Futbol, Homesickness and Spanish Class
Since last time I have been on a tour of the grand Catedral de Sevilla. It was quite a sight to see. Much like the rest of the sights I have seen so far it was such a wealth of history and knowledge. To think this part of Spain has over 3,000 years of history still blows my mind. The Catedral is one of the burial places for the remains of Christopher Columbus, all 128 grams that are left. And while I don’t find him to be any sort of hero or idol of mine, I do believe him to play an important part in history. I’ve also noticed that even though I am more spiritual than religious I find interest in visiting buildings of various religious significance because I deem them as historical monuments. Monuments that we can all learn from whether we are a catholic visiting a mosque, or an atheist visiting a Buddhist temple. I’ve learned not to close the door on potential knowledge simply because it is something different than what I may choose to believe in. After the tour we climbed to the top of the tallest tower, La Giralda, and got an amazing view of Sevilla. The 34 floors on a 95 degree day were well worth the climb. Looking out upon this historic city was breath taking and something I’ll always remember.
Speaking of things to remember, my Spanish intensive class began last week. Having not taken any formal Spanish education prior to this I was excited to begin the journey. The first week went fairly smoothly and I felt that I saw immense progress in my writing skills. I went from knowing nothing to being able to write about myself and my family (well, just the basics ;)) The second week however has been a bit of a struggle. I find myself feeling overwhelmed frequently and I have to stop myself from going into panic mode. My professor Carlos has to be one of the most amazing people I’ve met thus far. His patience and excitement for teaching are unmatched. Thanks to his encouraging words I am finding comfort in knowing that with patience I’ll get there. Little by little my Spanish will improve. All the seeds of knowledge he has given us will grow into big beautiful flowers with practice. Patience really is a virtue…but practice is key. It’s okay to look funny or to make a fool of yourself. I’m here to learn and if that’s what it takes then so be it, in the end nothing good ever comes from taking ourselves too seriously.
This last Sunday some fellow CIEE students and I went to a futbol game at our neighborhood stadium. The match featured the Sevilla team versus Malaga, a big time rival. The energy and passion the fans exuded was absolutely astonishing. While America does have great fans, nothing quite compares to how much the Spanish love their futbol…and the historic rivalry between these two teams. Each time the Sevilla team scored the entire stadium roared. The fans waved Sevillano flags, chanted and sang songs. The little kids at the stadium sat at the edge of their seats, enamored by their idols. The fans gave me chills and being in environment seemed vital to understand Spanish culture. Futbol is life :). I’m hoping I have the opportunity to attend a basketball game sometime in the near future, I can only imagine how great that will be.
I’ve been struggling with some homesickness lately and finally feel myself getting out of the funk after a couple of days. Part of it has to do with having such a supportive group of people around me. The girls in my group are always down to talk and share their stories, and it helps knowing we are all going through the same thing. Part of why I think I’ve been feeling this way is that I allow myself to get overwhelmed with these built up expectations for how quickly I should learn Spanish or how events should play out. It’s these expectations that hold us back. Once we release them, is when we can enjoy our lives for what they are rather than for what we think they should be. Life isn’t always going to go as planned… I know shocking isn’t it. Fluidity is part of life, its the beauty of it. I came not knowing what to expect, and once I had been here for a while I started forming expectations for the remainder of the trip and that is when the homesickness and anxiety started to creep in. My family and friends will all be there when I return and my trip will be amazing even if not a thing goes as planned. It seems that embracing the unknown is why I’m here. And as my friend Mackenzie said, “Isn’t it amazing to have such a great home that you can’t wait to go back.” It truly is amazing to have such great people in my life. It is something I am eternally grateful for.
With that said…I’m not ready to come back just yet. Sevilla is starting to feel like home more and more each day, and it seems that leaving this historic place and all its treasures will be alot harder than the treck it took to get here.