It’s hard to believe that I’m in Sevilla! Since I was home for four months this summer, I kept telling myself that my semester in Spain was super far off. But, by my last week at home, with all my friends back at school, I realized that my semester in Spain was coming up quickly. Right now, it sort of feels like vacation, but I think it will set in soon that I’m going to be here until the middle of December.
I flew out on Tuesday from Chicago and then landed at 7:30am on Wednesday in Madrid. A bunch of us met up at the Madrid airport and took the same flight from Madrid to Sevilla at 12pm on Wednesday. I split a taxi with Gabby, one of the girls on my program, to the hotel and we got to the hotel around 2pm, dropped our stuff off, and got tapas at a local cafe, “Catalina.” I had a greek salad that had hard boiled eggs, olives, and tomatoes with olive oil as dressing along with a rice/cheese/mushroom tapas dish. It was delicious! We walked around the city and then Carly, my roommate, and I went on a run/walk through the city. It was a great way to explore the city, which is beautiful! We ended up getting lost and had to ask multiple people for directions. Everyone is so friendly here and willing to help out! I noticed that there is hardly any local traffic as most people are walking around outside, on bikes, or using public transit. I guess the fact that August is the month that many Sevillanos go on vacation also contributes to the lack of traffic. After our run, I relaxed for a little bit in my room and then went to dinner at a restaurant with everyone on my program. We all had salad, grilled chicken, french fries, and a little scoop of ice cream for dessert. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and I tried to go to sleep, but had a hard time do so since I was still on Chicago time.
This morning, Carly and I took a taxi to our host family’s household. We are living with an older woman named Cristina. She has four children and one of her grown sons, Miguel, lives with us. One of her other daughters is an actress that lives in Madrid and supposedly she does muchos comerciales de la Navidad (Christmas commericals). She is very sweet and made us feel really welcome. According to the program director, Cristina has been having UNC students live at her house for the past 18 years! She talks a lot and very quickly, so it’s often times hard to understand her. The apartment is very nice and relatively spacious (we even have tennis courts, a garden, and a pool in our apartment complex). We were able to unpack everything in our room and then we had lunch. Cristina was surprised to find out that Carly is a vegetarian and also allergic to gluten. She has not stopped bringing it up throughout the entire day. For lunch, we had fried fish, vegetables, salad, and bread. It is tradition for the señoras to cook a big meal to welcome their students to their home. After lunch, Carly and I met up with a couple other people on the program to get pay-as-you-go cellphones so that we can communicate with other people while in Spain. We had a couple more hours of free time, so I went on a nice, short run around the city. I was careful to stay relatively close to home so that I wouldn’t get lost. Dinner is in about twenty minutes and then I think we are going out to the bars tonight.
I’ll try to post again soon! Hope everyone is doing well at home; miss and love you all!