Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Last day in Bryant Denny.

Ahh gameday. This past Saturday I went into a momentary lapse of depression at the thought of the first home game of the season.  I became envious of my little brother and all my friends reuniting in Tuscaloosa.  My babies starting their senior year... I liked every picture on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, and any other thing I could find.  I lived vicariously through all of you.  I read every article I could find highlighting what to expect... and then I started looking through my pictures....  

I began to feel like I was there and was immediately filled with happy happy thoughts... I could smell whiskey on everyone's breath filling the student section as we started chanting "Roll Tide" and singing "Yea Alabama", I began humming "Dixie Land Delight" without even noticing, I could taste the sweet flavor of a Denny dog during the 3rd quarter, I could feel the breeze of the shakers going crazy and the remnants of coke misting my face, I became energized and so excited for the game I wasn't even going to watch, haha.  Then I took a deep breath and went on with my day. When I got in bed that night, I watched the highlights and read more articles, liked more photos, felt overwhelmed with jealousy!!! I was so lucky to be a part of the festivities in New Orleans last year, but nothing beats Gameday at Bryant Denny.  

These photos are from my last day to enter that beautiful stadium... The day ended tragically as we lost to Auburn in the second half after dominating the first.  When the game came to a close, I didn't just cry, I wept. I was one of those people everyone laughs at on the Jumbotron for ugly-crying over a football game. I was unconsolable...we were so close, but at the end of the day it wasn't our year.  Part of me cried because we lost to Auburn, of course, but I went to Pasadena the year before and I had a lot of friends graduating from Auburn that year so I was happy for them to experience the same feelings (even if that meant Auburn won the National Championship.....) but the main reason I sobbed was because I knew my time in the stadium was taking a year long break... little did I know one year would become two... and my favorite part of being a student at Alabama was officially over.  I can't wait to experience the game as an alumni when you can't take any second for granted because you don't walk past the stadium everyday or go to Gallettes every night...and most of all it is a reunion with all of your friends.  :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Life Update

Okay, okay.  I know you all have asked yourself the same question at least once... "What exactly is Audrey doing over there?" Am I babysitting? Yes. Am I teaching English? Yes. What the heck am I doing in Poland?! See below. I thought there were only 3 kids?!! In 2010, yes. 2012 = 5. Am I shooting an advertisement for Polo family collection? No, but I should submit some photos. Can you see more pictures of the little girl in glasses? ABSOLUTELY!! Do I get paid at the elementary school? Believe it or not, yes. My 15 hour work week, pays.. and it's enough to survive. Is that a real job or did you make it up? It's real. Look it up:Auxiliar de Conversacion  Am I volunteering? No, but I plan to find someway to help out this year. Am I ever coming home? Eventually! Where will I be next? I wish I knew.

The truth and my journey with the spanish language.

 Fall 2007: When I started University I heard during rush alllll about people studying abroad (which was already in my mind).  I knew it was something my little traveler's heart would absolutely HAVE to do.  I liked the little Spanish I had taken in high school and it had been easy for me (HAHAHAHHA... if only I knew the inevitable struggles I would soon have with the language and most specifically how the language would DESPISE my southern draaaawl) so I decided I would minor in Spanish. As simple as that.

Summer 2009: Unfortunately, I am impatient. I am also a little spoiled and I usually want what I want when I want it... and I do whatever it takes to get it.  If I have my heart set on something I will go at it with full-force.  (Let's reminisce to that time I wanted to be a marine biologist so I HAD to go that summer to San Diego to Camp Sea World at the ripe age of 16... embarrassing.  What happened to that dream? to that extreme passion? Well... that's Audrey.) I'm sure you are shocked to hear this, especially my daddy.  I decided I needed to study abroad ASAP because I was ready to go to Europe.  So I went the summer after my sophomore year with the ABSOLUTE bare-minimum knowledge of the spanish language... I had not even taken the conversation class yet.  I learned nothing.  I travelled.  I went to a *few* fiestas. I put 2 more spanish classes under my belt. I had to come back.

Summer 2010:  I wanted to come back without asking my parents to fund the trip.  I heard of this job - AuPair (fancy word for foreign nanny). I logged onto a website and typed I like kids. I like Europe. I speak English. I want to learn Spanish. Call me. I threw in a few pictures of me loving kids and that was that.  I waited and I received a call.  This mom was pregnant in Madrid and already had 3 children.  Super important that they learned English.  I received a lot of offers, but this family looked like they should be in a magazine based on the picture in their profile andddd bonus - they were going to Scotland for 2 weeks at the end of the summer.  Sold. I packed my bag and not only had a wonderful experience, but found a family in Spain that I loved and they loved me.

Summer 2011-Now:  I graduated college and accepted a job with the Spanish government teaching English in an elementary school.  Three days a week in the south of Spain. It was supposed to be just a gap-year before I started back my Master's.  One year turned to two and here I am still avoiding reality and growing up.

The polish question: So that same family that I was introduced to back in the summer of 2010 through a website (scary, not sure I recommend it even though it worked out for me) became family to me.  They moved to Poland in September of 2011 for Marcelo's job and also found out they were pregnant with baby Veronica so I came before my job started to help them move in and get adjusted.  Then I came back for my Spring Break in April and am here again now before my job starts.  We were in Madrid for August and Warsaw for September. I return to SEvilla in October.  

That is that. Hope that clears up some of your confusion!

Bottom line: I'm most likely considered clinically crazy, but I'm super happy!!!

My life via Instagram

Veronica (4 months) & Casilda (2 YEARS!! Vero was pregnant with Cas my first summer!)

Marcelo (about to be NINE!)

Veronica: the newest addition AKA #5

For Mencia's Birthday party we were twins.  She dressed like me and I "wore glasses" like her and of course wore my hair like her.

Mencia is FIVE YEARS OLD!!!!!

Gonzalo is six, he will be seven in March.  He lost his 2 front teeth last month... He's currently adjusting to the life of eating with your molars and trying harder to pronounce sounds correctly :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Giving Back

Well dudes & dudettes... it's been a super long time since I've blogged, but I'm back from the dead with a whole lot better outlook on life.  All the remnants of negativity are finally out of my system and I'm just putting the chaos that was the year 2011 in a little bottle on my shelf :)

As I packed up my belongings, ate my favorite AMERICAN foods, gave hugs a little longer than necessary and said my tearful goodbyes for a year, I received the same question a lot.  Well, more of a statement.  "Let me know when you get settled and send me your address so I can send you a package."  People discussing Christmas, birthdays, random occasions. Every year for Christmas I tell my mom that I do not want ANYTHING.  "Give the money you would spend on me to a needy family..." usually I say this is October.  In November it becomes "Give the money you would spend on me to a needy family, butttt because I know YOU want to get me something, I wouldn't mind having (insert random item)."  Then December rolls around and it becomes, "That's great if you bought something for someone else, but maybe we could also get me these adorable boots I saw, ohh and there is this book I want and did you know this movie came out on video finally.." and in the end I have a pretty full Christmas list... but what happened to those original good intentions?  Well this year, I am super far away obviously so wrapping presents under the tree will be difficult soooo here are some things you can do from far away that would mean more to me than any gift.  While Christmas is still far away, I'm going to show my list a little early... If you want to do something for me this year or just want check out a few organizations that are on my heart right now... Here are some ideas. 

1. I found out about PEOPLE WATER from my sick obsession with the Bachelor Franchise... the only good thing to come out of this addiction. At first I was truly in love with Jef with one f from Utah...then Emily picked him so that love was lost for me, but I am still HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE with his company. You can find out about the company and what they stand for at My wish is for you to buy a case of water and take it to either a homeless shelter or to someone sitting on the side of the road anywhere you may be. 
People Water slogan: Drop for Drop

2. I've been obsessed with TOMS since I first heard of the company and have been known to sport the shoes a lot of the time.  I even rock the TOMS logo on my computer. Fancy, huh? You can find the website at to learn move about the company. My request on this topic is to buy a pair of TOMS and donate them to a homeless person or someone in need.  Then you are getting two gifts instead of one.  You can donate one as well as "Tom". 
TOMS slogan: ONE for ONE

3. Renovation Ministries. I've been on a mission trip every year since I was 12 years old.  Every youth minister/camp pastor/spiritual leader says that we must keep this FIRE FOR GOD alive when we get home.  That we need to take this desire to make a difference, to change the world, to impact these communities, to share God's love into our hometowns.  Ministry starts at home.  Well I'm very proud to say that my youth minister did that.  He created a mission field in the inner-city of Anniston, AL.  My request? Buy a t-shirt at RenovationMinistryStore and you know the drill, donate it :) ---   Super worthy cause. I know first-hand, because I had the luxury of visiting the site one day :)  Mission Statement: We exist to see hearts, lives, and communities restored in Jesus through local and global church partnerships.

4. I attended a non-demoninational church during my last 3 years at UA.  I kept nursery and attended when I wasn't out of town for various reasons... I wasn't a member and I didn't go every Sunday, but I have never felt more at home or more moved by the power of God than I did every time I entered that building.  Tuscaloosa Vineyard is doing big things.  We have a service called the Food Pantry and it is as simple as that.  My wish for this bullet-point is if you head to Tuscaloosa to watch the Tide dominate this season, stop by our church and drop off some non-perishable goods for the Tuscaloosa community. To read more about this ministry and others the church offers and how you can help go to: Ministry to the Poor It would be greatly appreciated :)
Church slogan: A PRETTY GOOD CHURCH ... I know better than that though, it's truly amazing.  If you find the time, stick around for a service. You won't regret it.

5. My friend is doing Teach For America in inner-city New Orleans.  He is having a blast, but also making such a difference on these kids' lives.  I am so incredibly proud of him!  I donated a book to his classroom earlier this year (Hunger Games whoop whoop!) But there is a website you can find all the teachers that need classroom collections and donate copies : ... what is better than the gift of literacy?  If you get on and his class needs something it is Mr. Collins in New Orleans, and his class for sure is at the top of my list although all will be grateful :)

As with all Christmas wish lists, I do not expect you to do all or any for that matter, it is just informative :)
If you made it to the end of this post, thank you :)  
I will actually post about my life tomorrow or something this week, but this was just on my heart tonight. 

Love yall!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Viaje de los hermanos.

"Sibling Trip"

I flew into Munich a day earlier than John and stayed with my friend Dominique who graduated with me as a foreign exchange student! He took me to the castle Walt Disney modeled the Disney castle after and took me for a reallllyyyy good restaurant to try legit German food and beer. Then we went to a little christmas village while we waited on John to arrive...It was a wonderful day! And then of course, seeing John for the first time in can imagine how excited I was...

Yes, he is wearing a Cam Newton jersey...Yes, he's from Munich...He was corrupted by our valedictorian ages ago.

Sipping cider at the christmas village :)

The next day, John and I went to a concentration camp which was super enlightening, cool to be standing in pictures I have seen in history books, but also you can imagine the emotional toll it takes...

We toured the city and then hopped on the bus for Interlaken, Switzerland. The town looked like such a ghost town when we arrived...It felt super weird....I kind of forgot about that moment until just now and I just laughed out loud... Hmm...the next day we made some friends from Australia while we were "canyon jumping" and went to get swiss cheese fondu that night with them...of course at first we stopped to have a drink at a Hooter's in Switzerland...who knew?
Our little town

The Girls (Lucy & me)
The top of that is what we jumped from :)

The Boys (John & Sam)

That night the snow started and they were able to open the ski lifts for the first time of the year.  SOOOO basically visibility didn't exist but it was still a cool experience. The next day we got up and took the train to Zurich and then we were off to Espana :)

ZURICH, Switzerland :)

We didn't have very much time in Sevilla, but the time we did have we enjoyed and my students were OBSESSED with John...they still ask me every single day when he is coming back!

In Plaza de Espana

The following photos are similar to Where's Waldo...only look for John Dee.

Farewell/Christmas dinner with my roomies!

Spending a couple of hours in Majadahonda with my babies :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Day of LoVVEEEE.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

To start this entry, I need to start will one small explanation....Spain is not the USA...just in case you were confused...this is extremely evident on holidays.  Particularly today.  Most people in Spain believe this day to "a holiday for el Corte Ingles" (this huge department store/grocery store you can find all over the country).  Soooo you can imagine my shock when we were reviewing and giving tests today!! Can you even imagine in the US if this occurred? Valentine's Day was always a free pass day full of candy, valentines, xoxo & lots of love among friends... We tried our best to bring the spirit to Spain and we definitely made it cute!  Paco made a big mailbox that I will post a picture of whenever I put my pictures on the computer.  The children that wanted could make Valentine's at home and slip the letters into the box throughout the week.  During recess I delivered all the valentine's to their classes. I racked up on my stack, and you know me... I teared up for sure...they were so sweet....the gist being, Audrey you are my favorite teacher, you are pretty, we are forever friends, "I HOPE YOU DON'T LEAVE US!" (the hardest words to hear knowing I am leaving them in 4 months...) I had a wonderful day full of hugs & smiles, but it was super sad because it's not such a big deal and they don't set up the day like we do at home....plenty of children went home without their own personal valentine...I wrote poems and put them on cards for each class, but I couldn't make homemade ones for each student.... I talked to a lot of the professors and some are now calling it Valentine's week and going to make them in class this week and make sure everyone gets one :)

Miss you all and hope you had an incredible Valentine's Day!! Sorry I've been a litttttlleee behind on my blogging.  I'm gonna write a quickkkkk recap of mine and John's trip before bed!


my loot... 
Y'all already know I'm corny, to solidify this I will admit that one of my poem's included the line, "Each of you are just so cute, and my time with you is worth more than a pirate's loot!"

My poems: Only one missing is first grade which said.... 
Well actually I don't remember how it started, but it ended with...."Thanks for all the hugging, smiling and kissing, when I am not with y'all part of my heart is missing."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Morocco .. Better 2 months late than never!!

Okay, Honestly, I am too lazy to go back and write about my experience in Morocco when 2 of my sweet friends already did such a good job with it!! SOOOO... I'm just copying and pasting their post about the trip for you guys to read! They are wonderful, minus the fact that they hold Auburn University degrees... :) Also, you can see their actual blog here :

If you scroll down far enough there is a video from the trip also. They posted it on December 13 (a littttllleee more punctual than myself!)

All About our Adventures in Africa

It took a long time to get where we were going, but we finally made it to Africa! We took a ferry from Terifa Spain to Tangers Morocco, then back on the bus where we started at Rabat, the capital, a night in the Sahara Desert, the back up to Fez.  Rabat was really cool, but we didn’t stay too long. We ate, went down to the beach, and then took a walking tour through a mosque that was supposed to be the largest in the world but it was never finished; that obviously didn’t really work out for them. Cool fact: we ate at the same restaurant in Rabat as Obama when he was there.
After Rabat we were off to the Saharaaaa! The drive to the Sahara was an adventure where we had to take 3 different forms of transportation. We took the bus to a hotel in the southeastern part of Morocco, and it was a beautiful drive the entire way. There were mountains in the background topped with snow part of the drive and then the other part of the drive looked like the Grand Canyon. Off to the side of the road along the way you would see random huts and flocks of sheep guided by their Sheppard off in the distance, something I have only read about. It was difficult to capture all that we saw in pictures, so I guess you will just have to go see for yourselves one day! We arrived to the hotel only to find out that we were all piling in 4x4 jeeps and driving through the Sahara. Our jeep was leading the pack and we were flying through the desert in pitch black dark jamming to Arabian music, it was awesome! After about forty-five minutes of off-roading through the Sahara, just a normal day-to-day activity, we come up on about 80 camels and a group of nomads, who were part of the Berber population. About 60% of the Moroccan people are Berbers and they have their own language while the rest of the population is Arab and speak Arabic. Also, Berber comes from a Roman word that means barbarian. There are different tribes within the Berber population and we stayed with one of these tribes for a night in the Sahara desert.
We rode the camels in the dark to the tents where we were spending the night. The sky was filled with stars and we could see the outline of all the dunes surrounding us. It was unreal. Once we got to the tents the Berber tribe greeted us with a typical meal and then we all sat/danced around the fire and had a few Moroccan beers with the Berbers. We woke up really early the next morning to hike up a GIGANTIC sand dune to watch the sunrise. You know when you climb up a sandy hill and you slide back down with every step, well imagine trying to climb up a sandy mountain…im-po-si-ble. The climb was well worth it though because the view was incredible! After that we rode for an hour and a half back to the hotel on camels, and it was no la-z-boy, I think I’m still walking funny. 
After the Sahara it was almost time to head back home, but we stopped for a day in Fez, the second largest city in Morocco and home to the oldest university in the world. In Fez we walked around the medina, which would be impossible to get around without a guide. There are 9,000 streets with no names! You can see us walking through the narrow streets of the medina in our video. There are shops every 6 steps and everyone tries to get you into their shop to either sell you something for 4 times as much as what they finally sell it to you for, or to marry their son. In this part of Africa there are still arranged marriages, and one guy was trying everything he could to get one of the girls on the trip to marry his son. Even though his proposal was undeniably appealing, no one left Africa that day with a fiancé. Walking around, we went into a silk factory, a pharmacy, and the oldest tannery in the world. The leather shop overlooking the tannery was 3 stories and the walls were filled with hundreds of genuine leather bags. We spent a lot of time in those three main shops so our group only had 15 minutes of free time to bargain and shop around before we had to hit the road. It was one of the most stressful 15 minutes of our lives. There was so much to see with so little time and we had dirhams that needed to be spent. Running around the medina on our own truly intensified our Moroccan experience. Overall, our trip was really cool because we were able to experience so many different aspects of Morocco. 
If anyone wants to visit Morocco, let us know because we would love to go back!
Allie & Mary Duncan