Travel

Mi familia Española

The moment I was probably most worried about: meeting my family. We had an orientation session on Tuesday to prepare us for some of the cultural differences and what to expect. Nancy, the director for the home stays, explained that some of us had requested to have a family that would treat them as their own, that the mom of the house would be their mom during the program. Nancy said that she kept this in mind while pairing us up but that none of us understood what we were saying when we want our Spanish mom to treat us like one of her hijos because “una madre Española es MUY madre.”READ MORE

Un día de caminar

What can I say except how excited I am that I live in such a beautiful ciudad! Sevilla is everything you could imagine of a picturesque European city, and taking pictures will be no problema with my gorgeous new camera (thanks Mom and Dad). I actually have a couple photo projects in mind.

We spent the majority of the day walking around Sevilla with tours, doing scavenger hunts (keep in mind this is still orientation so we still get treated like little freshmen), and just wandering with each other. Tomorrow I move in with my family and take my oral language exam, so that’s when the whole experience becomes real (though classes don’t start until February 8th). I’m ready. So ready. And I know that it’s only day two, and that it still hasn’t hit me that I’m really here for the next four and a half months, and that I haven’t moved in with my family or started classes, but this feel so completely right to me that even though I know it will take awhile before I can navigate my way around without a “hello I’m a tourist” map or before I speak Spanish to Sevillianos without feeling like an idiot, I don’t think I’m going to have a “crap what am I doing here??” moment. Maybe I shouldn’t say that now because I’ve heard it’s usually not right away that the culture shock happens but, regardless, I am certain that by the end of the program Sevilla will feel like home and occupy its place in my heart. I DID however find a piece of the place that actually does hold my heart today:

Sevilla Spain

He llegado

So here I am with my first entry across the pond. I have been waiting for this experience for four and a half years, but it wasn’t until I boarded the flight from Minneapolis to Chicago that my stomach unknotted itself and I began to feel excitement tingling in my fingers and toes. It’s been a long day of airports, airplanes, and my body failing to comprehend that Sevilla happens to be in a completely different timezone than Minneapolis. I could bore you with the details, but I feel it was a pretty standard travel-day experience.

Sevilla Spain

 

Right now I only feel as if I’m at a week-long summer camp since the most I have seen of Sevilla so far is my hotel room. Life will get more exciting in the next couple days, along with my posts. I just wanted to update that I’M HERE! So stay tuned!

Hasta luego

Antes de Salir…

I leave for Sevilla in 26 days, and I’m getting excited!

I’ve said my goodbyes to many of my Madison friends (though I will see some of them again over New Year’s), and next weekend I’m moving all of my stuff out of my Madison house. This whole “not-being-in-the-country-for-an-entire-semester” thing is starting to become a reality.

Am I nervous? Yes. Does this seem like a semi-crazy idea? Yeah a little bit. Last night I had a dream that I was talking to a little kid in Spanish and it was going well, but then one of my professors came over and started talking to me in Spanish much more quickly and in a thick accent and I couldn’t understand a word. But I have literally been waiting for this moment for four and a half years and any doubts or worries I have are far outweighed by my excitement and certainty that this will be a life-changing experience that I will never forget. Besides, I think the fact that I sometimes dream in Spanish is a good sign, right?

The summer after my sophomore year in high school (four and a half years ago), I went on my high school’s trip to Spain for anyone who had taken at least three years of Spanish classes. The trip lasted only two weeks and my Spanish speaking skills were far less advanced than they are now, but after that trip I knew that I was going to return to Spain when I was in college to study abroad (two weeks was far too short a time to experience the richness of Spain). The following three summers my love for Spanish and Hispanic culture grew as I spent ten days each summer in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, now my favorite place in the world. Something about delving into a different culture is so exciting to me.

So, for the next four(ish) weeks, I will be spending time with family and friends…and maybe start thinking about packing. These next 26 days are going to go much too quickly, especially with my favorite holiday and my birthday coming up. But I couldn’t help writing a post now since my fingers were itching to put some thoughts down and fill the blank void of my blog. This means you can look forward to lots of posts when I actually have something to talk about :)

P.S. Friends- make sure to get a Skype so I can keep in touch with you!