I left Sevilla this past week, in a bit of disbelief at leaving another city where I've found a home. I was much relieved to be over and done with final exams (recall that finals were challenging, to say the least,) and to just enjoy my remaining days in Spain. Everything Christmas was happening; 90 first graders stopped by my house on their nativity tour to see the table-sized nativity in the playroom (my host mom is a strong woman).
How on earth can I summarize an entire semester of new experiences in one final blog post? I'll leave this post short and sweet, unable to capture everything I feel in regards to this time; it was a cool four months of experiences, moments, language, and reflection. In the midst of learning to use Spanish in an academic context, traveling to many cities, befriending a professional soccer player, eating my way through Europe, and finding and exploring a home in Sevilla, I learned about my own values and priorities. I return to Carleton College extremely excited and ready to surround myself with friends and studies (and sub-zero weather). I am filled up with gratitude for the people, places, and opportunities of this semester. And I'm especially thankful for my host family. I don't doubt that I'll be back.
Last week I said long goodbyes to my friends, both Spanish and American, and my host family threw a lovely departure dinner for me and my nuclear family (who came to visit at the end of my program). What a treat to be able to share beautiful Sevilla with my family. The next morning my family loaded up our rental car with olives, sweets, salmorejo, and Spanish tortillas, and hit the road for Portugal.