Thursday, January 28, 2010


Where: My lovely bottom bunk in the dark
Listening to: "Chasing Pirates" by Norah Jones
Word of the day: "churro"

Well, things have gotten interesting. One by one each of the lights in our side of the apartment (first my room, then Tricia/Laura's room, then the hallway) have gone out. So either the wireless is using too much energy or someone is coming to get us. Good thing I have seen I have seen Taken.

Imminent kidnapping aside, it's been nice to finally have our Internet back. It costs 30 Euros a month, averaging out to 5 per person, which is about what we spent in a week at an Internet cafe. We were overjoyed to get it. We can talk to people at more normal times and do not have to spend the day trapped inside our school, attempting to do every single thing we need in an hour.

We attend the Spanish American Institute of International Education, founded in 1984. I think it's a bit like the equivalent of University of Phoenix in the sense that it is inside of office building and doesn't feel real. We always joke that we are in high school, since we are back in the same classroom from 10-3 and have packed lunches. Most of my classes are from 5-8 people, with my largest at 18. There's about 10 classrooms and they are all literally blindingly white and bright. Sometimes to the point that it's hard to see in the middle of the day so we have to close the blinds (which look exactly the hurricane shutters...weird).

This morning as I was getting ready for class and Tricia was just waking up, Senora Vicki told us she would walk to school with us to pick up her paycheck. She bought us churros on the walk there, making us eat four. This was the first time I have felt full this entire trip. Even though we were late to class (really not surprising), it was a nice walk and good to have something with flavor. Senora Vicki told us that the reason of why we were late on that Tricia needs to wake up earlier. Haha.

That was my first time to have a churro, even though it's not a very unique food. I like to think that I've done a good job adapting to Spain. I've traveled to a lot of places, so I'm used to different lifestyles. This is still a little bit of a shock though since it's strangers and not family and I am alone. I wear jeans everyday. My Mizzou friends will be shocked, I usually refuse to wear them. I definitely dress up more for class and have only worn a t-shirt once. I do wish I had just another pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt because our apartment is constantly freezing.

Adapting to the food has been a little bit more challenging. Breakfast is a piece of toast, which we didn't even eat until this week. Lunch is usually the biggest meal of the day, served at 3 p.m. Since we have class at this time, we usually have bocadillos, sandwiches, with ham. I am the only one that likes ham, the most popular meat in Spain. It's been a small battle to get Vicki to understand that the other girls don't like it and would prefer turkey. One time we had a ham sandwich with an egg omelette. The other girls were worried about it, but it ended up tasting fine.

Dinner is around 9, usually later in our house. That has been more interesting to eat. We've had a potato tortilla, gazpaucho, paella, chicken soup (without chicken and with a potato scoop), and last night's interesting egg and broccoli mix. It was broccoli and asparagus mixture, chopped up to look almost like a cow pattie if you will. You couldn't easily identify what it was, but it still looked familiar. A partially cooked egg was on top of the broccoli mix, topped off with a strange sauce. Laura did not want to eat it when she saw it. It actually wasn't that bad, but definitely not something you would see in a restaurant menu. Coming to dinner is often disheartening, waiting all day for a full meal like we are used to only to realize that this is all we are getting. It's very basic, without any strong flavors. Sometimes I just want a spicy Chipotle burrito that will satisfy my hunger and senses at once.

Though it hasn't been the best food-wise, the smaller portions are definitely awesome. Tapas is the perfect size for a meal. I've never felt overstuffed since I've been here. It's teaching all of us to understand what we really need to eat. And what we don't.

Tomorrow we head off to Granada, a smaller city due east of Sevilla. Granada has a lot of Arabic influences in design, much like here. My friend Becca just spent a semester there and I can't wait to see her city. Almost everyone in our group is going and I can't wait for us all to get closer together.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Where: Tricia's bed, Sevilla
Listening to: The MLK, JR. Freedom Speech


Well actually we get the wireless part tomorrow, right now we have old school ethernet cable.

So Mom, now you won't have to talk to me at 8 am!!

Also check here for my pics:

Haley is now my favorite Spanish speaker. This morning when Senora Vicki was trying to tell her to shut the door all the way at the elevator because other wise it wouldn't work. She responded with the usual "Ah! Si, si!" and Vicki asked if she understood. To which Haley responded with the unique "Ah! Si, siii!"

