.

They understand that as an American student with Spanish heritage, I take learning the language seriously.

I take immersing in this Spanish culture dearly as I’m living, learning, and breathing it day by day.

And I take being here in Madrid wholeheartedly as I am always asking them questions about what books to read in Spanish, what movies to see, where to visit while I am here.

p.s. I was able to snag an interview with my professor of Cultural Studies for my radio feature on American students in a Spanish world, like Spain. She had a lovely response about the difference between teaching international students and Spaniard students, and I really enjoyed talking with her. It was an especially rewarding conversation because I got to connect with her outside of the classroom, speaking both in Spanish and English, as she studied at Boston University for part of her undergrad in Massachusetts. I will do my best to stay connected with her when I return to New York. She’s an unforgettable professor. Here’s to conducting a surprise interview! Looking forward to the turn-out of the project.

p.p.s. I am heading to Morocco, Africa in less than 8 hours. AHHH! *happy cry for joy!*

Day 49 in Spain: My Host Mom, Asún

My dad and I were on a video call , when my host mom, Asún, knocked on my door to hand me a left-over clean white sock from the laundry that happened to appear in the rest of the clean linens.

At the sound of her voice, my dad said, “Introduce me, introduce me!” like a young boy wanting to meet Santa.

And I said, “Hold on, Dad! I don’t want her to get upset at me if I just flip the camera with no warning. Haha.”

So when she closed my door, a couple of minutes after, I got up and asked her if she could meet my dad over video chat, because he’d like to greet her.

She said of course, and asked to wait a minute because she wanted to “fix herself” and put some earrings on.

She walked from the hallway rushing to snap in the earrings, and then I flipped the camera.

“Hola, Asun!” / “Hi Asun!” said my dad.

“Hola. Que jóven es tu papá. Que cantador es tu hija. Ellas están en manos buenas.” / “Hello. How young your dad is, she tells me. What a pleasure your daughter is. They’re in good hands,” Asún tells him.

“Gracias! Qué bueno conocerte.”/ “Thank you. How good to meet you,” my dad said in return.

“Igualmente. Perdona por no pintarme. Es que no tenía tiempo para arreglarme or poner colorete.”/ “Same. Sorry I wasn’t “fixed up,” I didn’t have time do fix my hair or put blush,” she adds.

“No te apures.”/ “Don’t worry about it,” I tell her.

“Gracias otra vez, y cuídate.” / “Thank you again, and take care,” my dad said.

“Bye,” said Asun, doing her best to speak English.

p.s. How awesome that my dad got to meet my host mom over video chat last evening! Here’s to a conversation and interaction I will never forget. One for the books.

Day 48 in Spain: The Metro Project


Who works here, and why? Their personalities and passions.

Who takes the subway, and why? Their reasons, likes, and dislikes of their commute.

The ads that are all along the metro, who installs them, and their purpose. Its messages and its audience.

The people who sell their products, play music, and sing without license and why? Their drive and goals.

p.s. My Cultural Studies group and I talked with our professor about the ideas we have to begin research and interviews for our investigative work of the metro. She called it a “productive,” meeting. Looking forward to the outcome of this project!



Day 47 in Spain: Nostalgia vs Melancholy 

“Nostalgia is being happy about being said,” Professor Ángel said. “You remember the good times, but are sad about not being in that moment right now. You miss it,” he added.

“True sadness means having reasons for feeling down and being able to explain them, while melancholy is being sad for no explicit reason. It’s just a feeling you can’t shake overall. The short story, “Luvina,” identifies more with a melancholy mood,” she said.

“Very well-stated, and exactly what I was trying to draw out of the class,” Professor Ángel replied.

p.s. I am so invested in my Relatos (Short Story) Course. I really do enjoy reading the stories, because they are giving me so many ideas to include in my end-of-the-year story in regards to structure, character development, ending, etc.  The stories also push me to look up so many words, and so I am enhancing my Spanish vocabulary, and knowledge of Spanish culture. The class stories also make me speak in Spanish, because there are so many points I want to talk about. Here’s part of the discussion we had yesterday about “Luvina,” a place in this story where there is no mobility. So, here’s to discussions about literature!

Day 46 in Spain: Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

Thankful for a clean home, a hot plate of Spanish food for dinner, and a spacious room to call my own

Grateful for being put in this place, at this time, with people from all walks of life

Blessed to wake up everyday in Madrid, to be loved by family, to be missed by friends, to be thought of by so many people I have love for, and to be in love with my love and my life and myself, and everything else in between

p.s. Kate, I was writing in the journal you got me for Christmas, and those three words on its cover: “Thankful,” “Grateful,” “Blessed,” keep me in check, here. You picked a perfect notebook for me right now. Love you little sister. Happy Sunday!