8 things that have made this the best YAV site of all time

Here we are again at the airport, headed home for a whole two weeks this time! So as I sit here and wait on my delayed flight, let’s take some time to review what life has been like in the great SATX thus far.

1. Since coming to San Antonio have since learned the meaning of a good tortilla. I’m talking flour tortillas so soft and fluffy and filled with wonderful things like eggs and papas or chorizo and egg, and have I mentioned I like breakfast tacos? I’m obsessed. I’m seriously. Anyone who actually makes it over here for a visit, breakfast tacos on me. It will change you.

2. A given, but I have since come to speak a little more Spanish that I ever have before. Now I’m definitely far from being fluent, it’s still terrifying to speak, but the understanding part is really cool. And if I’m leaving a place where I’ve just had a lot of Spanish running through my head, aka dance class or the Spanish service at church, my first instinct is to speak Spanish. This week I was walking away from dance class calling my mom and as the phone was ringing I was planning out what to say in Spanish…to my mom. I then realized she speaks English, but decided to leave her a message in Spanish on the church phone anyway. De nada.

3. I am also constantly reminded that the name Meredith is not meant for Spanish translation. It just doesn’t work. I’ve been working with this one lady every week since I’ve been here and just last week she asked me what my name was again…as in she never learned it. It’s fine. But there have been some amusing efforts like Mary, Mary Beth, or my favorite, Marlin. Seriously. Oh well. They know this face. That’s enough.

4. My first week here I was coaxed into joining the Alamo City Community Marching Band, which is actually the best. I get to play old marches and songs about Texas and on the snare drum, that’s pretty fun stuff to play. So now I’m in my 9th year of marching band (that’s terrifying) but good news is I’m one step closer to my dream to play the quads (these if you are unfamiliar). They lent me some to practice with, but these are about a million years old and are crazy heavy. My goal: have them ready to go by Fiesta (aka the San Antonio party in the streets for a week in April). Fingers crossed.

5. As I have previously mentioned, I have also joined a dance crew, though when I say that I really mean I go to aerobics/zumba class three times a week in the morning and try real hard to move my hips and feet like these ladies. They’re really good. But maybe my favorite part of it has been getting to know the music and dances of the neighborhood. I mean you listen to El Coco No three times a week and it really grows on you.

6. I’ve also had the privilege of joining the Divine Redeemer choir and have loved every second of it. I may have mentioned my obsession with the piano player at our church and he is also the choir director and always picks the coolest songs for us to sing. I’ve also come to learn that singing alto might be one of my favorite things ever. It might be my calling. I love reading the harmonies that have been written and I also really appreciate singing in my range. Though our choir is only six people strong, they sing beautifully and I am lucky to be apart of it. They even have nicknames for everyone, quickly dubbing me as the “Youngin”.

7. Could I really go a post about my life here without mentioning the stray dogs? Certainly not. It’s been a journey, highs and lows, definitely the lowest of lows was when that stray dog and I collided while I was biking my first weekend here. Welcome to the Westside. But the nice thing is you really do get used to them. I hardly notice the pack of five dogs hanging out by the HEB or the pack of random chihuahuas that have come to hang out on the street of of the church. The good thing is if you’re walking, they’ll leave you alone. Even met some nice strays along the way (yes mom, I pet them) so I’m ok with it.

8. One final thing. Maybe the best part of it all has been living with these people in that beautiful yellow house. Though it was hard at first to even get us all together, I have found such great friends just within my own house. We adventure together (always on that dang bus), talk in weird voices together (new yorkers, target lady, etc.), do dishes/dance party together (James’ specialty), and give each other a hard time in that siblingly kind of way. I can’t be more thankful for the people I was placed with and the friendships we’ve made. Looking forward to many more adventures to come!ImageP.S. I may or may not have lost to James in what are the odds and I am now expected to dread my hair so…we’ll see if he remembers. #2014 #theyearofthedreads #maybe

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