Monday, April 29, 2013

The Swing of Things. La Vida Cotidiana.

I have been spending so much time outside of Seville. I've been to The Palms in the Canary Islands and to Lagos, Portugal. Both trips were amazing. I've been so busy while I'm actually here in Seville, that I've not been writing! Sorry! Now it's time to write long papers and study for finals, so here goes: a quick blog entry to update you about a few things.

I've seen some of the most important cultural events that happen here in Seville! Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Feria are two of the biggest and most important festivals here.

Traditional dress
Semana Santa is a huge religious celebration in Seville from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. It was started back in the 16th Century! It consists of  a lot of processions of "pasos," which are huge statues that are carried through the streets by people dressed in penitential robes with hoods. A LOT of people in the streets for an entire week. It was an awesome experience!
One of the Pasos

The entrance to the Feria
 (Rebuilt every year with a different design!)

Feria begins just two weeks after Semana Santa, and has been in existence in Seville since 1847. The festival started as a livestock fair during the reign of Queen Isabel II. The fair runs for six days and for the duration, a huge portion of land is completely covered in "casetas," which are basically tents that are owned by prominent families, organizations, political parties, clubs, etc. Some are private and others public. Every day from dusk until dawn of the following day, you'll find tons of Sevillanas in these tents. They dance, eat and drink all night. During the Feria, Seville is more beautiful than ever. The city is painted in all colors. Lots of polka dots. Men dress up in suits and the women dress in flamenco dresses. There is also a part of the fairgrounds that has tons of rides. I loved Feria- another great thing about being in Seville during the spring semester!

Can I just hide here forever?

I leave Seville for Indiana in just sixteen days and it is such a bittersweet feeling. Everyone told me that once I finally got into the "swing of things" here, I wouldn't want to leave. They were right. Seville is my home. I've settled here. I have a perfect routine and I love the lifestyle. I have a great Spanish family; my host mother is seriously my best friend. She gives me so much support and I can tell her anything. I care so deeply about the girl I have been tutoring and I feel so sad knowing I won't be around to teach and help her as she grows. The friends that I've made will all be in different parts of America and the world. I won't be able to see their faces every day ever again. I am just now getting used to everything, and although I'm ready to see my friends and family in Indiana, I'm not ready for my life to change!

After being away from home for almost 4 months and it feeling like 2 weeks, I have realized that time FLIES. What scares me is the thought of it being five, six, maybe seven years before I get to come back to visit. So much will have changed. When will I ever get to travel to another country for three and a half months again? This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget.