Sunday, July 8, 2012


I've been back in Maryland for just over a month now and I feel horrible for not blogging more. I have no immigration updates for anyone who's wondering, we're just still waiting. I've been camping out in my mom's basement for the last month and I'll be moving into an apartment at the end of July. I got a new job at my old job, so I'm working at the same place with the same people but just a different, better position. I also have some huge news that I can't share on the blog but if you're interested email or facebook me!

While I was in Spain, I had started jogging doing the C25k training program. I've been trying to keep up with it here but between the 104 degree temperatures and not being able to get a routine going, I've been really slacking. Hopefully once I'm in my own place I'll be able to get a better routine established. 

Honestly it feels so good to be home. I loved Spain but it was pretty lonely. I do however miss gazpacho and olives and sidra. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


Ok so on the one hand, I've been doing much better the last few months, but this is comparatively speaking with fall and winter. In reality, I've just been lazing around doing nothing. It's time to focus. I have five weeks left in Spain and yesterday I just laid around being depressed about how I wanna go home NOW and what am I doing here and why can't I just go home and blah blah blah and on and on. Well, julie, STFU. Five weeks is nothing. You've made it this far, it's been seven months. Only five weeks left to go. Five weeks left and we can add it to the list of things you completely finished and didn't quit even though you were kicking and screaming the whole way through.

4 months in El Salvador
year of AmeriCorps volunteering with the boss from hell
semester abroad in Mexico
university-only changed your major five time but the important thing is to finish.

I think it might be getting longer than the list of things I have quit. The thing that made most of these experiences bearable and got me through to the end was making at least one good friend at each step. I wouldn't have had nearly the great experience I did in Mexico if I hadn't become friends with Traci. Out of AmeriCorps, I got Elizabeth, through El Salvador I met Jen and a ton of facebook friends who've been exiled throughout Latin America. And from Spain I got Ryan and Joey. I can't think of any good friends I made in university except during study abroad. It's hard when you go to a commuter school though.

SO, five weeks left to get myself ready for Maryland. Things to do:

buy a car
find an apartment
find a job
apply for grad school
study for gre

I already spend hours looking at apartments on craigslist which is pointless since they'll be gone by the time I get home. So my goal for this weekend is to apply for three jobs. Maybe it's a little early still but it doesn't hurt to practice writing a few cover letters. I know, doesn't sound like a good time to me either.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

feel better

I was cleaning out my drawer and found this "to do" list for my time here in Spain. It's from November 27, 2011 and while the only thing I can cross off the list is feel better, I can definitively say, I feel much better these days. 

feel better

Monday, April 23, 2012


A couple months ago I picked up this package of sweet corn flour (or mezcla de maíz dulce). I thought it looked interesting and maybe it would taste like Cheesecake Factory's sweet corn tamale cakes. And then I never got around to trying it. Today I stopped being lazy and mixed up the batter according to the directions on the bag. Well it doesn't taste anything like sweet corn tamale cakes at all. But as I was eating these little semi-sweet corn cakes, I knew I'd eaten something really similar before and then it dawned on me that they taste exactly like riguas. I've only had riguas in El Salvador but they're kinda like corn pancakes. A quick google search brought up a picture of the flour I was using which said it was good for making, among other things, riguas from El Salvador.

I don't know if I have it in me to make tamales while I'm out here but that is on my list of things to attempt for the first time. I have corn husk wrappers to make tamales de elote but I don't have any banana leaves to make chicken tamales. Plus they just seem like a lot of work, so we'll see. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Enjoy the time you have left. Seriously this might end up being a little whiny, just a warning. I'm sooooooo ready to go home. I've been gone since June. I've been alone since October. Everything has gone wrong and yet everything is exactly as it's supposed to be. I have 6 and half weeks left and then I'm going HOME. I'm not going to make any declarations like I'll never do this again, cause you NEVER know, but I don't like living alone. It's boring. It's lonely. I've come to realize I'm a total homebody. I can only go out so much, it gets old quick.


I've started drinking here and I've realized some things about myself. I'm not an alcoholic but I have alcoholic tendencies. I'm drinking because I'm bored. I only want to drink to get drunk. One drink is a waste of calories. Sidra is the Asturian "nectar of the gods." Three bottles of sidra is happy, four bottles is sloppy. I'm a happy drunk. I just like to laugh and hug everyone. I don't like to get sick.


