Monday, June 17, 2013

Frustrated Love

The Roller Coaster of Life

After two days in Cuenca, I can easily see why my professors warned me that I would be very frustrated during the first week. Needless to say, today was quite an experience for me. Yesterday I posted that the name of Marta's daughter is Sophia. Well, today I learned that her name is actually Iciar. Luckily I was not calling Iciar by her name or I would have looked extremely rude. Therefore, due to my frustration, this blog post will be totally in English.

In another aspect, I have been very frustrated because I do not know how to get around the city. Cuenca is a rural city, so it is possible to walk from one part of the city to another in approximately an hour. I know that Mrs. Marta gets tired of having to drive me everywhere, so I decided to walk to the hotel that the other students are staying in until the residence hall opens at the University of Castilla. Mrs. Marta gave me a map, and drew a maze or directions for me to follow on my walk. Little did I know though that the streets are not labeled like they are in America. I was very fortunate that God decided to bless me with a sense of direction today because I do not know how I made it to the hotel!

When I got to the hotel, the other students and I went to the park with the teacher's aids from the University of Castilla. There are three teachers aids. Their names are Ramón, Ana, y Silvia. I am glad to have their company because they have been keeping us sane. Our trip to the park today was my favorite part to my day because I actually had the chance to relax. We had so much fun and laughed for hours in the park, and I will never forget this experience.

The last frustration of my day was figuring out how I was going to get home. Mrs. Marta told me to take the bus, but I was under that the impression that the bus cost five euros. I did not want to pay that much, but I waited at the bus stop anyways because I knew I could not walk home alone at night. This part to my day was pretty lonely and scary. I was sitting at an unfamiliar bus stop, and everyone who passed by just stared at me. I guess I stand out or something?

I waited for an hour by myself for the bus to finally arrive. When I got on the bus I found out that it only cost one euro to ride. I was so happy and relieved! I had been stressing for no reason. In conclusion, I have decided that I need to remind myself of how blessed I am to have the chance to be here and to stop stressing over little things.

Casas Colgados

Yesterday afternoon on our excursion, the teacher's aids from The University of Castilla took us to one of the most historic parts of Cuenca. We met at the hotel and walked to the big bridge of Cuenca. The bridge is located in the countryside near Mrs. Marta's parent's summer house. The sites along our walk were unbelievable. Cuenca is such a gorgeous city!

When we got to the bridge we took a lot of pictures because while standing on the bridge it is possible to see the entire town. At the end of the bridge stood the "Casas Colgados". In English, this means "Hanging Houses". The houses looked like cabins sitting on hills to me.

After we saw the houses, we continued our journey to the top of the mountain. Along our walk we stopped in the corridor of the "Cathedral de Cuenca". The architecture of the church is absolutely magnificent. Another student made a comment to me while we were looking at the cathdral that "In America, we don't have anything made from the stone in Cuenca". Well, I thought about it, and then I turned and responded to her, "No, we don't have anything like this, but you have to remember that The United States of America did not exist when most of these buildings were made." I had never thought about the architecture of another country this way.

When we finished taking a break from our walk, we kept hiking up the mountain until we reached the top. At the top of the mountain there were fields of grass and patches of stone. A lot of people were reading, talking, and having picnics at the top of the mountain. The people of Cuenca are so lucky to have such a relaxing area to read. I am absolutely in love with the atmosphere of Cuenca.

"Show Your Love of Reading"

When we were sitting on the top of the mountain, we looked over to the left and saw a man sitting on the cliff reading a book. This reminded me of EDU 330, and I thought, "This would be the perfect picture to have in my future classroom!" Hopefully, if I can gain the strength, I can walk back up the mountain and read a book on the cliff myself.


  1. Hi Amy! I'm really enjoying your blog and the pictures are beautiful. Frustrations about how to navigate in a foreign country are not uncommon; consider it part of the experience. Just imagine how much you'll know when you leave. Be aware of your surroundings and consider your safety in all situations. Don't be afraid to ask for help (just be selective in who you ask). Keep having fun!

  2. Dr. Delmas,

    Thank you! I've learned to accept the frustrations and laugh them off later. Things are slowly getting better for all of us as we adjust to the time zone. The jet lag is killing all of us! Today, Mr. Robles-Valencia helped me get a cell phone and walked me to the bus stop so I would not have to do it alone. Things are improving daily! I appreciate your encouragement! :)

    ¡Hasta luego!

  3. Amy, I'm always plagued by jet lag. However, I find that I'm extraordinarily productive during the first 7-10 days of my visit to a new country. Waking up ready to go at 2am will do that to you. The down side is that I usually crash by mid-afternoon.

    Glad things are getting a bit easier!

  4. Is there WiFi on the edge of the cliff? If not, it wont't work for EDM310. Maybe for 330! :)

    They probably publish bus schedules on the Internet. Have you checked? Also check with the Tourist Office. I imagine they have maps of bus routes as well as timetables. Get a good map if they have one. Or any map will help!

    I liked your pictures. But the house that overhangs the canyon bothered me. I don't like heights!

    Cuenca is a beautiful place.

    If you think that getting around is confusing, go to Venice, Everyone (except natives) gets lost in Venice! But it is easy to fid your way. Go to the Grand Canal (never more than 5 minutes away and there are plenty of signs). Find a boat stop. Hop on! No boats in Cuenca however, unless they are on the river.

    I am enjoying your blog. Even the cockroach picture and song!

  5. ¿Hay WiFi en el borde del precipicio? Si no, se hace ningún trabajo para EDM310. Quizás por 330! :)

    Probablemente publican los horarios de autobuses en Internet. ¿Ha comprobado? También consulte con la Oficina de Turismo. Me imagino que tienen mapas de las rutas de autobuses, así como los horarios. Consigue un buen mapa, si lo tiene. O cualquier mapa le ayudará!

    Me gustó sus imágenes. Pero la casa que domina el cañón me molestaban. No me gustan las alturas!

    Cuenca es un lugar hermoso.

    Si usted piensa que moverse es confuso, ir a Venecia, todo el mundo (con excepción de los nativos) se pierde en Venecia! Pero es fácil de fid su camino. Ir al Gran Canal (nunca más de 5 minutos y hay un montón de signos). Encuentra una parada de barco. Suba! No hay barcos en Cuenca sin embargo, a menos que estén en el río.

    Estoy disfrutando de tu blog. Incluso la imagen de cucarachas y la canción!

    Traducción de Google.

  6. Dr. Strange,

    There is not WiFi on the cliff :(. It is a perfect spot for reading though! I am finding my way around better now. Marta gave me a great map of Cuenca! I know my way around town walking now, and I have figured the bus route out. Things are looking up.

    I am constantly on the go, and never catch a break! Sorry, it has taken me so long to respond. I appreciate all of your support! :)

    I hope you are having a wonderful semester!