There is so much to say about my trip to Spain, I don’t know where to begin. Do I post about the food, the friendships, the excursions, the many things I learned, the process of trying to remember a language I haven’t spoken in about 12 years, the seminars, or the excavation? Well, the excavation and the seminars, I know I can save for a guest post for Pintia! But that still leaves a lot of ground to cover. So here’s a list, to start with:
Favorite foods: Spanish tortilla, chorizo, manchego cheese
Favorite drinks: Peach nectar (not alcoholic), every single local Spanish wine, Portuguese cinnamon whatever-that-was (definitely alcoholic)*, Portuguese port wine* (*note to self: must visit Portugal on a non-working vacation!)
Favorite city experience: University of Valladolid – anatomical museum with amazing human and animal skeletal comparative collections, and also an incredible rare and antique books library
Most unforgettable experience: 18,000-year-old cave paintings…in person…and feeling the hair stand up on the back of my neck when I saw 60-odd overlapping human hands from SO LONG AGO painted on a cave wall less than 2 feet away from me
Fell in love with: Northern Spanish countryside. Absolutely stunning landscape with plains, hills, mountains, rivers, canyons, and breathtaking views; gorgeous skies; beautiful and ABUNDANT wildflowers and wild herbs…. Couldn’t get enough of it!
Best bonding experiences: 5 students making dinner together for our 3 program directors, sharing music and movie clips during mealtimes, and the evening we all went to our site director’s house for after-feast drinks and sat around playing the drums on encyclopedias while singing Spanish verses we didn’t understand
Funniest (yet most annoying) experience: The night of the World Cup opening, we were awakened at 1:30 am by Gangnam Style being blasted so loud it felt like a dance club was in the dorm room with us. Haha!
I was honestly pretty nervous, before I left, about spending 24/7 for 3 weeks with a group of people I didn’t know. If I’d had any idea how fun, hard-working, silly, amazing, and genuinely kind my fellow students and our
caretakers program directors would turn out to be, I wouldn’t have been nervous at all! I know it was only 3 weeks, but I felt like part of a damn cool family by the end of the program. Thank you to all y’all who were/are a part of that experience with me!