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Journals from Spain - Center for Cross-Cultural Studies

2009-10-09 Our First Week in Spain - An Ocean Away from Home!

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David, Fatima, Sierra, and Katie (this was taken in Cáceres, Spain)

Saludos de Sevilla, Espaa! (Greetings from Seville, Spain!) Well, Katie, David, Fatima, and I have officially been here in Sevilla, Spain for over a month now! Its crazy how fast the time flies by. Even though it is going by quickly, our schedules have been full of classes, trips, and adventures. We left PDX Wednesday, September 2nd on an adventure that will probably affect the rest of our lives. Our flights were long and tiring (the first one to Frankfurt was 10 hours long), and Im pretty sure I didnt really sleep for about 30 hours, but everything went well. No one lost any luggage, which was a blessing! When we flew into Sevilla from Barcelona we had to find taxis that would take us to our hotel nearby. We met up with another guy from our program (which is called CC-CS, or the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies) that is from New York. It was nice to be able to meet someone ahead of time. I am so glad that we all flew together because we helped each other out when we didnt understand what was happening. The orientation went well overall. It was a little overwhelming that first night because we were so tired and we only knew one person out of the 44 other people in the program. After a good nights sleep in the hotel I know I felt more refreshed and ready for whatever the day held (although it took me a good week or so to get over the jet lag and adjust to the schedule here). After our orientation on Thursday and Friday, we all set out to find our houses around the city. I was quite nervous about meeting my family, but excited at the same time. When I got to my house (or apartment), I met the oldest daughter of my host parents and her young son. She was very friendly and made me feel welcome right away. Another one of my host sisters arrived a few minutes later, followed by my host parents. I had a little bit of trouble understanding some of what they said, but I was quite pleasantly surprised that with a bit of effort, I could at least get the gist of what they were saying. I am so thankful that I came here with the level of Spanish that I have, because it has made my adjustment here to the culture and schedule and everything else much easier and less painstaking. I cant imagine trying to listen and understand and adjust with only one or two years of Spanish under my belt. Overall, my first week in Sevilla was tiring and overwhelming, but also a lot of fun. Everyone in the program is really nice, and it is a cool cultural experience to not only meet people here in Spain, but to also meet people from all over the United States. I will write about more of our adventures here in Spain in my next entry. Hasta luego! Sierra Stopper

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