Today I will, as promised in a previous blog post, cover a bit of my time here in Portugal. I know it is a rather simplistic thing to do, but I want to make a list of things I like here, and things I do not like here. I am not saying anything is good or bad, these are simply my personal opinions. My opinions are affected by my native culture, my life experiences, my age, my faith, and simple personal preferences. So with that in mind, here goes!

Things I do not like:

~ Just about everyone here is extremely closed, at least in public (my friends with whom I am staying are a notable exception. They are very gracious.) This is towards fellow Portugeses, but even more so towards a foreigner. I do not dress at all like the Portuguese people, a fact of which I was blissfully unaware until my friends told me. Instead of being ignored as is normal, I get open stares and full on inspections by many people here. I even am glared at hatefully or with loathing by some. As am extrovert and an American Southerner who loves hospitality, this is the hardest adjustment for me.

~ A lot of meat. Everywhere. In everything. At every meal. I have had to put my health-conscious vegetarian lifestyle on hold for the duration of my stay… so right now I want a veggie burger and Waldorf salad! hahaha.

~ The absence of Central heating and AC.

~ The absence of long, scalding hot showers and getting out into a steamy warm bathroom.

Things I do like:

~ The people I am staying with! Enough said! It is so nice to connect with good people.

~ Living among gorgeous, incredible, beautiful mountains. Every window in this house, everywhere I look, everywhere I go, I am looking at a gift that is a reminder of God’s power and appreciation for beauty and goodness. The scenery here is truly amazing!

~ The antiquated everything – and I do mean everything! I love old and historic, even if it is a simple history of a now nameless person. The age of every building here is positively enchanting.

~ The new foods. Overall I like the new flavors and smells. And in any moment of gastric despair I can always turn to my beloved friend, chocolate!

I will put some pictures below of my adventures here in Portugal. Enjoy!