November 18, 2012 by ebostick1212
I have the opportunity to do a lot of thinking during my long walks down the orange tree lined streets surrounding my neighborhood. Lately, I have come to realize how well I have settled in to this place, and how lucky I am to be an environment that is so supportive and welcoming.
Last week I was stricken with the kind of stomach flu that leaves one lying on the cold tile floor, crying. The kind that leaves one feverish, yet causes shivering at the same time. Needless to say, it was hell. I called my insurance company in an attempt to find a doctor open on Sundays, but like most offices in Spain, none were opened. I feared a trip to the emergency room was inevitable. In a last ditch attempt to avoid spending 5 or 6 hours in a waiting room, throwing up in front of a slew of strangers, I called my boyfriend’s mom. Within an hour, she and Juanpe had whisked by, and driven me back to an ambulatorio (an urgent care clinic) in Castilleja de la Cuesta. I was seen in ten minutes, and given a shot to relieve the nausea. She put me in their spare bedroom, covered me with several blankets, and watched over me for the next few days while the flu subsided.
Now, I mentioned how wonderful it is to go into work and be barraged by a bunch of smiley children. Yet it was equally wonderful to be greeted with such enthusiasm by the teachers, as well. From a warm hug from a teacher who exclaims ‘I was so worried about you!’, to others giving me kisses, calling me alma, and telling me how happy they were to see me smiling again. I finally feel like I am settling in with my co-workers.
When I was at the doctor, she mentioned how hard it must be, being alone in a country, but actually, it isn’t that bad. I mean, I am surrounded by a network of people that genuinely have my best interest at heart. While I am homesick at points, I also feel lucky that I have landed in a place with such good people.