There is so much to say about my time here in Spain I don’t quite know where to begin. My first week was spent adjusting to the time difference and living in a new place, with a new family, also learning ways to overcome a language barrier provided challenges that were entirely new to me. But once I had found my footing here in Spain, I was able to really enjoy everything it had to offer.
I came to Spain wanting to go beyond what you see from the perspective of a tourist, to find out what true Spanish culture is, and how the people of Spain define themselves. I think that I have experienced everything I had hoped to and more. Being more than two weeks into my stay, I can hardly believe that the time has passed so quickly. Over these weeks I have seen the the main streets and the winding back roads, the towering cathedral and the tiny corner churches, the fancy restaurants and the little family owned diners. I still feel as though I’ve only scratched the surface of what the city of Valladolid has to offer.
I have had the opportunity to try all kinds of new foods. Spain has a rich culture surrounding food, and it is an important part of everyday life. There is often a family lunch that is eaten around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, with an abundance of fresh fruit, seafood, and fantastic cured meats and fresh-baked bread. There is a focus on freshness, and making really good food at home. I will definitely miss some of the delicious things unique to Spain.
What makes Spain such a great place is not only the sights and the food, but the people as well. My host family has truly made me feel like this is my home as well as theirs. I have been accepted into the household and have had dinners with extended family on both sides. These are some of the memories I will hold most dear, for so many reasons. They have taught me so much already, and I can’t wait to see what the next weeks will hold!
I love the experiences with the school as well, the fun of working with kids and adults, and teaching as well as being taught. At the school we use games and conversation to build vocabulary, and work on language in real life situations. I have worked alongside other teachers, and with my fellow interns to come up with fun and interesting classes for the students. This has been my first time in a teaching environment, and I have learned a lot from the experience.
I am truly thankful that I took the opportunity to come here to Spain, I have fallen in love with the city of Valladolid, and leaving it will be painful. But I fully intend to make the most of every day I have left to enjoy!