Written by Julia Duarte ’20, recounting March 10th
On Sunday, many of us spent the day with our host families, visiting different places and eating amazing food. I woke up at 9:30, drowsy, but ready for the adventure that awaited ahead. In my mind, I realized that I have been in Spain for one whole week. One whole week of creating memories, cultivating friendships, and experiencing a new version of life. After a quick shower, my host family and I hopped into the car and drove up to Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (as Elaina did yesterday!). The car ride there was filled with singing at the top of our lungs and laughing at countless jokes. I won’t go into the details of El Escorial because you’ve already read about the facts from the previous blog post, but rather, I’ll recount all of the small, special moments from this day. First of all, my host sister, Martina, and I bonded over the fact that we adore ‘80s music.
So far, this trip has taught me that communication is one of the most challenging, yet when achieved, extremely rewarding things in life. Only a mere week ago, I was taking this crucial skill for granted; however, these past few days have opened my eyes to its importance and difficulty. Whether it be through music or fragments of Spanish, the ability to communicate with someone so different yet so similar to you is something to be cherished.
In the afternoon, once we ate a small “aperitivo” (appetizer) at a nearby restaurant, more songs, both in Spanish and English, carried us home to the jardín (garden) where soon we would eat paella. After setting the table, Jaime, Martina, and I played around with a soccer ball. We shot the ball through a makeshift goal, played keepaway, and tried to meg each other. Towards the end of our antics, I was overcome with a burst of pure happiness and fell to the ground with laughter with Martina when we accidentally tripped over the ball at the same time. Soccer, the form of communication so prevalent in Spanish culture, proved to do just that for the two of us. Following our small one-on-one match, we renewed our efforts to relate to each other and began to talk about more than just our plans for the following day at school, which I am extremely thankful for.