Friday, January 29, 2010

to spend to experience or to save.

This weekend isn't going to be a waste although travel plans are non existent. I am ready to be fluent in Spanish...it would make it a whole lot easier to assimilate and make more friends. I get so nervous when I try and have a conversation. I have such a desire to sit there with the Sevillianos or Sevillanas and laugh at their jokes, understand what is going on in their world, and converse about their views about everything.

Back to travel...I haven't made any plans yet...I want to go to Morocco but the trip cost around 179 euros ($268). That includes hotel for 2 nights, travel, all food inclusive, and the tours. Plus its in a big group because to be safe. Should I just not go because of the price...Should I spend it and get the experience...or Should I go with a few friends, get a hostel, and pack lunch or buy cheap food while I'm there. The 3rd doesn't seem like a very safe choice...so I'm going to veto that.

I really want to go to Poland to see the Auschwitz concentration camp memorial, Prague, back to Austria see Rachel and the fam, Switzerland to see Kate's fam again, and to Dachau in Germany to see the concentration camp that I never got to see... My problem is I'm not sure how to get there, where the cheapest flight is, and should I get a eurorail pass? Its so easy to say that money doesn't matter when it interferes with your ambition, dreams, and goals.

I also might take a trip to Jordan with my friend Brea. Her dad works there...He's a teacher and I'd love to see Petra and possibly climb a mountain.... We'll just have to see.

Should I save my money to the point I sacrifice tea and coffee all together? Man..I wish I had all the answers to my questions of travel.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

braids and eyes














A golden braid hidden by a hood
covered in the impatient rain
hands in both pockets
to keep the warmth in
the braid is walking solo
through
in between
under
across.

Eyes pass umbrella in hand
as a willow tree to the trunk underneath it
eyes follow with contact but no response
the stare passes within a moment and
the journey continues.

The golden braid meets several dry eyes
the eyes sometimes show compassion
pride
attitude
other times the eyes show a clear lake
no life to be found.

The poet the golden braid calls professor once said
'manners are to accommodate another to make one's life more enjoyable'
does this mean
all of these dry eyes have bad manners
without offering their coverage?

The accommodation to this golden braid
was not met although many eyes with umbrellas
pass every few moments
the golden braid walks on
noticing likewise braids
soaking without shelter.

The golden braid hidden by a hood
covered in the impatient rain
hands in both pockets
to keep the warmth in
the braid continues on solo
through
in between
under
across.

Eyes and braids pass together under their umbrellas
accommodation to the braid
pleasing to the eyes
rewarding for both

Eyes hold umbrellas for young ones
as to make their life enjoyable
as to not catch sickness
sacrifice made to meet the dependent need.

Those you love or know
these are the ones we can only accommodate?
who then is deserving
to this generosity of shelter
of protection.

Would the golden braid
abandon the comforting umbrella
to one who goes without?

Would you have given your umbrella up for the braid or eyes that was without?
Would you merely say 'absolutely' or would you act upon your words?




Monday, January 25, 2010

my truly wonderful day

This morning I hurled my body towards my computer the very second I opened my eyes. I talked to Josh for almost an hour. He has been on a chrysalis and we haven't had much talking time. But, this morning totally made up for the lost time, he is easy to talk to and we could talk forever...its hard to get off!

After a hefty breakfast, Nadia and I walked to school. Spanish class was the same as always, we were learning something new. MMMMmm, I got my coffee fix during our 15 minutes break. I can't tell you how much I truly love cafe con leche. I love drinking caffeine beverages during that small little break because its like an adoral pill, it gives me so much endurance to be attentive and interact with the teacher. Plus, I am not closing my eyelids every five seconds.
After class, I decided to take a little walk. I walked for about 45 minutes buying various little things I've been needing. I decided to take the streets that are small enough that an average car would have to put the side mirrors in and it would still barely scrape through. I found several hole in the wall restaurants and tiendas (stores). I stopped when I found the Cathedral. I took a spot on a bench in the sun. I read a little in my bible just have a much wanted quiet time with my Lord.

