City of Pomegranates

I arrived in Spain this past Thursday and have been pretty much on the go ever since.

My orientation was in Madrid, where I visited El Prado, El Palacio Real, El Museo Reina Sofia, and took day trips to El Escorial and Toledo. It was amazing to see so much art and history in just the first few days, and by staying busy I was able to get over jet lag pretty quickly and adjust to life here more easily.

View of La Alhambra from El Albacín

Some other students in my group seemed tired or didn’t love all the walking (perfectly understandable), but I’m so happy to be so busy. I get bored really easily, which is part of the reason I chose to study abroad for the second time. I need to keep moving and trying new things or I get very irritable (my mom can attest to this). I will talk more about how I’ve been comparing my study abroad experiences another time, because, although they are the exact opposite, the first time certainly helped me better prepare for this time.

On Monday night, we arrived in Granada and our host families brought us to our new homes. I have a roommate who is also a student in Boston and we’ve been getting along very well. We share a room and have a bathroom that we don’t have to share with the rest of the family, which was a pleasant surprise. Our family consists of a host mom and an older son, plus two other older daughters who don’t live at home. By far my roommate and I’s favorite part of being here is our adorable dog, Kona. When we got dropped off at the bus stop and saw all the host families, we didn’t know which one was ours, but when I saw Kona I hoped and prayed like never before that we got to go home with her, and we did!

My first paella at a restaurant in Madrid.

I think the biggest adjustment or bit of “culture shock” is the times at which meals are eaten. The food is absolutely delicious (melón con jamón is my favorite so far), but breakfast is very light and lunch is not served until between 2:30 and 4:00PM. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, and dinner isn’t until 8:00PM at the earliest and is more of a snack before bed than anything else. It’s been difficult to get my body to adjust to eating such a large meal at a time of day when I usually don’t eat anything.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Amanda

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