I am thankful for the community that has welcomed me in Sevilla, Spain. The individuals that I have met have made this experience so far an unforgettable adventure. First, I want to describe how La Giralda is one of my favorite places in Sevilla to sit down and relax. The magnificent structure has so much history hidden within its architecture. When I took an intensive history class in the beginning of the semester, I learned of how much La Giralda has changed, all thanks to the different cultures of its conquerors. My favorite time to visit it is at night. The lights enhance the beauty of La Giralda and the calm breeze always makes me want to sit down and enjoy the view.
Before going abroad I had already established that I was not going to be able to eat all the food that I eat at home. I knew that home cooked meals were going to be missed but I was excited to see the differences in food. When my host mom asked me one day if I wanted a tortilla, I was too overjoyed to answer, “sí”. When I went to sit down, I noticed that a Spanish tortilla was made of potato/egg. The Spanish tortilla- was delicious. However, my host mom noticed my confused face. She asked, “what’s wrong?” I laughed and explained that for me, a tortilla was made out of corn flour. She started laughing and said she had never heard about it. We started to talk about what we could make with flour tortilla and the options ranged from pupusas to tacos. The irony of all of this is that a couple of days later I saw corn flour at Corte Inglés, an international supermarket, and I bought the Maseca (corn flour). I brought it home and my host mom, host sister and I spent the next day’s afternoon making tortillas. They loved it and now my host mom is trying new recipes with it! I felt a great sense of pride sharing a little bit of my culture with my host family.
Time has sincerely gone too fast. I remember being excited early September about being in Sevilla, a beautiful European city with so much history. Now, I sit at a coffee shop late November while listening to Christmas music because in Spain they do not celebrate Thanksgiving. Looking at all the people here at the coffee shop, I cannot help but feel nostalgic. Nostalgic in the sense that I am going to leave soon a city that has given me so much perspective about my identity.
I still identify as a Latina and first-generation student in the United States. However, I have taken more pride in saying that even though I was not born in the United States, I am still American. A lot of people in Spain have questioned whether I am from the United States as soon as I start speaking. I have to explain my nationality and how growing up in the United States has influenced not only my accent but my Spanglish. It has been a strange feeling when people try to guess where I am from and I think the hardest part of leaving my international community will be not being able to see them and interact with them on a daily basis.
I will miss coming to my host home during lunch time and listen to the stories of an enthusiastic nine-year-old. Most definitely I will miss all the interactions with my CIEE friends, getting churros con chocolate and walking in the streets decorated with Christmas ornaments. For the most part I have been accustomed to communicating in Spanish with my host family and friends. I have had a hard time with some vocabulary but I think my Spanish has increasingly improved.
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