My First Month in Spain

I can hardly believe it's been a month already, and [only] have three more months left. This is such a beautiful place to be and to live! I've been doing a ton of things, spending what feels like a ton of money, and generally enjoying myself. I'll try to condense as much of September as possible, even though there's so much to tell! If you have any questions that I don't answer within the rest of this post, please feel free to either post in the comments or email me. Here we go!

Home life: My host family is just lovely! My mom's name is Mari, and my sister's name is Omaira. Omaira, or "Oma" as she is sometimes called, is one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen in my life, and she's getting married next September! I'm so lucky to live with them! Mari is an amazing cook, and she really enjoys using Moroccan spices in a lot of her dishes (which makes me so incredibly happy). We live at the top of a very large and steep hill in a neighborhood called the Albaicín. I start my walk every morning with this view:

My walk takes me directly to..

School life: School for a long time was my favorite part of the day, because I both got to be around new people, and then spend a little bit of quality time with people I know. During September I only had one class for 4 hours every day with two teachers, Ana and Ana. Both Ana's are very lively, enjoyable people to be around, and the rest of the students in the class were also very interesting and exciting! In addition to about 13 estadounidenses (people from the US), the class was comprised of two men from Saudi Arabia and two people who speak Portuguese, one from Portugal and one from Brazil. This class was just a short preparation course, or intensive month, before the semester began. This is the CLM, the school that I attend: 

This week marks the beginning of the semester! I am taking five (!) classes, all which should be extraordinarily different from my classes at Lawrence. Today, I had Contemporary Spanish Art, which is kind of like an art history class. This will probably be the most challenging class for me since I don't really have a head for dates and times, and it is the most demanding in terms of workload, but at the same time, I'm anxious to study the work of Goya, Picasso, Dalí, and countless others because of their impact on the world. For example, in my last post I talked about seeing Goya's Black Paintings, which really struck me. I also find Dalí's paintings fascinating, because it coincides with the 20th century obsession with the subconscious. SO INTERESTING. After that class, I had Producción oral y escrito (oral and written production) which is basically another grammar course. I would normally find these classes tedious, but the professor is fascinating, and he always keeps us engaged. Tomorrow I have French (!!), History of Spanish Cinema, and Islamic Culture in Spain. The latter is really going to be exciting, because I don't believe we'll be spending all the much time in the classroom. Since Granada was the last city to be reconquered by the Catholic King and Queen, it has the most well-preserved Islamic architecture, including the world famous Alhambra (of which our teacher is an expert). 

Beyond home and school, I spend a lot of time traveling/hiking/exploring. This next two months will be really packed with excursions through ISA and a few of my own. I have endless aerial photos of Granada from up in the mountains and will probably continue to take more throughout my visit. This past weekend, I went on a hike with a yoga group. It was probably one of the most bizarre experiences I've ever had, but I met some really lovely Spanish people and got in touch with nature and painted with a stick. It was very hippie-dippie. I loved it. This coming weekend, I'll be going with my friend Micaela to France to visit Suzanne, a friend from Lawrence who is studying in Nantes. I originally thought I was going by myself and was extremely nervous to travel alone, but now happy as a clam because not only will I not be alone, I'll be with a wonderful friend. I'm sure there will be pictures and stories galore! For now, I'll leave you with some lovely flowers. 


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