After an hour and a half total of my little adventure I decided to head back to the school. At 1:30 my Sevillana Dance class started! We jumped right in and learned the basic steps. When we were split in to two groups we all did pretty well, but then after the two groups did the step by memory we always paired up. Well the first time we paired up I ran to Brea who already had a partner and then when I stood where the next person, Nadia, would have been my partner she turned the wrong way and was partnered with some one else! I was left partnerless!!!! So, the beautiful dance instructor, Celia, took me to the front to be her partner. She told everyone to watch us and then follow when she says. I learned on the spot and helped teach the rest of the class. At first my face went completely beat red from having to dance at the front, but after the first few rounds it actually helped me pick the steps up faster.

By the end of class I was sweating and feeling the endorphins coming in my body. I loved letting my dancing history come flooding back. Nadia and I ate lunch and then split going out separate ways. I called Greg to meet up. I was finally in a state where I knew I could keep up a jog and actually breathe. I ran all the way to the Plaza where we were to meet up and he caught me right before and just joined in. We didn't stop until we got all the way to the river. Once we were at the river, we took a small break. We went to the rest room in the bus station, and set out again. We walked a little ways along the river just to admire the rowers, water, bridges, and tall houses across the river. When we set out again we ran to Plaza de EspaƱa having to stop a few time because of lights. We explored the plaza and the park running a little here and there. Thats when Greg decided to run home. I told him to go on because being sick for 20 days and Christmas break will put a person out of shape. I stopped and drank a tall glass of water and then ran for 5 more minutes.

I ran into 3 of the girls I was going to meet up with to buy shoes, but I told them to leave if I wasn't there in time. It was perfect! I went with them and bought Sevillana shoes for my dance class!

Afterwards, I walked around a little more and bought a sketch book and map pencils. Now at home, I am about to write a paper over the book I finished last night, The Odyssey. I love the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a book. So rewarding. Dinner is in an hour and I couldn't be happier at this point. Thank you God for all that you let me do today. I feel so blessed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

struggles.

lets talk about struggles for a little bit.

I'm at that stage around that 2 and a half week hump that it really starts hitting home. I am just now getting over what started as a cold in Lubbock and accumulated to Bronchitis here. Tonight was the first time I could actually breathe and I was in a building with several smokers. Okay, I'm going to complain for a little bit...

I miss my family terribly. I feel like I never talk to Mom or Dad. I talked to them at the minimum once a week in Lubbock, and even then it was more like every other day. Okay guilty...sometimes everyday. I love them so its okay. I'm independent for the most part give me some credit. I get annoyed with skype because the internet here is so sketchy that the call is dropped at least 7 times in a 20 minutes period. Then when we are on skype we don't usually talk about the stuff that was on my mind all day to tell them I always forget, which is sooo incredibly frustrating.

I miss my friends. I miss game nights. Nights where we could all hang out whether we were in a big group or just me, Amy, and Diana sleeping together in her tiny full bed. I miss that every single one of my friends are Christian and that we lift each other up daily. Here, even some of the people I got to school with, there are some that are non believers and it is so hard to reach out. My roommate declares her faith, and when I invited her to go with me to a university ministry when we get back to the states said "mmmm no, I feel bad going in there when everyone is a devout Christian and I'm just not willing to give up the things that I do." What do I say to that? I try talking to her daily about Christianity, but I also don't want to push her. Amy, you are the very best roommate ever. I can't wait to live with you too Diana next year. I miss the community that everyone brought when we were all together. The fact that we can have enormous surprise birthday parties and not a single alcohol beverage has to be present.

