Orientation last night was as good as I could have expected, all new faces and people hesitant about the unknown. I met some nice people and we tried the best we could to introduce ourselves and communicate in Spanish. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. I was nervous that I was going to have a very hard time understanding and grasping what people say, but I think they are going easy on us to start!
After a nice introduction and overview of important points we enjoyed tapas on the patio. One of the staff members said that tapas are literally small plates. They would be the equivalent to appetizers and finger foods. I have no idea what each item was, but nothing I ate tasted bad. There were definitely tastes that I had never experienced before, but all was good!
This morning we had to be to the center at 9am to continue the orientation by taking a tour of the center and the surrounding streets. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! I will have to post pictures at some point!
Oh and I forgot to say that I was so tired this morning that I slept through my alarm. I woke up to my senora knocking on my door and calling my name. Oops! I don’t remember my alarm going off at all. Talk about jet lagged. I guess I am going to need a bit more time to adjust!
Once I was finally up, Mercedes served toast with butter and either coffee or hot chocolate. I have never liked chocolate or coffee, but I felt bad saying no. I told her that I don’t like chocolate because that is something that will never change. So this morning I drank my first full cup of coffee and surprisingly it was not unbearable. I figured I was going to need it anyway to get a jumpstart after not waking up. Once again – Oops!
After the tours, Kiah and I went home to eat lunch. Mercedes prepared salad and pasta with meat sauce. She makes the best salads! And it is simply lettuce and tomato with oil, vinegar, and salt. So delicious!
We rested for the period of time that is considered siesta. This is the hottest part of the day when many shops close and people will stay inside and rest or nap until it cools off a little. At 7pm we went on a bus tour of Sevilla. We went to the surrounding “barrios”, or neighborhoods. These included El Centro, Triana, Los Remedios, and Nervion. Each neighborhood is known for something different and has its own story of how it came to be. One example is of Triana. It was well known for pottery making and the residents considered themselves a separate entity of Sevilla. Eventually Sevilla kept growing in population and Triana became a neighborhood of the city. People of Triana today still have a strong sense of individualism and superiority.
Overall, the bus tour was informative! It was just very hot! A small group of us walked by the river after the tour until it was time to go home for dinner around 9:30pm. It’s midnight here and I am going to try and fall asleep because I have to get up “early” again for classes. Hopefully I wake up. ¡Buenas noches!