Wow, I have been terribly leniant in not posting these last 2 months. I'm so sorry!! So much has happened!! The month of May simply flew by -- starting with my adventure to Paris for 10 days with my lovely Aunt Linell, then leading into my last orientation with AFS here in Catalunya and then La Cursa Del Corte Ingles, a 11km running race in Barcelona this last weekend. Life is never on hold, there is no pause button! My Aunt and I had talked about going to France to visit family friends ever since I knew I was going to Spain but never officially 'set' plans. It wasen't untill late April we decided to book flights!! So thus our meeting on May 7th was a little illusionary...I couldn't believe I was with my Aunt, blonde hair, blue eyes, williamson smile and all...and to top it off would be in Paris, the city I had always held so dearly to my heart in several hours. We were staying in a apartment of our friends right on Rue de Temple near Hotel de Ville, walking distance to everything we would ever need and so much more! The studio/apartment was just what we needed; a comfortable place to rest in after the many long days of endless walking and exploring, which both came in abundance! I could write about the city forever, on and on about every little detail that enchanted me. The small hardware and flower markets with paint chipped turquoise bird houses. The always present color of navy, horizontal stripes, leggings, pearls, the idea of simplicity means eloquence in the clothing palatte. The obvious grandeur in every type of architectural specimen around you; the moldings, the colors, the sense of being carried away into a fairtale. I look back and can't pinpoint a favorite moment, or favorite activity. I just felt such a connection with the culture, people, the sense of living...I had beyond an amazing time every minute. I know I will be back to the city. Whether that be to study in the future, exploring via backpacks for a summer, or another trip with someone I love...who knows maybe even I will have the honor to call it my home.
So after landing back on Spanish soil :) had to jump right into our very last AFS Catalunya orientation that molded altogether for me...partly jetlag, partly sadness for the thought of how close this chapter is to closing. My birthday was the following week. I turned 17 on a beautiful blue skied, sunshine filled day. I had a great time with family and friends. I was awoken by the singing of my family at 7:45 am!! The day went by normally at school, lots of felicitats and two kisses -- not to mention my 160 facebook notifications. I had thought my birthday away from family and friends would be tough, but it made me realize that I have established a life for myself here surrounded by people that care about me more then I will probably ever know. The weekend after that I went to Barcelona to run in the largest and most famous Barcelona running cursa, it attracted 60,000 people this year. Something that I certainly couldn't imagine. The sight of seeing Plaza Catalunya built up into such a spectacle was incredible. The crazy people warming up in what space we had, the publicity, the MASS START! I started with my good friend Claire and we were about 150m from the actual start line, we walked for a good 5min just to get to it in the beginning, then had to sprint and pass thousands of people like we were in some sort of video game for the next 3km. I took off by myself and wow, such an invigorating feeling to run with that many people. Through the streets I now call my own. The sun beating down...I felt unstoppable. I hadn't trained at all, coming from a girl that ran almost every day. I was a little nervous to go into something so unready but knew it was an experience of a lifetime. I'm so glad I was a part of it now looking back. There was a part that we entered el estadiu olimpic which is the large stadium here, all the runners ran 400m and funelled out together. It was crazy to look around in an empty stadium but see hundreds of people running together. Long story short I finished in an hour and 23 seconds. I surprised myself. I just felt great in general for completing it, enjoying the moment, and then getting a great time. Emil and Mack finished in just under and hour and Claire at about an hour and 20min. I'm so proud of all of us. These are some amazing people that wow, I can't even begin to describe how much I will miss! Afterwards we were treated to the most exclusive and luxurious hotel in Barcelona. Andrew your great. To be right on the beach, have the most gorgeous view of the city and then rooftop bar and pool. It was beyond words, oozing beauty and elegance everywhere. Definitly hard to leave, but I ended up catching the bus home like always 8pm headed directly to Tarrega. Once I got off the bus home I had an excruciating pain in my foot and found it very difficult to walk...went to the doctor the next day and left with a cast. So now about a week into my injury, blisters on my hands from the absolutly horrible Spanish crutches I'm slowly starting to feel better. One week more to go then I'll be free. Life is amazing, I'm very blessed for what is happening to me here and now. With the days starting to wind down I'm preparing myself for the next chapter. I've learned so much from this one, gained so much...we'll see where I end up in the next one. The sky is the limit. Till that final page turns I'm soaking up everything I can. Love Love Love