I miss my boyfriend. Wow- we've only been dating 2 months and he has become one of my best friends. How can I not miss someone who loves and cares for me daily. Someone who makes me laugh and comforts me all the time. Someone who shares the same interests I do. Someone who introduces me to new friends every day. Someone who can dance, play basketball, and run with me. Someone who can cuddle with me when we're watching a movie and holds my hand walking down a street. I pretty much loath the distance factor. He is so patient and he makes an effort to talk to me on skype whether he has to get up at 7am or stay late at work. He is so selfless and so full of God's joy. I love him.

Being sick has put a hug damper on my entire persona. No one here knows my true character with the exception of Greg and maybe Ricky, but he's never around. Everyone knows me as the girl who never goes out even though she'sinvited daily. She is funny and witty in poetry class, and smart and quick in Spanish class without having to study. She goes home and reads her bible or the Odyssey that we have to read for poetry class. The thing is....I haven't wanted to go out because being sick is one thing, but having enflamed lungs and your bronchial tubes practically closes only breathing about 65% of what is normal kind of puts a damper on an outgoing mood. Because I don't really trust many of the people here it is hard for me to let loose and just throw myself in a situation I'm not comfortable in. Why do I not drink?..because I was in that scene my first semester in college..I found out pretty quick that my face doesn't belong in that picture at that bar with that drink in my hand. I found a much more pleasing means of making fun, and it usually doesn't cost a dime or a guilty conscience.

Tonight, I went out to the most massive club I've ever seen. It has 3 stories, 7 or 8 bars, 3 dance floors, velvet couches...the works. So modern. I sat there for 2 hours doing absolutely nothing with 3 of my friends. Right as I was falling asleep they insisted on going to another bar which woke me up. I had nachos while they had 2 shots and beer. Food is my alcohol! We hung out for a bit then walked back to the club. Then we finally started dancing after the club started filling up and more and more of our friends found us. Me and greg tore it up once on the dance floor doing a little salsa. I actually started getting into the dancing just doing my own thing when a cute Spanish guy walked up to me and asked me if I wanted to dance. I said no sorry. I felt bad but I'm completely devoted to Josh. haha Greg was mean... he told him to go away when he could have danced with the whole group. Greg did give me a high five though for completely rejected this guy who had the nerves to come and ask me. This made me a little more upset that Josh wasn't here...I needed a dancing partner...I can't hardly stand it. Too make the night even better I went up to the bar and asked for un vaso de agua ( a glass of water) and she said no, no tengo. (I dont have that) then I asked for a fanta or a coke or anything and she wouldn't sell it to me without alcohol. If I cussed I would have at her in that moment. It was so ridiculous. So I was ready...I left and took a cab by myself home...I only had 5 euros and I told the taxi driver so that maybe he would drop me off and I could walk the rest of the way...nope. He stopped at an atm and made me withdraw money. I paid 8 euros and 60 cents. That is soooooo much for a taxi ride in Seville. I was so mad...he let the meter run while I was at the atm machine and it started at 3.50 because its a Friday.

So I'm just tired of being the downer that never goes out. I KNOW how to have fun without drinking.... I'm struggling with what to do at night. I'm getting close to everyone because I don't go out, but I'd rather sit in my room, read, and get closer to the Lord than be in an atmosphere where I feel completely out of place putting me in a position to test my morals, my relationship, and my endurance. Its hard staying up until 4 in the morning.

Not to mention with this whole sick thing, I've gone to the doctor twice and I have to go back on Monday to do blood work. On top of that, my poetry class requires reading where we have to read on average 60 to 70 pages every 2 days. Thats a lot.

I just need prayer. I'm homesick, but not because I'm in Spain...its because I don't know what to do as a Christian. I do need prayer, advice, and encouragement.

love to all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

prayers needed!

