SUMMARY: (for those who don’t want to read this whole description):
- I’ve jumped off of an old fortress into an extremely warm turquoise ocean.
- I’ve taken flamenco lessons.
- I’ve ate a live shrimp at a market, which was given to me by an old man with no teeth who sang to me.
- I’ve woken up to a catedral at my door step every single day, which has doubled as my alarm clock.
- I’ve danced with the locals until 6am.
… And now I have zero desire to leave.
This past week has gone by so fast and so many changes have occurred in my life. But here are the answers to some of the more logistical questions some of you might ask me. I have school every Monday to Thursday from 9am to 2pm, two hours of language and then two hours of culture class. Then everyone usually heads back to the residencia for lunch and then a siesta until dinner. Everyone I’ve met is really nice and welcoming. I have my own room with an amazing view of the catedral which is literally right outside my housing, and I am a five minute walk from the beach. The other day we went Playa De La Caleta where Die Another Day was filmed, and jumped off of a bridge that was overlooking the fortress and the bay and there were a lot of local kids playing and jumping off as well. The locals here are extremely nice and funny. Yesterday I met with my intercambio, which is a local who signs up to help you with conversacion and getting to know the city better, mine’s name is Maria del Mar (but she goes by Mar) and she’s 19 years old and going to the university of Sevilla and studies piano, but is home for the summer. We went to a local theater to see Harry Potter in Spanish and met some of her friends. The most important to me right now is the wonderful tradition of SIESTAS. All of the shops close for four hours of the day usually from 2pm to 6pm to help escape from the hottest part of the day and from the likely hangover from the night before. Everyone, including children and the elderly are out until at least two at night. One afternoon during our lunch break for class, a couple of us went down to check out the market and at the entrance there was an old man selling live small shrimps and he made me and my friend Antonio eat live ones. Before doing so he began singing to the shrimp and made a game out of us being squeamish with them. Just an example of how everyone I’ve met so far is lively and warm, just like the energy of the streets of Cádiz.