At dinner she saw our brother, Alfonso, and said "HAMBRE!" as a greeting.
He just looked at her and said "Hungry???" Which is what hambre means. Not hombre (man). Or hermano (brother).

Rain rain go away...because it's hard to walk to class

Where: SAI
Listening to: Club music a la Jersey Shore
Phrase of the day: "golpe"

Yesterday in class The Trav talked about his weekend and said he met some Romanian girls. Our teacher asked him where he went. Trav responded, "Ehhh...they were hot!!!" He also told our teacher that he didn't remember where he went.

He just read that and told me it was "weak." Maybe start saying some better stuff, Trav.

Also last night he used a Pringles vending machine.

Today Tricia and I walked to class in the rain. Either Tricia was looking really hot today or they really liked my orange scarf around my head, blocking the rain. We were our only little Semana Santa (Holy Week, a huge festival here) parade, me as Mary leading.

Flamenco began today! Apparently yesterday when I turned on the light during the other class, the teacher thought it was a ghost. Whoops. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it up.

After the celebration of thanksgiving for Haley's package, we realized her mom sent the materials to make good ole fashioned American s'mores!!!! So I posted up as the look out as we used the microwave. However we couldn't get it to work. So instead we decided to use the blowdryer!! 38 Euros well spent!

We also played a dice game called Farkel. I won a Reese's cup since I won the game. We also fit four college girls on a top bunk. We must be getting skinnier since it didn't collapse.

Today we are having "brother bean" for lunch (which is at 4:30). This will be interesting.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just a day, just an ordinary day

GOOD MORNIN SEVILLA!!!!! It's a pretty day.

Today I went to school.

Time to learn.

Then I made fun of Tricia. As usual. But this time for this picture of her walking to class.

Haley got a package of food, a comb, and tights from her mom. It weighs 16 pounds. It will be so fun to carry home.

She is very happy she has more Cheez-its. So am I.

We get to listen to the music coming from the gym next door.

I tried to take a picture of Tricia doing flamenco, but instead I accidentally turned the lights on in the classroom. So I just ran down the hall back to my computer. Well, it was probably more of a scamper.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Living La Vida Loca

Where: sketchy Internet cafe, very cheap
Phrase of the day: "I've always thought about that. Being a turtle must really suck."

So we came to this cheaper Internet cafe, which is usually filled with Spanish people coming and going. I'm sitting at this desk and there was a boy next to me. His friend came over and said "La rubia es bonita," thinking that I had the headphones on.

However, I did not, so I said thank you and then he introduced himself to me. Which in Spain means that you kiss them on both cheeks. So a complete Spanish stranger is invading my personal space in the middle of a sketchball Internet cafe. The best part was that I was talking to Rachel on video chat. She saw the entire thing happen.

Spanish men are pretty crazy. They don´t hold anything back. Including their stares.

Everyone stares at us too when we go out because we don´t wear jackets. The people here act like its freezing cold, wearing mittens, giant parkas, and scarves. Several (male) people have asked us about it too.

Today was a very lazy Sunday, with some walking around and exploring. We met a crazy old lady who walked Tricia across the street and started making cat meows and asking us for directions. Everyone always asks us for directions. Clearly we are not Spanish since we are basically shouting in English at all times. Or giggling. Tricia and I have really fun walks to school.

The Trav read my blog today. He liked it and decided to add it to his facebook.

Another one of our friends here, Jack, lives with an old couple who have four turtles. Living in the bidet. They don´t have names, because according to his senor, naming turtles is dumb. So is keeping them in a bidet.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Daily Trav

Where: SAI
Listening to: "Holiday in Spain" by Counting Crows
Phrase of the day: "That is the most beautiful ponytail I have ever seen."

Explanation of the phrase: We went to Funduncion, the hot place to go on Tuesday, and we met a crazy Serbian boy who told our friend Hanna that. He also told her that he wishes her "good marriage and many babies." So put Serbia on the list of places not to go visit.

This is Travis, he goes to Mizzou with us, but we didn't meet him until we came to Spain. He's room mates with Nick Savio and the other Nick. Haley nicknamed him Trav, which has now become The Trav.

The Trav in action, workin' it for the ladies.

He is constantly saying the most ridiculous things. So, I told him I was going to add a part to my blog called "The Daily Trav," highlighting his most intelligent musing of the day. I originally wasn't going to do it, but....well, you'll see.

"WHAT'S UP DOG!!" said the Trav, as we turned a corner and saw a stray dog. "These dogs just bang out." (What?)

Yesterday in Business and Commerce of the EU, the Trav strolls in wearing his white Jordans. The Trav told me that he always sees people staring at his feet because of his Jordans and if they tried to steal them, Trav would give them one shoe then come back and "smack them in the face with the other." He was workin' that American frat bro look, with a Mizzou hoodie with the hood on and baggy sweatpants from his fraternity formal, called "Gangster Formal."

"We all dress as gangsters because we are, but I don't roll deep like some guys do," mused the Trav about his college life. Well, nothing says gangster like gray sweatpants with a gun on them bearing your fraternity's letters.

The Trav had little to say at first during class, except when he learned that Morocco was in Africa ("WHOA dude"). He made some other remark to which Haley responded "Maybe that hood is blocking your brain, Trav."

Trav shot back immediately, "I'M WEARING SHORTS!!"

After the laughing subsided, he decided that his comment should be "The Daily Trav." Glad to see he embraces his fame.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Recap

Where: SAI
Listening to: "If We Ever Meet Again" by TImbaland and Katy Perry
Word of the day: "discotheque/discotec/disco"

Buenos dias from the SAI bibloteca aka library aka the wireless room!

I can't believe it's already been a week since we left America...time has really flown.

Here's a quick recap of the weekend, since I'm a bit behind. Oh well, they say there is no time in Sevilla, so there.

Saturday we woke up and quickly went to Toro del Oro (The Gold Tower, above) to begin a bus tour of Sevilla. Here's me with Travis, another MU boy, Tricia, and our friend Savio

We sat on top of the double decker bus and took a lot of pictures. They also had headsets for listening, but Tricia and I just talked to the girls behind us on the bus. They were hilarious, so I think we've got some friends there.

Sevilla has a lot of old buildings, all of which were really pretty. We got to travel to the other side of the river as well, our first time to see it.

After the tour, a bunch of us wandered through town and ate gyros in a park. As each day goes by, we discover a new street or route to school. It's really helping me get a better handle on the winding streets and knowing the layout of the city.

Later that night we were supposed to meet up for tapas. However, we were late so we missed the group. Oh no big deal, it's a tapas restaurant in the area that begins with 'c' (hence one entry's phrase of the day). Little did we know that there are about five of those on one street. So after we spent a while calling Savio and getting nothing, wandering the street with locals staring at us, we finally met up with someone who knew where it was. He took us there just in time. I ate some chicken and potatoes tapas with an almond sauce topping--AMAZING. I also tried someone's tapas of quail egg and ham, which I loved. It was nice to pay for something delicious and cheap. While we were there, I went downstairs to get some change and managed to meet some men from the US Consulate. It's funny the people you run in to.

Then we went to Lone Star Saloon for a little. It was alright, nothing too special, but we did meet another two boys from Texas Tech, both of whom know many of my friends. WEIRD! We talked with them for a bit and I was happy to make the Wisconsin kids feel like they were the ones with the big accents, not me. They were shocked by the amount of times we said "y'all" in one conversation. Y'all crazy.

Danielle, who has already been in the program, brought us to the river to see it at night. The perfect reflection mirrored in the water, paired with our first weekend in Sevilla, really made it special. We are actually in Spain, doing what everyone talks about is the most amazing experience of your life. I never really felt like this day, week, semester would come.

We then went to a club called Buddha to dance the night away, and that we did. It's just so fun to dance around and meet other people. Buddha is definitely one of the nicest clubs I've ever been in. It's all decorated with a Middle Eastern-esque look and made up of three levels. It was a much older crowd as well. I talked to a few Spaniards and danced with the (few) boys in our program. Laura and Haley left early, Tricia and I came home around 3:45. I can't remember the last time I stayed out that late. Even when we left, tons of people were still there! No wonder the Spanish have three hour naps during the day.

Walking up to the third floor of Buddha, new friend Melanie, Laura, Haley, Tricia

We woke up Sunday, went to church, rounding out the day with a stop at the internet cafe (of course) and a little exploring.

Yesterday was the first day of classes! I can't believe another semester has come and gone, I'm technically a senior with my credit hours. I'm taking Twentieth Century Literature, Women in Literature, Spanish Civilizations, and Business and Commerce in the European Union. By today I'm done with all my classes. I really enjoy all of my teachers already! My literature classes have the same professor. I'm taking everything in Spanish, with the exception of European Union. I'm used to day dreaming in Spanish class (maybe that explains my grade...), which I definitely cannot do here. Yikes.

