It’s been over six months since we have been in Spain, so how do we feel? We said we would stay at least a year, it’s past the half-way point, are we coming back? Has spain lived up to our expectations? What about the experience as a needgreater? Is it what we thought it would be? Do we miss home? Well, we have been reflecting on all these things and more during this past month or so.
So how do we feel after living in Spain for six months? We feel like it’s been longer than six months actually. So much has happened in these few months. We are finally starting to feel like we’re getting settled and in a “normal” routine. Things don’t feel so foreign and it feels like we live here now. I think that’s a good sign.
So are we coming back soon? Alot of friends have been asking us this question, but we did say at least a year. So that means that staying longer is a likely possibility. I will say, that we are hoping to visit soon 🙂
Has Spain lived up to our expectations? In some ways yes and in others no. We thought Spain would be a beautiful country and we were right! It’s very beautiful! Natural beauty abounds and there is so much to do and see. We try to take advantage of it as much as we can! The food …we expected it to be great. I like the food here but I’m still waiting to find the food I’ve read and have seen shows about. I believe there’s great food here and I’m going to find it! The culture…is interesting. It’s definitely different from other European cultures we have been exposed to and totally different from America. So dealing with the culture is a constant adjustment for me. Most things are fine but the things I have issues with, are very difficult for me. I am an admitted germaphobe, so I don’t know how much acclimating I can manage with these few issues, but I’m trying 😉 The ministry… The English field is very different from French and it has it’s challenges. In the territory there are also different cultures to learn and adjust to, so I am learning from the friends how to be more productive in this territory. For example, I’ve learned that my approach, although friendly, is too informal. I have been getting a lot of rude reactions, so I asked a sister who is from the same country as many in the territory. She told me quite directly that I needed to make some changes. So now among other things I know I need to use formal terms like “Madame, Sir, good afternoon or good evening”. This will be an adjustment since most people from the US are very informal, no more ‘ hey how’s it going? Or how ya doing?’ 😉
How has our need greater experience been? Well if you read our previous post ‘Lessons Learned‘ you will see that I had to make some adjustments in my thinking of what being a need greater is. One thing we have learned is that it is a lot of work! It’s not easy. You have to put your preferences on the back burner quite often. You have to be willing to change and learn from others. You may know the language but very often you are not the expert. However, you experience many blessings. One is seeing the international brotherhood in action. We definitely could not do this if it were not for the help and encouragement of the many friends here in Spain. They have been amazing. Another blessing of this type of service is strengthening your relationship with Jehovah. You learn to rely on him in ways you never had to before and seeing him open doors for you is quite amazing!
Do you miss us back home? Yes! Of course! Fortunately technology has enabled us to keep in touch with some friends and family, which makes homesickness less frequent. I do miss many friends though, especially being in service with good friends from home! Also we miss conveniences from home and FOOD! I would welcome a visit back sometime soon!
It’s been an eventful six months and we hope to continue to settle into life here. We’re still adjusting and getting used to things but it takes time and each month things get easier. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the year goes!