Although I only went one day out of the week-long festival, my experience at La Féria de Abril was incredible. Right by the center of the city was a spectacular, grand yellow entrance that welcomed you. It led to a zone where suddenly the paved roads transitioned to dirt sidewalks and rows of colorful lanterns were streamed above head. The streets were bordered with busy casetas (tents) and I could see hundreds of ladies in flamenco dresses everywhere I looked. In the streets everyone was trying to avoid the traffic of horses trotting fancy carriages with people sipping ice-cold drinks from tall glasses. I was lucky enough to get the chance to go on a carriage ride with my host mom and friend and, may I say, it was glorious.
After the ride, my friend and I went off to meet the rest of our friends who are also CIEE participants. We immediately tried to escape the heat of the sun by going into the public casetas, but then found ourselves dancing to every Sevillana song and swaying in our chairs when we needed a moment to catch our breath. Hours passed in each other’s company and we were all so delighted and impressed by our surroundings.
The magic of Féria was the feeling everyone had when they danced together, how the music of men were singing and strumming their guitars like their life depended on it, and how joy radiated from every corner. The part that meant the most to me was that I got to be with my loving host family and some of my best friends in the world that I was lucky enough to meet through this program. The memories I made at Féria have a special place in my heart and it is definitely something I will come back for in the future.