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:

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