We came back up to the school at 6 for a meeting about our upcoming trips this semester. We're planning on going to Granada, the first weekend trip. Other stops include Ronda, Jerez, Aracena, Madrid, and Lisbon. Once the meeting was over, we still had some time before dinner (which was at 10 p.m. that night), so we decided to do more exploring and head down to hang out by the river. We did the Spanish thing by drinking some wine mixed with relaxing and talking. Our teacher told us in Spanish Civilizations that Spaniards drink wine all the time, alcohol is not a big deal. So that explains why Domino's offered us "agua, pepsi, o cerveza" at 1 p.m.

Hope all my friends back home celebrated MLK day appropriately and had a great first day of the semester!! Hasta luego!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Un chiste

Date/Time: Monday, January 18, 1 p.m.
Where: Spanish American Institute, Sevilla
Listening to: every student talking in the room with wireless
Word of the day: "huracan"

One of my teachers calls me "Hurricane," just like the boys at Mizzou.

Nuestras Casa

Does anyone know how to change the background of these blogs to a picture?

If so, just comment. Thanks!

Here's my room:

Here is Tricia and Laura's room

Una lengua extranjera

Date and Time: Sunday, January 17, 2010, 11 p.m.
Where: Our homestay
Listening to: Haley making fun of Tricia for taking 5 hours to do everything
Phrase of the day: “Sabes al restaurante de tapas que empiezo con la letra ‘c’ acerca de la Catedral?”

I just got really tired translating the phrase of the day, which I will explain later. I think the hardest thing for me as of now is constantly translating in my head and thinking of the right thing to say. It’s pretty exhausting, especially since I am used to being able to mentally check out several times a week (thanks lifeguarding). I feel like I’m always on red alert, noticing every detail and paying utmost attention. Not only do I need to do this for myself to better my surroundings and understand the Spanish culture, but I am also the translator for Haley and Laura.
Haley doesn’t know a word of Spanish except for what we have taught her so far. She’s a pro at “Lo siento.” Laura has taken Spanish in high school, but doesn’t know it like Tricia and I do. I can’t imagine how they feel at times, being in a place so different with no one knowing what you are saying. It must be hard. Maybe they should pay us for arranging all of their meals and daily interactions. Just saying. And kidding. Kind of.
It really makes me appreciate the fact that my dad knows Spanish, English, and Danish. He keeps us connected to our older relatives who don’t speak English, plus he gets us hotel rooms in small towns when we put the wrong type of gas in the rental car. Even though Sevilla is a larger city, no one knows English as well as they do in Denmark. It makes me more thankful that we are from there because it’s a lot more fun for us to visit when Karen, my sister, and I can socialize with our cousins instead of bicker with each other.
Overall, I’m very thankful that I have taken Spanish since fourth grade. My mom will totally be happy to hear that. Although my skills definitely don’t show the years I’ve spent studying it, I already feel that I am improving and getting a better hold of how to actually apply it to life. It’s a little hard to understand the infamous Spanish lisp, especially since here they drop some of the ending consonants and run the words together. They always drop the ‘s’ from “gracias” and anything else that’s on the end. So not only am I adapting to that change, but also to the strong Wisconsin accent of the other people in our program.
Got to goooooo (that’s supposed to be the Wisconsin accent on the ‘o’). Adiooooooo (the Spanish-Wisconsin way to say bye).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Date and Time: 16 de enero, 4 p.m. or 16:00
Where: Our homestay, Sevilla
Listening to: “Boots and Boys” by Ke$ha
Word of the day: “secador del pelo”

