Happy Holidays!

Authored by:
Hannah S.

It's holiday season here in Spain, and although I normally associate this time of year with cold, which makes it a little weird to be walking by Christmas trees in 60 degree weather, it's really beautiful. There are fake trees in pretty much every major square, and they turned on all of the lights in both my town and Sevilla this past week. It's finally getting to that time of year where the temperature doesn't fluctuate dramatically throughout the day, and since my friend told me she's started wearing two pairs of pants to sleep at night because she's so cold (keep in mind the nights still don't get below 50), I guess we've finally reached what people native to Southern Spain call "invierno". 

So, what am I doing this merry, jolly time of year? Well, not too much differently.

I just finished my final exams for the trimester (between December 1 and 7 I had seven tests), and right now I'm on break. Well, sort of. We had school off on Tuesday and Thursday, once to celebrate the Immaculate Conception and once for the Day of the Constitution, so my school gave us Friday off too, just because. During my time off I've hung out with Spanish friends and American friends, spent time with my host family, and relaxed (a lot). On Thursday, my host dad, brother, and I went for a bike ride in the countryside, which was really nice. I hadn't realized that there are farms and small mountains only a 20 minute drive from my town! It was beautiful and pretty different (at many points there were horses just standing right in the middle of the path). I've explored more of the city, both with friends and family, and I've spent a lot of money on bus tickets back and forth. On Friday I hung out with some of my friends here, and it was fun to just hang out without having to worry about a plan, or being understood, or whether or not they like me. It's nice to feel like I can fit in so easily here, and to realize that, just like back in the US, I feel comfortable balancing family time and friend time. 

This past week has been great, but also sad. Everyone who was only here for the trimester is leaving today and I counted they days of school I have left to realize that there are only 24. I know that I still have 7 weeks left, but it's starting to feel like I'm leaving in 2! I guess that makes it all the more important for me to take advantage of them, and do so with the merry, jolly enthusiasm this season requires.

Side note: There's this really weird tradition in my town to celebrate the holiday season where the churches set off literal cannons during the day. It makes me jump and curse (which makes my friends laugh at me) every time!

Sorry I've been so bad about uploading pictures recently, but I just haven't been taking them! I promise I'll do more photo-filled posts in the coming weeks.

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