Greetings Rotary Club, Family and Friends!

I’m writing to give you the update on my first month in Spain! Things have been quite fast paced since I arrived and Spain is so different! They call Diet Coke “Coca-Cola Light”, the soccer player David Beckham is like Michael Jordan, nobody eats dinner until around ten and all of the stores close from 2 to 5 pm everyday!

I’ve been having a great time meeting so many new people. I live in central Madrid with a 65 year old lady named Carmen Ollé. She is a wonderful host and she cooks dinner for me every night without fail. She is also hosting 2 other students in her 5 bedroom flat in the center of Madrid, both of the other kids are from France and they are very nice. As an added bonus, Carmen’s father who is 95 years old also lives with us. I can’t believe how sharp and healthy he is. It’s really amazing and he’s got such a sly sense of humor. I have included pictures of everyone at the bottom.

I’ve also been making a lot of friends in the Language Training School from all over the world! It’s kinda neat to see how Germans speak Spanish or how the French have trouble pronouncing the “r” in Spanish words. I also really like how even though we don’t speak each others native language, we can ALL communicate with Spanish. There are also photos of me and my friends from Language Training School below.

My time so far has not been without trial. I have had a HECK of a time opening a bank account out here! They made this new rule that all foreigners need their passport AND “El Certificado de No Residente”. This little document is the most elusive thing I’ve ever come across! To get it I had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning, walk downtown to the police station and stand in a HUGE line of about 600 people until nine in the morning!

When I finally made it to the front, they processed my papers and told me that it would take 10 DAYS to process and that I’d have to return and wait AGAIN in line to receive it. This was my first taste of “Spanish Bureaucracy” but luckily I made a lot of friends waiting in the line. You just kind of bond with people when you both have to wake up at 4:30am and stand for 5 hours together. Heh heh.

I just want to thank everyone at Rotary International for making this possible for so many students around the world. The relationships made during this time really do contribute to goodwill and understanding among different cultures. I'm honored to represent Rotary and I'm putting up this website to show what Rotary does for people. I can't thank you enough.

I have been meeting so many people and there are so many cool things to do out here that I have captured a lot of these moments with my camera. Make sure you bookmark this site because I will be updating it with new pictures and experiences at the end of each month. The pictures you are about to see where all taken this last month during August. Enjoy!

Where I Lived My First Month

Language Training School in Madrid

My Trip to Segovia

Spain Friends

Click HERE- The Rotary Club and District that sent me to Spain

Click HERE- You Too Can Get This Schoarship!

August 2003 Pictures
September 2003 Pictures
October 2003 Pictures
November 2003 Pictures
December 2003 Pictures
January 2004 Pictures
February 2004 Pictures
March 2004 Pictures
April 2004 Pictures
May 2004 Pictures
June 2004 Pictures