No, your computer isn't having a coding error, that is Welsh you see in the title of this post. A very difficult language, in my opinion. My English speaking mouth can't form the syllables and I certainly can't seem to understand how to read it; but I love to listen to people speak it. Each words seems to carry so much heritage and culture that is overlooked in the grand scheme of the British isles. All my expectations of this wonderful country have been met and exceeded. I may never come home (only joking, Mom).
My first week in Wales has been great. My travel day was smooth and I had no hiccups, but very little sleep. Luckily, I got a head start on jet lag and haven't really felt it. The view from my window as the sun was rising over the British Isles was one of the most beautiful sights I've experienced. What a creative Creator we have!
The first couple days were spent getting settled and meeting the other American students that will be here this semester and some throughout the whole school year (talk about green with envy). It was nice to be confused together; we had no idea what the next couple weeks would hold.
My pre-session course started on Monday with a brief orientation in the morning and a bus tour in the afternoon of Swansea and a neighboring community called Mumbles. Mumbles is named after two little island that are off the tip of the peninsula, literally little mumbles of land. I will include some pictures at the bottom of this post. The shores are beautiful and the small town has a lot of fun restaurants and pubs. It is only a short bus ride away so I will definitely be going back. fun!
The second day of class was just lectures all day, mostly about post-war politics and film in Britain. I think I would have enjoyed the day more had I been feeling better. I am am currently in the middle of a round of antibiotics (thank you, Dr. Coleman). I seem to be on the upside of it, but still a little stopped up. The third day of class (Wednesday) was very fun! Out morning consisted of a tour of The Big Pit, a mining museum in Blaenavon. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, considering my fascination with Wales began with the novel How Green Was My Valley, a story of a Welsh mining family. The Welsh are very proud of their mining history and are always hoping for a revival of the local industry.
We then drove to Cardiff where we enjoyed lunch and a walk around of the Cardiff Castle. The castle was built of Normans on top of an old Roman fort. It was beautiful and right in the middle of the city centre. Again, I will add those pictures in the slide show.
I think it is finally setting in that I am here and won't be leaving for a few months. I still can't believe I am only a few minutes walk from the beach. It is simply beautiful here and you should all come visit right away!