Without my luggage the first week of school I was not in the mood to go out with everyone regardless if they were going to a coffee shop or elsewhere. I kept telling everyone I'd go and hang out with them once my luggage arrived. The day both bags finally found their way to me, I came down with yet another cold. So, no going out for me. This time I took Emergency, Ibuprofen, Vitamin C, Day and Night Quill, something my Spanish mom gave me, and something else Greg gave me. I tried everything. The past three days my sickness changed from congestion and running nose to a slight fever, not so much congestion, a sore throat and coughing with difficulty breathing. Then last night right before I was about to lay down it rapidly progressed to the point I was having to breathe through my nose to breathe. I tried laying down, but that only made me cough even more making me sit up so I could inhale deeper and easier. With each breathe came a heavy nasty wheeze. I decided I was going to get over trying to get a shallow breathe in and go see a doctor.

This morning at school, I went up to one of the coordinators, Maya, and in several short sentences that I couldn't breathe and needed to see a doctor. She decided that I needed a breathing treatment now, not later when the doctor would be able to get me in.
We walked into the emergency room and without having to wait in a line and fill out a hundred papers, I saw a doctor. He checked my breathing pattern and examined my throat. Finally he sent me to another room to do a breathing treatment.

Afterwards, I had to get x-rays. Turns out I'm fine and have acute bronchitis, which I suspected. I got an inhaler that I'm still trying to figure out and some antibiotics.

I have another appointment tomorrow with the same doctor at 3:45.
so over being sick!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

saturday the 16th

It took us 30 minutes less than we thought it would take to walk from the school to the bus station. We were instructed to meet at the station in Plaza de Armas at 9am to load a bus. The clock hit 9:30 before we rolled out. About 20 minutes outside of Sevilla, Italica awaited our visit.

Italica is an ancient Roman empire that was alive and kickin in 206BC. That's when it was founded. When we visited these ruins, they told us it was the 3rd largest Roman empire and that the amphitheater seated 25,000 people (about half of Rome's amphitheater)... We got to see where they stored the lions and the tunnels where the gladiators stayed until they went out to fight. It was beautiful. We were able to walk through the town..there are still some pillars that are standing where they supported the houses. The houses were tiny and we were able to see the colorful, but faded, tiled mosaics that served as their floors that were still in tact. They are over 1000 years old!!!!

It was a great first little excursion. I loved it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

citric tranquillity











































After a gloomy long day of icy drizzle
one hundred pages turned
a three hour class completed
a paper written
a three and a half lazy nap
my day felt lost
full of nothing worthy of noting
just lost...
lost time
lost daylight
lost emotions
lost laughs
lost conversation

Lunch with rice cooked with saffron
entangled with Spanish sea food
octopus and squid
Sliced baguette
salad sprinkled with olive oil
announcing me favorite meal thus far

Dinner at nine

Talking to Josh
our conversation led to
the realization that
I hadn't talked to my
best friend
Jesus

My quiet time hadn't come first
putting my mood in an unaccomplished state
I set out half past ten
in hopes of retiring in
the coffee shop
below the flat where I live
With no such luck
I walked past the school
past a cathedral
past several stores I will eventually return to, once they are open
and past several bars

I found the place for me
called Cafe Victoria Eugenia
on the intersection of Federicode Castro calle and Larana calle
This beautiful two story cafe
is stitched with wide and tall glass windows
the building painted a golden glow
framed with warm green trim
the large olive wood door welcomed me
with a fresh blow of espresso
and sweet spanish cerveza serving as the fragrance

My gratifying quiet time with Him
made all the difference
even to an ending day
with Psalm one through five
I knew not the audacious character
He gave me to stand firm
against the immoral trends
the ones they invite me to do
the ones they want me to attend

with an hour passing like a second
I practiced my new language
with the man who served me
my "cafe con leche"
as he turned the chairs
to lock the doors

with a twenty minute walk ahead
I set out five past midnight
The green Sevillian trees weighed down
by ripe oranges
filling the moist air with a citric scent
My wind swept hair curling
beside my cold florid cheeks
and by my shivering shoulders
Hands searching for warmth
in my pockets
Walking on rain glazed Spanish sidewalks
like icing finishing a cake
so was this rain finishing my perfectly lazy day

