Sevilla has become home. It has been feeling like home for a while, but I figured out why for the first time last week. I like the city, but that’s not it. I like my host mom and love what I do every day, but that’s not it either.
Instead, Sevilla is home solely because of the people I have met. Study abroad breeds a certain type of person who is open-minded but confident in what they believe, adventurous but incredibly thoughtful, and eager to learn and love. There was never culture shock nor homesickness because I have been constantly surrounded by the best people I have ever met. My closest friend is an 18 year old who forwent college to spend a year here (Simon). My roommate is a Mexican-American who has been kidnapped by a drug cartel and wants to be a trauma surgeon (Ricardo). My host-mom has been in the business for 20 years, knows students in 25 states and about 50 countries, and yet has never been to the U.S. (Clara). Every single person here is incredible. These are relationships that will last for the rest of my life.
With the help of these people, the weeks have stayed free of routine. There are a few repetitive developments, however. Simon and I have biweekly Flamenco lessons with Maria. She’s a pro. We also have a started Thursday night small group and Worship “Jueves” for all ISA students, regardless of belief. We stake out in a Gazeebo in the middle of Parque Maria Luisa and sing LOUD. More, a few friends and I have scripted and began shooting a short film about our ISA staff and how AWESOME they are. Hopefully this will come to fruition. Sunrise or sunset runs along the river have become a regular thing, as have daily bike rides across the bridge and through the park to school and home every day. Finally, I am fortunate enough to be helping in (and more often than not, leading) a few classrooms. On Tuesday mornings, I get to teach a classroom of 7 and 8 year old English learners. Thursdays are for the 10 and 11 year olds.
One more thing: don’t tell Mama Clara, but Ricardo and I are in the process of secretly fundraising for her to venture to the states free of charge next fall. Be checking the Blog/Facebook for a link to an Indiegogo page soon.
Address update for those of you who have asked:
Calle Brasil 3, 41013 Sevilla, Spain