Monday, May 23, 2011

One Week to Go!

It’s unbelievable to think that this trip has snuck up so fast! It seemed like just yesterday I was thinking about the possibility of studying abroad, and in exactly one week I will depart from Minneapolis, make a pit stop in Paris, and then arrive in Madrid. To lay out a little bit about my trip, I’ll do a quick run-through of the four W’s.

Who: Michael Rodriguez

What: Studying abroad in Madrid, Spain at the University of Nebrija from June 1-28, and then traveling Spain and Europe until July 17. I will be taking two classes, a Spanish language class, and a class about art in Spain.

Where: Madrid! I will be living with my aunt, uncle, and two cousins. Their home is located just outside of Madrid in Torrejón de Ardoz. As part of my study abroad package, I will go on three excursions with other students from around the world to other towns in Spain throughout the course of Spain. After my courses are over, my sister and father will join me for the remaining time and we will do some traveling throughout the country and Europe. As of now, we are planning on spending a weekend in London, and intend to visit Barcelona as well.

Why: To fulfill my “Artistic Experience Area of Inquiry” that is necessary to graduate from Drake University, to experience and soak in a different culture (I have only been outside the U.S. once, on a vacation to Ixtapa, Mexico, which is an  Americanized tourist town), to spend time with my extended family, to travel, and to rely on and witness God’s grace transcend cultural and language barriers. I’m gonna need boatloads of grace! I haven’t consistently practiced my Spanish since I graduated from high school, and most aspects of the trip will remain ambiguous until I get there. I’m pumped about what God promises through His scripture:

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

As a person who enjoys being in control and knowing all aspects about everything, I’m going to feel very weak and vulnerable, but I’m thankful God’s already got me covered.

Hopefully later this week I’ll blog about some of things I’m looking most forward to on this journey!

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