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December 21st 2011
Published: December 21st 2011
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Hi Everyone!

Well, I made it safely to Germany! By safely I mean my trip was fine, but I also didn’t have a nervous-breakdown during my finals and rip all my hair out or jump off the docks at the harbor or anything.

You may be wondering, “So, what is a final like in Spain?” Well, the anticipation is just as excruciating and unless you are taking Roman Mythology and Religion the actual exam does not live up to the terrible hype. My Mythology exam was the only painful one. “Do we need to know how to say the words in Latin?”

“No, no I won’t make you memorize every term in Latin.”

Oh, hey, thanks for putting Latin terms on our final Antonio, ‘preciate it.

However, I was able to overcome the Latin and I will pass all of my classes! Huzzah!

Dealing with the stress of finals week is similar in Spain as it is in the US. We distracted ourselves and try to get out for some fresh air by playing football on the beach. Not fútbol as in soccer, football as in football. Brian, Hayley, our director Juan, Brian’s two Spanish roommates and I all got together to play a game on La Playa de Santa María. After having played soccer against these guys, I have to admit, it was a little nice to have the upper hand. Juan could get a spiral going but he had sort of a weird jump thing when he threw. If you’ve ever seen Charles Barkley swing a golf club, I might compare it to that only Juan doesn’t look like he’s convulsing, he just sort of hiccups in the middle of his throw. Either way, it was really fun and we got to get out into the fresh air.

I have spent quite a bit of time on the beach getting fresh air lately. I don’t always go for a run, but I really enjoying running to the beach and then walking along it. It’s pretty chilly inside of the city between the buildings, but on the beach it’s still warm enough to just wear shorts and a t-shirt.

Cádiz is really a place that has had to grow on me. Each time I walk along the beach I like it more and more. I have really dubbed La Playa de Santa María my “place” in Cádiz. When the sun is out and the tide is low it is perfect to go walk along then sit down and just listen to the waves and watch all of the surfers and even the occasional paddle boarder. Last week, a bit farther down, there were even windsurfers and people para-sailing out there.

Inside the city there was still a lot of beauty to be seen because of all of the Christmas decorations! Cádiz may not have a lot of trees, but they cover just about everything else with lights. The town hall, all of the streets and the palm trees are all decked out in beautiful lights and in La Plaza del Ayuntamiento they place a tree made out of Christmas lights. Even the family has a little Christmas tree and a few Christmas decorations to place up around our apartment.

Considering it was our last week all together, all of the API kids spent a lot of time with each other, as well as our Erasmus friends we had met throughout the semester. Anna-lu celebrated her 24th birthday and she made us pizza…isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Well, it was very delicious pizza. Well, it wasn’t actually pizza, it’s a pizza-like food that comes from the border between France and Germany called Flammkuchen. Just as most foods here in Europe, very delicious.

On our last night all together as a group, Juan took us out to dinner. Amazingly all eight of us showed up. You would think with only eight students it would be an easy task to round us all up, but it is surprisingly difficult to get us all together. One of our girls in particular, Susan, is a bit of a drifter. You never really know when or where she is going to appear, but then suddenly she does and she always has an anecdote waiting about her crazy host mother, or some “hombre” that started talking to her in the street. This particular night Susan told us all about Rib & Loin, where she is going to go eat after she gets back and even gave us a demonstration of what the dancing pig in front looks like, this way I am sure not to miss it on my next trip down there. 😊 haha!

As a thank you for all Juan has done for us we got him a Superman t-shirt and had “SuperJuan” put on the back, which is the name we use when we talk about him after he has done something particularly super. He got us all mini-statues of the towers in Cádiz so we have something to remember it by. We decided that, in the spirit of superhero-ness, when all of us reunited we have to bring our towers and put them together in their little tower city, you know, to bring out the full power of Equipo Cádiz. 😊

The final goodbyes were to the families. Tuesday afternoon for lunch Pepa surprised Natalie and me with small Christmas gifts and the same meal we ate our first day at her house, spaghetti. She got us some really warm socks, slippers and good luck bracelets and we took LOTS of photos with them. Between Alba’s camera, Natalie’s camera and mine we just took tons and tons of photos!

Natalie and I also had gifts and notes for the family. Pepa gets so emotional when she reads the notes that she refuses to read them, so Alba has to read them to her and she still gets teary eyed. Selu and Pepa told us that Natalie and I were their favorite girls so far; very easy going, we never brought up any issues, we were respectful and nice girls…it was a relief to hear since we thought we were chasing after Kiki’s legacy the whole time. Pepa is very happy with us, and we are very happy with her. I’m glad I will be staying with them next semester; however we have a new member of our little family arriving in January. No not another pet. I’m getting a new roommate, Carly. Don’t know much about her yet except that she is a student at North Dakota State University, the same university where my two best friends from Nebraska, Mallory and Morgan’s Dad is the head football coach at. Small world!

Until I meet her though I have a whole month of Germany ahead of me! I think I gave Elisabeth a scare though because I was the LAST one out of the terminal at the airport, she thought maybe I wasn’t there! My bag was about the last one off the belt and I had slept in the airport the night before and checked my bag before I ate breakfast, so I really needed to brush my teeth before I gave anyone a hug.

We took a little tour of the Christmas Market in Bremen, complete with a Bratwurst and hot mustard tasting, as well as Kartoffelpuffer, and to top it off, hot chocolate in Starbucks! Haha! 😊

Northern Germany is really beautiful. I will be sure to take some photos. It is still so green here because of the rain, the temp is pretty chilly but not awful and it is very, very flat; however because of all the trees it actually reminds me a bit more of a flat South Carolina rather than a Nebraska. I’m excited to go do some exploring of the area!

My room, as Elisabeth calls it, is a closet, but I think it is really very cozy. It actually the same room Sean stayed in when he and Heather came to visit once upon a time. There were even some nice warm SmartWool socks waiting there for me from my Mom, much needed. 😊 The whole house is quite cozy and even cozier since Elisabeth, Matti and I made Christmas cookies this afternoon! Ah, baking. 😊

It should be a really nice little trip here in Germany!

Love you and miss you all!

Devin 😊

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Whitney and JuanWhitney and Juan
Whitney and Juan

Juan always is the most photogenic!
Jerica and I at La ClandestinaJerica and I at La Clandestina
Jerica and I at La Clandestina

Its my secret coffee shop...
The Family :)The Family :)
The Family :)

Natalie, Selu, Me and Pepa
Christmas Hats!Christmas Hats!
Christmas Hats!

They light up!

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