Yesterday was a very productive day. Laura, Tricia, Haley (my roommates), and I were able to walk to school all by ourselves without getting lost! We had the orientation at the Institute, which basically was just one man talking a little about our new experience. Afterwards we wandered throughout the city and went shopping.
The streets, lined with shops, curve throughout the city so it was easy to get a good feel of Sevilla and wind up in unexpected places. We found our way to Avenida de la Constitucion, a sprawling street on the other side of the Cathedral that reminds me so much of Canal Street in New Orleans. Tricia bought a pair of studded boots for 17 Euros, but no one else was able to find anything.
Once we returned back to the street our house is on, Ronda de Capuchinos, we went to Corazon, a Spanish low-end Target, to buy spiral notebooks and more hangers for our closets. And so began our quest to get a hair dryer, “un secador del pelo,” and a hair straightener, “una plancha de ancha,” in time to be beautiful American girls for the party that night. We went into at least a dozen stores either looking at blow dryers or asking where there was a store we could buy one at. We found a straightener at one store, but we didn’t want to spend 65 Euros so we left to come home for lunch.
Spaniards eat lunch around 3 p.m. or so, and it is the biggest meal of the day. Breakfast (which we still haven’t eaten) consists of a cup of coffee and slice of bread, often with either olive oil or butter. That’s even less than what we would have while in Denmark! Dinner is another small meal, much later in the night, around 9 p.m. Yesterday we only ate lunch, which was a potato and beef soup with “croquetas,” small oval-shaped chicken and beef nuggets if you will. I am the only one who likes them who has no problem with most of the food Senora Vicki gives us, so I often have to eat those so we don’t look rude to her. Senora Vicki also made a five cheese dip. It was pretty strong and different, but I liked it as well.
We asked Vicki’s 19-year-old daughter, Victoria, where we should go to buy a straightener and so began a long Spanglish conversation about where and when to go, how much to pay, etc. Then Vicki went and got a straightener that one of the other girls had left behind and gave it to us to use! We could definitely tell why she left it behind (Tricia’s hair didn’t make it through our first night out…RIP), but it worked well enough. It’s funny how happy it made us to have that again…or it’s sad, depending on how you look at it.
During the siesta, almost every store is closed. Siesta is the Spanish term for a rest period from about 1:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon. Supposedly everyone goes home to nap, but from what we’ve seen, it seems like people really go grab a beer at a bar.
We decided at this time to try to go to an Internet café to talk to our families. We were going to walk to one near the Cathedral, a 25 minute walk, but Vicki told us about one right around the corner. After getting lost and asking for help from a bartender who drew a map with chalk on his counter, we realized we had walked past it. Mandarin is right behind our house and open until midnight! Perfect for skyping and talking during more regular hours in America. I skyped with my parents for an hour and was able to send out a couple emails. We were all so happy to be connected to home again. It was especially nice to see my house and parents through the video chat. Definitely a big lift off of our shoulders.
Once it reopened, we went to Vodafone, a popular cell phone company to get phones. True to our American upbringing, we couldn’t stand to be cut off from the world for more than three days. Plus, we managed to sleep through a school-sponsored flamenco show the day before and couldn’t call or find out any information about what we should do since we didn’t have phones.
This was an adventure in itself. The woman who helped us did not speak English so we had to translate everything and figure out what she was saying. The most difficult thing about the Spanish here is their accent. I understand Vicki well enough now, but I always have to pay very close attention to strangers. Even when I do, I still miss some of what they say. For example, we now say “Gracias” more like Italians, dropping some of the letters at the end, especially the ‘s’. Their words sometimes slur together, even more difficult for someone used to the pronounced words of a professor or even the people in Texas. To get a better understanding of what the plan we were getting included, I asked her to write everything down so we could at least translate it later. We got the same plan that our friend Nick Savio got, so we would all be in the same boat. There’s now at least seven of the same phone in our group just out of the people we got lunch with today.
We went back to the hair store to buy a blow dryer so we could all finally wash our hair to go out that night. Water in Spain is apparently very low, so we are only supposed to take five-minute showers. It turns out to be pretty easy since I showered second last night and the hot water ran out about a minute after I got in.
We got ready to go to the welcome party at Texas Lone Star Saloon, right down the street from the school. Every time I get ready with my Missouri friends I feel like we should be in our towel wraps dancing to the latest song in the Chi Omega bathroom, even though I moved out a year ago. Anyways, the party was really fun. The bar was covered in Americana-esque things, like pictures of Marines and even a Confederate flag. It was definitely a weird feeling to be in an American bar with other Americans and then to walk out and once again be in Spain. I couldn’t believe we were at a bar with our teachers, much less a school bar party. I talked to Richard, one of the leaders of the program who has been there for 17 years and he introduced me to two of my teachers. They both seemed really nice and one was this little tiny woman who was just so happy. Class should be fun. I also met Yves, the bartender, and Lorenzo, a girl’s Spanish boyfriend. All the locals our age are really nice and friendly, or maybe just happy to be around Americans. Either way, it’s nice to make more friends here and not stick to our Missouri bubble.
We stayed at Lone Star Saloon until 10. We followed Danielle to the next bar, Flahert’s. Danielle is dating Lorenzo and has already been here for a semester, so she really knows her way around. She’s incredibly helpful and we can already tell that she will be one of our friends. Flahert’s is an Irish bar in Spain, quite the oxymoron. We didn’t stay there for long, but I did meet a guy from Morocco named Nordi. He didn’t speak any English so I had to speak entirely in Spanish. Haley has observed that I “dramatize everything” that I say when I speak Spanish since I tend to act out the words or the emotions to be absolutely clear. I think he enjoyed my little embellishments.
When we were leaving Flahert’s, Haley, Laura, and Tricia had been talking to boys that were part of an Irish rowing team. All the stereotypes about their accents are true. Haley even thought they were faking it. They were all hilarious so they came with us to the discotheque. I talked to them on the way over, I loved their accents, they loved my Southern one. I’m once again surrounded by weird accents: Missouri, Spanish, Irish, and the terrible Wisconsin one. I’ll never get away from them. Plus, now all the Wisconsin kids comment whenever I say “y’all” in addition to my Missouri friends. What is this? The Reconstruction where the North once again has to bring down the South?
Anyways, we all had a great time with them at the disco and exchanged numbers for when we come to Dublin. I talked to David on the way over, we fell in love. As usual. He even told me I was a good dancer, so I know he loved me in return. Haley talked to one about leprechauns. Peter texted me today and said “ye” a lot. Oh, to be in Europe. I didn’t realize they still spoke the same as Shakespeare, but apparently so. Unfortunately the girls made me leave the club and we took a cab home to eat Cheez-Its since the Domino’s Pizza next door doesn’t accommodate the Spanish nightlife schedule or “la movida” as it is called here in Sevilla. No wonder everyone is so skinny.
We learned today from the other people in our program that the Irish boys broke a fan and followed some girls home strangely enough. Crazy Irish. Good to know some stereotypes can be true. During our bus tour today, we passed the river with a rowing team on it. I definitely got everyone’s attention when I yelled out “PETER!! DAVID!!! DURHAM!!!” But unfortunately it wasn’t our beloved team. They had to return to their ginger-headed homeland today. So our Irish adventure is over...for now.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Buenos Dias

