Posted on Nov 02, 2022
Rebecca Conrad, RYE outbound student, made it to Dénai, Spain back in September. Katie has been in contact with her.
Hola, Katie!!
It’s so amazing to hear from you! My schedule is getting pretty crazy here in Spain, so very sorry for the late response!
I am absolutely loving it here! I feel so utterly grateful for this opportunity. Every day, something new occurs and I am reminded that I am here, IN SPAIN?!? Occasionally I will be walking down a particularly gorgeous path, and remember “WOW, I am so lucky, I get to live here with limitless opportunities and support to guide me through it". Even when things get difficult with the language or culture barriers, I remember that to experience navigating these situations, is how we grow. So I am even grateful for the situations I least like in the moment. 
So far, my favorite foods are all dishes including eggplants (which I never had before coming here!) such as Cocas, and all of the fruits that are grown here! Valencia is specifically known for its oranges, so every weekend my family gets freshly squeezed orange juice. Although, I have tried raw mussels, shrimp, cooked bull tail, bone marrow, baby fish, and shrimp brains (so far)! I have gotten adjusted to the eating schedule quite well, it is just the sleeping schedule that is hard for me to get accustomed to. I am used to going to bed at 21:00 in Iowa, but here, we go to bed at 23:00/00:00!! So siestas are highly needed! I have not mastered my siesta schedule, they recommend sleeping a maximum of 30 minutes, which I always end up doing more, so you can feel quite groggy upon waking.
My favorite classes here are Religion, Castellano, History of Philosophy, and Economics. These are all in Castellano, so I can understand most of the contents, the rest are in the local language, Valenciano, which I still have yet to understand! I have joined Spanish classes after school, a sea kayaking team, and am scheduled to join the choir and a dance team! I am loving all of the activities here! 
I had an amazing meeting with my Host Rotary Club, I appreciated their welcoming attitudes and personal hospitality. I gave all of the members a gift from Iowa, ranging from handmade soap to Iowa Football gear (Go Hawks!). This Sunday the entire Rotary Club is going to pick up trash at the seashore! I have even invited some of my friends from school to join as well! 
Rebecca Conrad