There was a period like after high school, early college where I was definitely a drinker and then it just kinda stopped at some point. The whole time I was with M, I almost never drank, probably cause he never drank. We'd go to family parties where all the men would be drinking and someone would hand him a drink and he'd just carry it around. All of a sudden, he gets to El Salvador and he starts going out and getting drunk. The first time he came home drunk I was livid. He had left earlier that day to go play soccer and I was home, at his family's house, cause I didn't venture out much by myself. His sister asked me if I was going to eat dinner and I said I was going to wait for him to eat. She gave me a derisive smile and told me he probably wouldn't be home for quite some time. I didn't know where he was but he finally stumbled home at 2am wasted. I had NEVER seen him like this. He would NEVER drink with me when we were in the US. To top it all off, he was a HAPPY drunk. He was so happy he couldn't understand why I was so upset. I have a really hard time staying mad at people. Especially ones that are giggling uncontrollably. But this night was definitely a turning point. I was pissed cause he left me alone for so long, pissed cause he went and got drunk, and super pissed cause I realized I'm pissed and have NOWHERE to go. There is no stomping off, going to another room, going to my mom's house, going to a friend's house, or just going anywhere else. I'm isolated in the campo of El Salvador and have no friends, nowhere to go, and no way to get there if I want to leave. There aren't exactly buses running 24 hours a day here. I don't know anyone with a car. I don't KNOW ANYONE. Independence was out the window.


So I don't know what made him start drinking in El Salvador but I've heard he's been drinking a lot more since I've been gone which I can relate to I guess since I've been drinking so much too and I chalk it up to being bored and not having anything else to focus on. It's probably worse for him since he doesn't have a job there. I have my job to get me through the week and I have a couple of friends I sometimes see on the weekends. We go drinking of course.


So June marks one year since we left. Our waiver was turned in December 27 and I guess right now we just wait. I don't even know if there's something we're supposed to be doing or if we just sit back and wait for them to contact us. If it takes a year from when we turned in the waiver then we're a third of the way through. Hopefully it takes less time!!!!!

I've been really bad about updating lately, probably cause I've been so out of it but I'm going to try to be better!! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

So it goes...

Oh blog readers, I've neglected you and I feel like so much has happened but I haven't had the strength to tell you all. I read a lot of blogs and I know what it's like when all of a sudden they drop off the face of the earth and you're left wondering, whatever happened to them? I'm going to keep this as honest and as vague as possible.


Basically, there's been a lot of….marital issues…stuff that started like 2+ years ago. Or 4 really. So the short story is, M is still in El Salvador. He wasn't going to come to Spain but then he got jumped on the bus to San Salvador and said he wanted to get away and come to Spain for a little bit. And I was sort of dreading it. I was dreading the possible fights, and the sleeping arrangements, and all the associated drama that I felt like I had escaped by living alone here in Spain. Living alone here has been so good for me. Therapeutic even. I've always considered myself responsible and able to take care of myself but I've become independent in a different way here. Emotionally independent if that's even a thing. I would definitely say M and I had a codependent relationship.


So after laying down some ground rules we bought him a plane ticket and he flew from San Salvador to Madrid. I was waiting for him at the airport when I got a call. He was being detained and was awaiting an interview for more questioning. I started crying. I was crying for him, I was crying for me, I was crying because I felt like we were on the brink of some closure but maybe this wasn't the right place for it. And then I was crying because I felt an overwhelming guilt because deep down I felt this wave of….relief.


Salvadorans don't need visas to go to Spain but turns out that doesn't mean they can just show up like Americans can. I realize this was pretty naïve on my part but if I had known we would have been much better prepared but I had no idea. I'm pretty sure had we been together at the airport, they would've let him in but that's neither here nor there. They asked him a bunch of questions and denied him entry. He's not in any trouble or anything, and he's not barred from coming to Spain some other time. But he had to sit in detention for 48 hours before they sent him back to El Salvador. And he wasn't allowed any visitors or contact besides phone calls.


 So where does that leave me now? Well, I'm still here in Spain, working for the moment. My contract is up at the end of May and I could stay here or go back to the US or go somewhere else. It's kinda up in the air right now but I'm leaning towards going back to the US this summer and looking for a job. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm still around

Seems like I've hit a blogging dry spell. I think holidays will do that to you. I should give you all an update that M was able to submit his waiver packet to the embassy, on Dec 27th.