Date and Time: 14 de enero, 9 p.m.
Where: Our homestay, Sevilla
Listening to: “Your Love is My Drug” Ke$ha
Word of the day¨: "Al principio"

Today we had our first visit to our school and a pre-orientation. We took a cab to get to the Spanish-American Institute, since we had to be there early and had absolutely no idea how to get there. In Spain, the street signs are tiles glued up onto the walls of buildings, if there are any at all. It definitely is not easy to find your way around at first.
The Spanish-American Institute (SAIIE) is on the third story of a building overlooking a small square with a nice restaurant. It is about a 25-minute walk from our house. It’s a pretty central location (I think) and was a short walk from the sites we visited later in the day. The classrooms are solid white and very bare. There are two computer labs, one with computers that we can use the Internet on in 40-minute intervals. There is another room that has Wi-Fi available if you bring your own laptop, which is where we will have to Skype. Unfortunately the school is only open from 8 to 5, so unless we go to an Internet café (how 1998 of us), our contact with America will be limited. Definitely not the 24/7 access we were used to.
We met some of the staff today and briefly went over some homestay information and details about the next few days. Our host lady, Senora Vicki, serves us meals from Sunday night to Friday lunch and will do our laundry once a week. Later this week we have our orientation, a trip to Texas Lone Star Saloon (that “Tex Mex” food will be interesting), and a bus tour.
After the pre-orientation and a quick e-mail to my parents, we walked to Cathedral Giralda, the cathedral in the middle of Sevilla. The Cathedral was originally built by the Muslims as a Mosque. Then in 711, the Christians made it into a cathedral. It was really pretty and interesting to know the blended history of the building. Outside there is still a patio from when the Muslims had it that they used for praying. Now it is covered in orange trees. We found out that the oranges are not too good to eat after one of the boys told us about how bitter it was when he tried it the night before. The cathedral has 17 chapels and several altars. The entire building was influence by Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque artistic styles, so it has a really interesting look.

After touring the church, we climbed to the top of the Giralda tower, which goes up 98 meters. It had windows on every level, which was really nice to see the whole city and get a grasp on what the size was. We could see all the rooftop pools too!

We also went to Real Alcanzar, a former palace built by the Muslims as well. It had a completely different look than the Cathedral.

Trying to get internet at our apartment is a struggle, as you can see Tricia attempting to get it here: