Primer Día de Clases
Since the last time I wrote I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few pretty amazing sights. The first of which was the beach at Roto which is near the city of Cadiz, south of Sevilla. The bus ride to Roto was around an hour and a half. Although it was cloudy when we arrived, it was actually a nice change from the 100+ temperatures we had been dealing with in Sevilla. The sand felt so soft between my toes and the water so warm. We spent the day talking and relaxing, and I, of course, squeezed in a headstand picture. 🙂
The next day we visited the Royal Palace of Alcazar. It has to be one of the most magnificent things I have seen thus far. The history behind this palace is so rich and the construction so intricate that, as my friend Rachel said, you can go there a million times and always find something new. It is an eclectic mix of different religions, different royal leaders and time periods. It is as if it shows the history of Sevilla on it’s very walls. I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and look forward to returning and even showing it to my parents when they visit.
Today was the first day of school and knowing I had very little Spanish experience made me a bit nervous but then I remembered that nervousness isn’t bad. I think sometimes we associate nervousness as a negative emotion but rather than fearing the unknown I find my nervousness to be more of an excitement for what is to come. I truly think the relaxed Sevillano culture is rubbing off on me. I feel myself less uptight and more relaxed and it’s only been five days. It makes me realized how much of an agenda we have in the US. How we wake each morning with a to-do list and frantically run around trying to accomplish each thing, but when do we live? When do we get to enjoy our lives. Why not take a breath and move a little slower today and see how that feels? Life is more than just checking off errands on a post it note. I know I joke about siesta and how important it seems here but I’ve come to realize siesta is more than daily nap, it’s a mindset. It’s a relaxed, less uptight, “go with the flow” type of lifestyle—something I think we need a bit more of in the US.
My Spanish teacher’s name is Carlos and I’m so happy to have him as my professor. He is patient and full of energy. He makes Spanish exciting and accessible. I have completed part of my homework but the other portion involves me asking a Sevillano a series of questions regarding their place of origin, their age, the languages they speak and also getting them to pose for a photo with me. Class goes from 10-13:00 for the first two weeks, and although I have only been here for five days I feel my Spanish slightly improving each day. It’s safe to say I am extremely excited for my second day of class tomorrow!
I’m also happy to report that I have really bonded with my señora, my Spanish mama. We eat almuerzo together each day and are beginning to communicate more and more. It helps asking her to tell me the names of foods we are eating and things we are watching. I’ve also been carrying around a small notebook to write down phrases and vocabulary I learn along the way. When she speaks to me I try to pick up on keywords and I think that we have gotten pretty far in a span of just a few short days. I don’t think I can put into words how much I appreciate her welcoming me and being patient with me. I love my little señora and I think we are going to form a really special bond over the course of our time together.
Another activity that I took part in today that really got me thinking was a goal setting seminar. One of our leaders asked us to write concrete social, academic, personal and language goals. I set a few of each and am intent on accomplishing them all. This is the opportunity of a life time and I wake every morning feeling so grateful to be here. I plan on taking advantage of all the resources CIEE has to offer.
As I reflect on my experience thus far I don’t see this as something that is going to end when I leave Sevilla in December. I see this as a life altering experience that I will forever hold close to my heart. One that will change me for forever, not just by the experiences I gain but also by the connections I build with others, from my fellow Americanos to the Spanish students, to my dear señora.
I can’t say the transition has been an easy one without any bumps, but I can say that it has been completely worth it.
“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
Until next time, Hasta Luego!