Tomorrow, I start my fourth week of school, and in two days, I will have officially been in Spain for a month. I can’t believe it has already been a month! I feel like I just arrived here a few days ago. While I would love to talk about everything that has happened so far, I’m just going to summarize what has happened over the past month or else whoever is reading this would be reading for hours.
I got to meet my host sisters, Ana and Julia, a day earlier than I thought I would, and even though I was super nervous and didn’t speak that well, it was super comforting to get to meet them really casually with other people around. When I got to meet the rest of my host family the next day, my host mom, Ana, and my host dad, Manolo, I was both relaxed and nervous at the same time. I felt comforted to have a family that was willing to take me in and be patient with me while I slowly learned the language, but I also felt like I would be a burden for speaking terribly and constantly having to ask them to repeat what they had said. But with all the meals, awkward silences, and just hanging out that we’ve done, I have been able to understand a lot more than I first did and become more confident in speaking. I have even got to meet and go out with some of Ana’s friends, who are really nice and interested in talking to me, and helping me speak too.
My first day, actually my first week, of primero de bachillerato, or junior year, was kind a blur. I only remember the teachers giving out notebooks and sound. Random sounds coming from all directions. I couldn’t make out anything that anyone was saying, except when other kids in my classes would say their name and where they were from, then I just followed. But now, I am able to understand more. I am definitely still confused on some things, like Philosophy, but I can barely understand that in English. And when I don’t understand something, other students in my classes help me. I hate to admit this, but it’s been a little difficult for me to make friends at school. Not because anyone is mean, but because I get scared when I try to talk to someone, and I don’t want to have to make them listen to me try to say the name of the city I’m from for five minutes. But some students have been really understanding and even invited me to eat lunch and hangout with them, so I’m trying my best to talk to them.
I have one moment that has really stuck with me this past month that I wanted to share. It was the first day I arrived in Sevilla. Even though everyone in our group was super tired from traveling all the day, we needed to stay awake to adjust to the time difference. As part of staying awake, we got to see Las Setas, or the Mushrooms, the largest wooden structure in the world. The best part was getting a whole view of the city from up top the structure. Even though the city was really big and stretched out a ways from Las Setas, it didn’t feel overwhelming. I got this sense of calm and breathed in really deeply, which helped me relax from the stress of traveling and the next 10 months that were about to come. Now, evey time I feel overwhelmed or I am out at night and I feel a breeze, I breathe really deeply like I did on Las Setas, and it helps me feel refreshed and ready to face my next challenge or go on my next adventure.