Walking past my favorite Magnolias
underneath it were a couple
almost as one because their hold was so tight
Their embrace hid their actions
may it be kissing or simply whispering
back and forth

love to love

Passing a couple
holding hands
she, wearing rainboots
him, wearing a cologne
I smelled it after I was five feet past them

love to love

Listening to A Love Song for a Savior
by Jars of Clay
Taking a simple walk
Looking at the marbled buildings
the ancient narrow roads
the people passing by
the homeless sleeplessly laying in coverage
the spanish conversations flitting in my ear

love.

Its the simple moments
that take me aback
inspire me
and move me to write
in a different style that normal
to think
in a different style than usual

the initial motivation..
may the glory be
to God.

What a great ending.



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

clase, caffe, y juegos.

You guessed it, my luggage still isn't here, but maletas, suitcases, keep trickling in slowly 2 by 2 each morning. I bought tights as a substitute for pants until my actual jeans come.. I went shopping for the first time yesterday evening. I bought 4 shirts, and because one of the biggest sales of the year in Spain is right after the new year, I didn't have to spend to much to get awesome quality clothes!

Ayer, Yesterday, was my first day of school! I'd say it went pretty well! I had Spanish I at 9am that is a four hour long class. It lasts until 12! Normally, that would make me so antsy I wouldn't be able to handle it, but my viaje, my old Spanish teacher is amazing. He is funny, sweet, old, and he cares about us actually learning the language. I can tell that he wants us desperately to make an A. We aren't allowed to speak English in his class, but it isn't as hard as I thought it would be. Plus, we get two 5 minute breaks during the class to do whatever we please. Best part about the school..well there is both a coffee cafe and a tea shop right outside.

After school, I went out with Ricky, Greg, Carrie, Juliana, and Logan to get some coffee. I love making new friends. Although I knew almost all of them before I came to Spain, you would probably never see us as a group hanging out together like this. I love it.

After lunch and my siesta, I met Carrie and Juliana to actually do our little shopping.... We took a cab back and they let me out by the school. The school is literally 3 blocks away from where my host family lives, and I managed to get lost. Love the ignorance of the Spanish streets that are designed as though a drunk man built them. I'll get the hang of it by the time I go home, I'm sure.

I love it here, but my drive to really get out hasn't really been motivated without my luggage. Either I'll get over it or my luggage will get here. Tonight after my class I think I'm just going to go to a coffee shop near by and play a board game with Greg. No time to go to an AMERICAN bar and play beer pong with a big group thats going. That is the dumbest thing ever in my opinion. We are in Spain people. Lets play scrabble using Spanish words....and go!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

la 9th y 10th

on the 9th, I woke up around 8:30am. I raged got ready and drug all my luggage downstairs...you know my entire back pack and all. I ate breakfast with the best of them and sat in the lobby to meet my host mom for the first time.

A little petite Spanish woman stood in the entrance way of the Hotel Fernando III with a thick cardigan, short hair cut with curly black shiny hair. The lady introduced herself in rapid Spanish, "me llamo Maria Rodriquez." She spit off about twenty other sentences then laughing afterwards. Thats when I nodded my head laughed a bit and said "si si si." Then I replied with introducing myself, "me llamo Elisa, pero puede llamarme Violeta." My name is Elise, but you can call me Violet.

We piled into a cab together with my new roommate Nadia, (we call her Christina in Spanish because Nadia means 'nothing' in espanol). We live only five minutes away from the the school that I'll be attending so thats good.

At 2:00, lunch was served on the table. Rice and tomato sauce, fried fillet in olive oil and salad. The meal was nice, but conversation wise....it was a bit painful. I knew twice as much Spanish as my roomie which isn't saying much because she doesn't know any. It was awkward, but I think its getting better now. She pretty much gave us a lesson of how to say plate, orange, banana, fork, spoon, etc.

