After traveling for 43 hours from Oahu, Hawaii to Seville, Spain, I finally walked into my new home in Seville and was greeted by my very kind host mother, Clara. Clara introduced me to my housemate Mackenzie, and then we all walked over to the ICS in under five-minutes! I was greeted by a beautiful white building with flowers and ornate trellis adorning it.
I felt a bit nervous as I walked into the room where I’d be meeting the students I’d spend the rest of the year with, but as soon as I saw my friends from the University of Hawaii and the other smiling faces surrounding me my nervousness dissipated. After orientation, almost all of the students went to the amazing Parque de María Luisa where we played Frisbee and admired the horse carriages, flora, and beautiful structures in the giant park.
The next morning, we went on a walk through downtown Sevilla, and I was astounded by the fantastic architecture and bustling streets of the city. Music filled the air coming from all sorts of guitar players and Flamenco dancers in the streets, and shops were filled with all sorts of local items that astounded us. In the evening, we went to the Arab haven “Tetería Bagdad” for some delicious Pakistani and Moroccan tea and I got to watch (and try) belly dancing for the first time in my life!
As a group we visited “Las Setas”, the largest wooden structure in the world. The view of the city from the top was stunning, as you could see all of the architecture and white houses stretching on for miles from above! Later on, we learned about the history of Flamenco dancing, and then got to watch a spectacular show at the Museo del Baile Flamenco.
On Sunday morning, many students and I went with the travel agency We Love Spain (run by a former ICS student!) to visit the beach Sao Rafael in Portugal. The beautifully colored houses on the mountains and the amazing rock formations at the beach were stunning, and the water was a perfect temperature! We stayed there for about five hours playing Frisbee and doing Acroyoga on the gorgeous sand. It’s safe to say that my first four days in Seville were spent having a ton of new wonderful experiences and making countless new friends and memories! I cannot wait for what the next three months have in store…