We didn't do much the rest of the day except hang out and sleep.

On the tenth it ended up pouring and the temperature was cold enough for the rain to turn into snow. They said it is colder today than it has been since 1954. Without a suitcase full of appropriate clothing to go out in, I stayed in all day reading, writing, and eating warm soup....sleeping occasionally.

Dear, London,
You are making my wardrobe a bit dingy. Just to let you know.
all my love,
Hobo Elise


Saturday, January 9, 2010

to make it a little easier to comment.

Okay- I looked at my settings for the comments, and it is open to anyone to leave one. If you do not have a blog or a user ID then you can select anonymous and just simply sign your name at the bottom. OR you can create a profile where you don't have to keep up with a blog it'll just create a username for you. Every time you comment you do have to do the word verification just to prove you aren't spam, but if that it annoying in the least bit or you are having trouble seeing it (Grandpa or anyone else!) just let me know and I can take it off.

Also- when you comment it not only lets me know who reads it, but I enjoy getting your feed back just as much as you like to hear about what I am doing (:

All my love,

Elisa or Violete as my Mamma Maria calls me

Violete means violet in Spanish!

My official day of Sevilla

On Friday, I woke up early to start off our tour of Sevilla. I loved getting to know all of my fellow students plus Dr. Inglis is a fun guide to listen to. He looks like the all time stereo-typed scientist with the semi-bushy silky white beard and untamed white eyebrows. He wears large lensed glasses with thin rims on a long skinny nose. He is tall and skinny with a bit of a belly whether that is from Spanish beer and olives or age...I have no idea. He wears a grey fedora with a black strip above the rim. He usually carries his canon camera around his neck to perfect his image of an old folkie australian tourist look. Ironically, he has lived in Sevilla for 35 years and completely blends in with his flawless Spanish.

He took us through the town telling us every detail from the largest gothic cathedral to the millstones on the side of buildings meant to keep the building standing tall. I loved that some of the streets have signs before you enter them with two arrows pointing outward indicating the width of a street. As in, the roads were made to accommodate to horses and carriages not vehicles. Dr. Inglis said that one time he made it through a street luckily by slowly scratching through...the lucky part was that he didn't get stuck permanently.

We walked in loops and circles looking at some of the sites. Finally, we found our way to the Texas Tech Center. It is a pink building that shows no indication of 80 white Americans gathering together daily to learn which, in my opinion, was a smart decision by the decorator of the outside. The outside actually looks as though its never been touched besides very minor details. It says Religion on the outside I believe in faded black letters. You walk up the staircase that is lined with walls covered in beautiful Spanish tiles. Once upstairs, it is a complete maze! I love it though. There are classrooms that don't take on an image too different than most classrooms, but there aren't necessarily hallways so in between classes you can forget about trying to move about through the school. The classrooms are the main way of getting to every other room.

I have my own locker! whooooooo! Its been since I was in highschool! I love it!

After the tour, we all went back to the hotel for lunch and a siesta, a nap, which is a Spanish tradition after lunch. I overslept, of course, and ran with my roommate 15 minutes back to el escuela, the school, to make it just in time for our last orientation meeting that lasted a grueling 3 hours. By the time we finished our meeting and made our way slowly back to the hotel it was already dinner time. We had soup that tasted like potatoes with croutons as decoration and then two other entrees. Spanish always has several courses.

After dinner I rushed to take a shower and get ready to go out. Around 11pm we finally walked out of the hotel. Kimberly had invited me and a few others to go to this bar to watch a Spanish trio and a flamenco dancer....we didn't realize until after we were walking to the unnamed bar with the big red door that almost thirty of us decided to go out. As you can imagine, the Spaniards were not too happy about a herd Americanos overtaking their hang-out.

Kimberly and I swerved, maneuvered, and diverged from our friends to the other side of the large sit-down bar. We were the only ones able to find a seat at this point al well. About 20 minutes into this fascinating performance of Spanish guitar, clapping hands as the drumming beat, and the Spanish woman sevillana dancing on the small platform of a stage, the man sitting in the middle of the three performers stood up and started, "Senor!" Then translated he basically said that this is his passion and when everyone is talking it is disrespectful and to shut up or leave. (I found out later) This other man walked by a few of our guys and said stupido Americanos... sooooooooo... we left shortly after!
ps. I'll post pics as soon as my luggage with my cord comes in. Yes, I am on day 5 of wearing this outfit. I can't wait until Lunes, Monday, to go shopping for clothes! andddd I have a video of the flamenco dancer, guitarist, and clapper that I'll post later. GET EXCITED!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

flight disaster.

Hardest goodbye I've ever made.

My first flight was out of Lubbock. I cried from the security check point until after I boarded the plane and was distracted by a man sitting in my assigned seat. I found a spot on row eight by the emergency exits. I fell asleep before the flight attendant finished her memorized routine.
In Houston, trying to find the terminal for my second flight, I was walking up a flight of stairs when I heard a familiar voice, Taunia Logan. Ends up we were both headed to London-Heathrow. I followed her and her group to their terminal just to find out I wasn't flying Continental...here we go British airways.

I found this out by asking a clerk woman at the desk after standing in line for 20 minutes. When she shortly told me "not Continental! You're British Airways. Next!" I starred at her with a confused look and walked off. A man near me when I was talked to her chased me down and asked if I spoke English. At this point I'm beyond flattered coming from someone who constantly persuades people into believing my accent. I told him I do (in a British accent of course), then he helped me find my gate.

Once we landed in london an hour and a half late, we finally stepped off the plane at 9:30am. My third flight was cancelled at 9:20am; therefore, I found myself in a never-ending line to reschedule my flight. This is where I met Ashley Prothro, a fellow tech student, and Hayley, a former tech student going to work for the study abroad office in Seville.
After standing in line for 2 hours, they transfered our flights to Iberia Airways leaving at 5:30pm for Madrid catching a connecting flight to Seville. By this time it is around 12:30, they told us we couldn't check in yet and to come back at 2. I took an hour power nap.

At 2, they told us to come back at 3.
At 3, they told us to come back at 5.
At 5, our flight was announced cancelled.

We went through "immigration" and customs first. Then we found our line.... Yes, we stood in line for 3 hours to book our flight in the morning and to get a voucher to sleep in a hotel in London. By the time we got to the British Airways customer service desk, they told us they weren't responsible for our accommodations because Iberia is the one who cancelled our flight. They did book our next flight though. So, we went to Iberia's desk. Waited in line. They told us that it was British Airways that originally cancelled their flight. There was almost a boxing match about to go down between the two heated airline clerks, but they settled on an agreement. Iberia found us a suitable room in the Marriott Hotel near by if British Airways would pay for it, and Iberia would provide transportation and two free meals. What a deal!

We found our porter bus around 9:30pm totaling our time spent at the Lond airport to twelve hours.

At the hotel, we were provided an all-we-could-eat meal. MMMMmm! After we gained a few pounds we found ourselves asleep by 10:15pm in our ever so welcoming beds.

At 4:30am, the wake up call started our day off. By 5:00am, we were on our transport bus. We some how managed to skip the ludicrous line by going to the "fast drop" line, and they were nice enough to print us off a boarding pass. Our flight was again rescheduled for an hour earlier, meaning we had twenty minutes to run to our terminal.
What a blessing to actually find a flight though. We didn't actually leave until 7:30am after sitting in the plane for an hour. It actually didn't bother me at all...what's another hour?

In Madrid we had an hour before fleeing to Seville. By then, we spotted a dozen Tech students in the same program. Once, we were in Seville it was completely surreal, but coming as an expected disappointment both of my bags were lost.

But hey, I'm here, and I'm safe so PRAISE THE LORD!